Baseball Update: Former Lobos In The Pros
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/11/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 11, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M - The University of New Mexico baseball program is being well-represented in professional baseball leagues all over the country. Former Lobos are trying to play their way up to Major League Baseball through different Class A's in the Minor League. There are currently 18 Lobos in the pros with many having lots of success and at least half are making their way into the playoffs. The most recent Lobos to get drafted this season include: Rafael Neda (Milwaukee Brewers), Justin Howard (Pittsburgh Pirates), Ryan Honeycutt (San Francisco Giants), Kenny Toves (Florida Marlins) and Willy Kesler (Seattle Mariners). Edwin Carl picked up a late free agent contract in July with the Kansas City Royals.

Rafael Neda ('10) - Drafted by Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th round (309 overall) earlier this month. Signed in Arizona last week and is currently training in Phoenix while getting ready to start playing.

Ryan Honeycutt ('10) - Selected by San Francisco Giants in 41st Round (1248th overall). Currently playing outfield for the AZL Giants in the MILB.

Justin Howard ('10): Drafted by the Pittsburg Pirates in the 24th round a couple days after tearing his PCL. A first-baseman for the GCL Pirates, Howard has been training in Florida and rehabbing his knee.

"I'm trying to keep everything working and staying healthy." Howard said.

"I'm pretty much full-on hitting, but I still have a little left to do as far as running."

Just last Wednesday, Howard made his debut and went 2-4 with a double giving him a .429 batting average.

"I'm hitting it well, but I have a lot of work to do in the off-season." Howard said.

Kenny Toves ('10) - Carlsbad, New Mexico native left UNM after his junior year after being drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 21st round. Jamestown Jammers (30-19): Pitcher (2-0) 20 strikeouts in 15 games.

Edwin Carl ('10) - Was a late free agent signee with the Kansas City Royals in July.

Cameron Monger ('10) - AZL Royals outfielder: Had 15 hits and 12 runs this season followed by 8 RBIs.

Willy Kesler ('10) - (Class A Short-Season) Everett AquaSox (36-15): Pitcher (3-2) ERA 1.88. Kesler has helped the AquaSox win their way into the playoffs this season.

"I've learned a lot this season and have been working hard to improve my change-up with the help of my pitching coach." Kesler said.

Cole White ('09) - Pitcher for the Burlington Bees under the Kansas City Royals.

Brian Cavazos-Galvez ('09) - Great Lakes Loons (75-36) leads the Mid Eastern division and already clinched a spot in the playoffs during the first half of their season: Cavazos-Galvez shares the team lead in hits with 122, which includes 13 homeruns this season and also leads the team with 34 stolen bases.

"If my power isn't doing well that day or month, I know I can still steal bases and produce runs that way." Cavazos-Galvez said.

The Loons have the best record in the league by far with 75 wins and only 36 losses this season. With a Championship in sight, Cavazos-Galvez is hungry for the title as well as a ring.

"I'm pretty excited to make a run in the championship. We have the best record in all of baseball as far as winning percentage," Cabazos-Galvez said.

The Loons offense is leading the league in hits and homeruns. Galvez is a power-hitter with a .311 batting average and ranks fourth in Midwest League Batting Leaders. Cavazos-Galvez has been a strong asset to the Loons this season and has been working on improving in the areas where runs can be made.

"Personally I guess, just been working on being well-rounded to keep the power-hitting up but also keep the speed with the stolen bases. I think I can make myself more valuable as a team/player in the organization in being able to do different aspects of the game well." Cavazos-Galvez said.

"I'm excited to just make a run for a ring because I missed out on one two years at New Mexico; it's another run to try and get it for me."

John Hesketh ('09) - High Desert Mavericks (Advanced A ball) in Adelanto, California. Heskith has six starts and picked up his first win for his team last Thursday. As Hesketh and his team come down to the last month of their season, the High Desert Mavericks have a great shot at making the playoffs. Hesketh started on August 5 and struck out nine in 7 innings to pick up the win for the High Desert Mavericks against the Modesto Nuts. Hesketh only allowed one run on four hits and four walks.

"The year has been a learning experience that's for sure. I had to find a happy medium on how to get prepared between starts. More is not necessarily better; you just have to be smart about it." Hesketh said.

Mike Brownstein ('09) - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

• Bobby LaFramboise ('08) - Class A Advanced California League (9-4) High Desert Mavericks: 80 Strikeouts this season. ERA 3.98

Scott Gracey ('08) - Albuquerque native: Lansing Lugnuts Midwest League (Class A) (56-55). Gracey has 39 Strikeouts in 2010 (1-0).

Stephen Smith ('08) - Great Lake Loons (75-36): Pitcher (3-5) 56 innings this season with 53 strikeouts. Five winning saves. Leads his team with 33 game appearances. 14 games finished.

Jordan Pacheco ('07) - Tulsa Drillers: Albuquerque native, a second-baseman who has made the switch to the catcher's position since being drafted in `08. Pacheco has a .317 batting average with 5 homeruns.

"I'm still working on my catching skills physically and mentally as well as pretty much trying to get better every day at the plate and behind it." Pacheco said.

• Danny Herera ('06) -Louisville Bats pitcher (1-1) and has 18 Strikeouts and 3 Saves.

Matt Young ('04) - Gwinnett Braves (56-58): outfielder leads the Gwinnett Braves with 22 stolen bases and 67 runs this season. He also has the second most hits with 111.

• Scott Strickland ('97) - New Orleans Zephyrs (58-58): Pitcher (4-1), leads team with 13 saves in 25 games and has19 strikeouts.