MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Randy Mazey’s former players are making some noise in the Minor Leagues.
While Alek Manoah has been incredible in the MLB ranks this season, some of his former teammates have been tearing it up in MiLB ballparks across the country.
It’s also becoming clear which former Mountaineer is the most likely to be the next to get his call to The Show.
Here is how all 10 Mountaineers in the Minors have performed over the last month.
Darius Hill – OF – Chicago Cubs organization
West Virginia’s all-time leader in career doubles has been swinging a red-hot bat this month.
The former Mountaineer right fielder was hitting .308 in Double-A before he was promoted to Triple-A. And he’s somehow hitting at an even higher clip against stiffer competition.
Hill rounds out the month of June with a .372 batting average, and has collected at least one hit in all but five of the games he’s played at the Triple-A level.
He enjoyed a 10-game hitting streak for the Iowa Cubs, and had 11 multi-hit games during the month, as well.
If he keeps this up, it will be hard for the struggling Chicago Cubs to keep him in the Minors all season.
Michael Grove – RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers organization
Grove made his second-ever appearance at the big league level on June 1 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw one inning, but surrendered three runs on three hits.
After being demoted to Triple-A, Grove struggled in each of his next two starts with the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
He returned to form on June 22.
Grove threw five innings of shutout baseball. He allowed just two hits, and struck out five, though he was saddled with a no-decision.
The Wheeling native has made 10 starts in the Minor Leagues this year. He holds an 0-2 record with a 4.54 ERA, and has struck out 40 batters in 37 2/3 innings of work.
Chad Donato – RHP – Houston Astros organization
Donato has largely rebounded from a tough month of May.
Through five starts at the Triple-A level in the month of June, Donato is 1-1 with a 4.01 ERA. While he has allowed three or more runs in two starts, he’s limited opposing teams to just one run in two starts, as well.
Donato is coming off one of those starts, when he allowed just one run on three hits, while striking out four, in six innings of work.
His best start of the month came on June 8.
Pitching five days after his 27th birthday, Donato struck out nine would-be hitters over 5 1/3 innings on the mound. It’s the most punchouts he has collected in one game since he struck out 10 Double-A batters on July 6, 2019
Paul McIntosh – C – Miami Marlins organization
The undrafted former Mountaineer is heating up.
After missing some time due to injury in May, McIntosh has returned to form in June.
The 24-year-old catcher hit for a .308 batting average, and collected 11 extra-base hits, including three home runs in June. He was also among the top hitters in the Double-A Southern League in terms of OPS.
He ended the month on a hot streak, collecting hits in six games in a row and hitting 8-for-25 (.320) since June 21. And if it’s any indication, Marlins fans have taken notice of his Minor League production, and are hoping he’s promoted to Triple-A.
Braden Zarbnisky – RHP – Philadelphia Phillies organization
Another Mazey draft pick who enjoyed a solid month of June.
West Virginia’s former Swiss Army Knife made six appearances, and never allowed an opposing runner to touch home plate.
Zarbnisky, who continues to be a reliever for the Reading Fightin Phils, pitched a total of eight scoreless innings, during which he allowed just five hits and struck out six.
Zarb lowered his season ERA by a full run with his efforts, and has now appeared on an MiLB mound 51 times in his pro baseball career. He’s 7-4 with a 3.79 ERA since being signed by Philadelphia
Ivan Gonzalez – C – Chicago White Sox organization
Two promotions in one year. That’s the type of impact that Gonzalez is showing he can have within the White Zox farm system.
Gonzalez was promoted to High-A back in May, and then got the call that he had been called up to Double-A on June 10.
Despite a low batting average, the former Mountaineer backstop has found ways to get on base while keeping his strikeout numbers low.
Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his Double-A debut.
Kade Strowd – RHP – Baltimore Orioles organization
Strowd did not take the mound in June.
He was placed on the 7-day injured list on May 21. It’s the second time that Baltimore’s High-A affiliate has placed the pitcher on the IL since last August.
Jackson Wolf – LHP – San Diego Padres organization
The former Mountaineer ace made four starts last month. One went well. The other three, not so much.
Wolf allowed just one run on four hits, while striking out six on June 10. In his other three starts, he surrendered a combined 14 runs on 16 hits.
However, he still managed to get a win despite giving up four runs on eight hits on June 16. Wolf pitched seven innings, and only allowed one run after a rocky first inning.
Ryan Bergert – RHP – San Diego Padres organization
Wolf’s collegiate and Minor League teammate, however, is still looking for his first winning decision of the 2022 season.
Bergert made four starts last month, and was saddled with a no-decision in all four appearances.
Unfortunately, he did not end the month on a high note, as he surrendered three runs on seven hits in just three innings on Tuesday. He allowed a home run, hit a batter, and issued a walk, while also recording three strikeouts.
Bergert notched 21 punchouts during the month of June.
Madison Jeffrey – RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers organization
The Huntington, WV native was a frequently used hurler for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in June.
Jeffrey made nine appearances, all in relief, six of which were scoreless. He pitched a total of 10 1/3 innings, and struck out 15 would-be batters.
Check back at the beginning of each month for an update on these Mountaineers in the Minors.