LA JOLLA, Calif. - Six former standouts of the UC San Diego baseball program are currently in the professional ranks playing for various Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and independent teams.
Vance Albitz was released on April 17 by the St. Louis Cardinals, and signed on May 2 to a minor-league contract by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. After 25 games with the Double-A Arkansas Travelers (Little Rock, Ark.) in the Texas League, he was promoted on June 3 to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees (Salt Lake City, Utah) in the Pacific Coast League. Albitz had previously ascended to the Triple-A level with St. Louis, playing for the Memphis Redbirds.
Albitz hit .333 (10-for-30) over his first eight games for the Bees through July 16. Starting at shortstop, he put together Salt Lake’s first five-hit performance of 2014 in a 12-4 road victory over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on June 14, finishing a perfect 5-for-5 with a double, triple, two runs and two RBI. Albitz followed that up with a 2-for-2 effort with a walk, two doubles and another run the following day. He is facing his former team, the Memphis Redbirds, in a four-game home series, June 18-20.
Tim Shibuya is with the Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle, the Minnesota Twins’ Class A Advanced affiliate in the Florida State League (FSL). After 17 relief appearances to begin the year, he made his first start for the club on June 5 at home against Lakeland, allowing two runs, one of them earned, on four hits over four innings with a pair of strikeouts as the Miracle took a narrow 4-3 decision. Shibuya then drew a second starting assignment five days later in a 10-0 home rout of Charlotte. He tossed seven shutout frames, including 6.1 of the no-hit variety before a one-out single in the seventh. Shibuya ultimately scattered just two hits with four strikeouts in the stellar outing. Click here to access more on that game, as well as a box score.
Most recently, Shibuya came out of the bullpen again to register the save in a 6-2 home win over Bradenton on June 16, throwing two shutout innings with one hit against and three strikeouts. Over his last four appearances, Shibuya is 1-0 with two saves, a 0.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts against zero walks over 15.0 innings pitched. He has gone 12 complete frames since allowing a run. For the season, he is 4-2 with a 3.27 ERA and two saves. Shibuya has fanned 37 in 44.0 innings, and walked only six. Opposing batters are hitting at just a .237 clip.
Another 5-0 defeat of Bradenton on Wednesday night, June 18, clinched a second straight FSL South Division first-half crown for Fort Myers, with a 41-28 record thus far. The Miracle are managed by Doug Mientkiewicz, who began his Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the Twins in 1998 prior to playing for six other franchises.
Guido Knudson strung together five saves with a 3.06 ERA and a 2-1 win-loss record to earn promotion on May 13 from the Class A Advanced Lakeland (Fla.) Flying Tigers to the Double-A Erie (Pa.) SeaWolves in the Detroit Tigers organization. He has since made 11 appearances for the SeaWolves in the Eastern League.
Dillon Moyer, who started all 50 games at shortstop in his one and only season at UCSD in 2013 before being selected in the 38th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft last June by the Los Angeles Dodgers, is with the Class A Great Lakes Loons in Midland, Mich.
Jeff Rauh was assigned to extended spring training by the St. Louis Cardinals’ Class A affiliate Peoria (Ill.) Chiefs on May 21. On June 11, he was sent to the Class A Short Season State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League in University Park, Pa. Rauh has had three relief stints, striking out the last four batters he faced to complete a two-inning outing on June 18. He was previously a member of the Spikes in 2013.
Richard Seigel has started in left field, right field and at first base for the Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League in Sauget, Ill. He was the Grizzlies’ first-round selection in the 2014 Frontier League Draft. Having appeared in 29 of 30 games, Seigel is hitting .253 (25-for-99) with a team-best seven doubles to go along with one triple and three home runs. He has scored 18 runs and driven in 10, with 17 walks and six steals on seven attempts.
Through June 18, Gateway sat in first place with an overall record of 20-10, including 15-3 at home inside GCS Ballpark, and a winner of five straight. GCS Ballpark, located just minutes away from downtown St. Louis, was the site of the 2008 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship, before the event moved to its current location in Cary, N.C.
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