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Recapping the 22 Chatham alumni on MLB 30-man rosters

by Andrew Crane and Roshan Fernandez, 07-23-2020

Recapping the 22 Chatham alumni on MLB 30-man rosters

Twenty-two former Chatham players are represented on the MLB’s 30-man rosters, with the league’s unprecedented 60-game season underway nearly four months after the initially scheduled Opening Day. 

Chatham’s superstar 2005 team that included six first rounders remains the most-represented — with Andrew Miller, Todd Frazier, and Evan Longoria. Twins pitcher Rich Hill is the oldest Chatham representative, having played on the Cape 20 years ago, while Rockies second baseman Garrett Hampson is the youngest. 

As of 2020’s opening day, here’s a look at the complete list.

Brad Boxberger, RHP (2008) — Miami Marlins

Boxberger struck out 28 batters in 18 innings for Chatham. Going into his ninth year in MLB, he was an All-Star in 2015 — the year he played in a career-high 69 games. After being released in August by Reds Triple-A affiliate Louisville Bats, Boxberger was signed by Miami this February.

Kris Bryant, 3B (2011) — Chicago Cubs

The second overall pick in the 2013 draft, Bryant is about to enter his sixth season with the Cubs. The 2016 National League’s MVP won the World Series with Chicago, and the following year he signed a $1.05 million contract, a record for a pre-arbitration player that was previously held by Mike Trout. With Chatham, Bryant batted .223 with 29 hits and 3 home runs over 37 games. Now a three-time MLB All-Star, he is the projected lead-off hitter for the Cubs’ opener against the Brewers.

Nick Burdi, RHP (2012) — Pittsburgh Pirates

During eight innings with Chatham in 2012, Burdi struck out 13 batters and allowed eight hits. In his first two MLB seasons with the Pirates, Burdi pitched nine innings and appeared in 13 games.

J.D. Davis, 3B (2013) — New York Mets

Davis recorded 18 runs and 32 hits, and was named the East MVP after the CCBL All-Star game in 2013. He also threw in four innings and struck out seven batters. About to enter his third year in the majors, Davis was traded by the Astros to the Mets this January. His over-the-shoulder catch last August against Cleveland was named MLB’s play of the week. 

Adam Engel, OF (2012) — Chicago White Sox

After the White Sox drafted Engel in the 19th round out of Louisville, he spent most of the next four seasons working his way up through the minors. In 2017, he made his MLB debut and appeared in 97 games with a .166 batting average. Engel hit .233 with 38 hits in 43 games for Chatham in 2012.

Buck Farmer, RHP (2011) — Detroit Tigers

Farmer started three games during his brief stint on the Cape in 2011, two of which were wins over Bourne and Orleans. Drafted in the fifth round by the Tigers in 2013, Farmer is now in his seventh season in the majors. He’s posted a 5.28 career-ERA.

Todd Frazier, 3B (2005-06) — Texas Rangers

Part of the 2005 superteam that included current Longoria and Miller, Frazier played 47 games for Chatham across two summers. He hit five home runs and had 30 RBI, and went on to win the MLB Home Run Derby in 2015 and finish second the following year.

Kyle Funkhouser, RHP (2013) — Detroit Tigers

Appearing in 11 games for Chatham, including an inning of Game 2 of the EDCS against Orleans. He struck out 23 batters in 16 innings for the Anglers before becoming a fourth round pick in the 2016 draft. After four years in the minors, 2020 will be the first MLB action that Funkhouser sees.

Zac Gallen, RHP (2014) — Arizona Diamondbacks

After three seasons at North Carolina, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Gallen in the third round of the 2016 draft. The Gibbsboro, New Jersey native was then traded to the Miami Marlins in a deal for Marcell Ozuna, and was traded again two years later to the Diamondbacks. In 15 total MLB starts, Gallen has compiled a 3-6 record and 2.81 ERA. And six summers ago, he went 2-3 for the Anglers while primarily throwing to former childhood friend and Little League teammate Nick Sciortino behind the plate. 

Yan Gomes, C (2008) — Washington Nationals

The first Brazilian-born player in MLB history, Gomes has spent eight years in the majors. His run in Game 7 of the World Series last year helped secure the Nationals first-ever championship. In Chatham, the catcher had the third-highest batting average on the team (.313) and recorded 20 hits. 

Garrett Hampson, 2B (2014-15) — Colorado Rockies

After the Rockies drafted Hampson in the third round of the 2016 draft, Hampson spent parts of two seasons in the minors before appearing in 24 games with the Rockies in 2018. Last season, he played in 105 games, batted .247 and collected 74 hits. With Chatham during the 2015 CCBL season, Hampson had 23 hits in 24 games — including six multi-hit games.

Rich Hill, LHP (2000-01) — Minnesota Twins

The oldest Chatham alumnus still active in MLB, Hill has played for eight different teams since his debut in 2005. Hill played a career-high 63 games during the 2013 season and earned pitcher of the month awards in 2016 and 2017. The lefty free-agent was signed by the Twins this offseason. Though he played only 17 total games with Chatham, he was crucial to the Anglers’ championship run in 2001 — a season where he posted a 1.91 ERA after struggling the year prior.

Chris Iannetta, C (2002) — New York Yankees

After playing for the Rockies for the past two years, Iannetta was picked up by the Yankees this offseason. The veteran has played nearly 1200 games in the majors over a course of 14 seasons. For Chatham, he posted a .222 batting average with 24 hits and nine RBI.

Andrew Knapp, C (2012) — Philadelphia Phillies

Since the Phillies drafted Knapp in the second round of the 2013 draft, he’s appeared in 214 MLB games. Knapp progressed from Williamsport in the New York Penn League and Glendale in the Arizona Fall League to Lehigh Valley and, finally, Philadelphia. His career batting average over three seasons is .223, and he’s hit nine home runs and accumulated 36 RBI. During the 2012 CCBL season, Knapp appeared in 43 games, gathered 43 hits and finished with a .293 average for Chatham.

Evan Longoria, 3B (2005) — San Francisco Giants (Injured List)

Longoria led the CCBL in home runs (8), slugging percentage (.500) and RBI (35) during his 2005 season on the Cape. He was awarded the CCBL MVP award for that performance. Now in his 13th season in MLB and his third with San Francisco, he’s been placed on the Giants 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain.

Whit Merrifield, 3B (2009) — Kansas City Royals

Last season, Merrifield appeared in all 162 games for the Royals, a feat that only four other MLB players matched in 2019. In the last three years, he’s missed a total of 21 games and posted a .296 career batting average over his four-year stint in Kansas City. With Chatham, Merrifield led the team in runs (23) and hits (38), while managing to steal 16 bases.

Andrew Miller, LHP (2004-05) — St. Louis Cardinals

Known for his famous “fog game” in Chatham where he threw 12 strikeouts in four innings in a game that didn’t officially count, Miller was the sixth overall pick after two seasons on the Cape. He is a 2-time MLB All-Star (2016, 2017) and has a 4.02 career ERA after 14 seasons in the majors. 

Tommy Milone, LHP (2007) — Baltimore Orioles

Two days before the Orioles season opener at the Red Sox, Milone was named the starting pitcher. Now in his 10th season in the majors and with his eighth team, Malone has notched 50 MLB wins. The lefty was named Cape League pitcher of the year when he played for the A’s in 2007 after recording a 2.92 ERA and a 6-1 record. That summer, Milone was one of four CCBL pitchers to record a shutout. In the 52 innings he pitched, he struck out 46 batters and walked only seven. 

Chad Pinder, 2B (2012) — Oakland Athletics

Over the last four seasons with Oakland, Pinder has appeared in 343 games and totaled 42 hits. His career average heading into the shortened 2020 season — his fourth since the Athletics selected him out of Virginia Tech — was .245. Pinder appeared in 21 games with Chatham in 2012, hitting .278 over 79 at-bats as the Anglers finished fifth in the CCBL standings.

Kyle Seager, 3B (2007-08) — Seattle Mariners

Seager was a Gold Glove winner and MLB All-Star in 2014. During two seasons with Chatham, he accumulated 34 runs and 25 RBI in 61 games. Across nine seasons with the Mariners, he’s hit 198 home runs and played in over 1,200 games. 

Jacob Stallings, C (2009-10) — Pittsburgh Pirates

Stallings appeared in less than 15 games in each of his first three seasons with the Pirates, but took on a bigger role last year. The seventh round draft pick had 50 hits and 26 runs during 2019. With Chatham, he played only 30 gaves over the course of two summers because University of North Carolina made runs in the College World Series. 

Pat Valaika, SS (2012) — Baltimore Orioles 

After spending the first seven years of his MLB career in the Colorado Rockies organization, Valaika was selected off waivers by the Orioles follwing the 2019 season. He was then claimed by Arizona before landing with Baltimore again four days later. Over 232 games and 434 plate appearances, Valaika has compiled a .213 average with 86 hits. He played with Chatham during the 2012 CCBL season and averaged nearly one hit per game.