Aug. 23, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Ever since Edward Earlywine became the first University of New Mexico baseball player ever drafted when the Houston Astros selected him back in 1965, Lobos have found success in the professional ranks. Whether they were former first round picks like Jim Kremmel (1971) and Kevin Andersh (1984), or a 10th round pick like Scott Strickland (perhaps the most successful Lobo Major Leaguer), they have gone on to well-represent the baseball program and UNM as a whole.
This year has proven no different. Austin House and Gera Sanchez, two anchors in the starting rotation for the Lobos in 2012, have had successful professional debuts, while Jordan Pacheco is playing well in his first full season in the majors after four seasons in the minors.
Austin House (2012 draft) – A’s
House is thriving in his first season of professional baseball. He has a 1.11 ERA in 17 relief appearances spanning 24 1/3 innings for the Vermont Lake Monsters, a short-season affiliate of the Oakland A’s in the New York-Pennsylvania League. A former starter for the Lobos, he was converted to a late-inning reliever for the Lake Monsters. He has five saves, a 1-0 record, and finished 13 of the 17 games he pitched in. He has also struck out over a third of the 94 batters he has faced, recording 33 punchouts.
Gera Sanchez (2012 free agent) – Astros
Sanchez went undrafted in the MLB Amateur Draft in June, but signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros in July. He is pitching for the Gulf Coast Astros in the Gulf Coast League, a rookie league for young players. Due to his late signing he has only appeared in nine games so far, but he has pitched a total of 13 1/3 innings and finished five games. The all-time UNM saves leader has allowed only three earned runs and struck out 15, while only issuing three non-intentional walks, to earn a record of 2-0 with one save.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez (2009 draft) – Dodgers
The 2009 All-American is enjoying another fantastic minor league season in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. After struggling to open the season in Double-A, Cavazos-Galvez was demoted to Single-A for 12 games. After tearing the cover off the ball he was soon promoted, but not back to Double-A. The Dodgers bumped him all the way up to Triple-A, where the Albuquerque native was stroking for the Albuquerque Isotopes before he was placed on the DL on July 21. In 57 games for the Isotopes he had a .354 average (63-for-178) with 33 runs, 11 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, and 32 RBIs. For the whole season, spanning all three levels, he hit .305 (94-for-308) with 58 runs, 16 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs, and 58 RBIs. He has recently come off the disabled list and is rehabbing for the Arizona Rookie League Dodgers, where he is 3-for-6 with two runs, a double, a home run, and three RBIs in two games so far.
Jordan Pacheco (2007 draft) – Rockies
The Albuquerque native and former La Cueva High School star has appeared in 93 games (81 at third base, 10 at first base and one at both catcher and pinch hitter) for the Colorado Rockies. He is hitting .306 (100-for-327) with 20 doubles, three triples, two home runs, and 33 RBIs. He also has five stolen bases. He spent the first 17 games of the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs where he hit .433 with 10 runs, four doubles, three home runs, and 10 RBIs before earning his well-deserved promotion to the big league club.
Rafael Neda (2010 draft) – Brewers
He has spent the 2012 season playing for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a Single-A team in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, in the Midwest League. The two-time All-American has set career-highs in hits (47), doubles (nine), RBIs (16), total bases (59), and walks (22). He also hit his first career home run this season.
Justin Howard (2010 draft) – Pirates
The NCAA batting champion in 2010, Howard is in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, and he is playing for the Single-A Bradenton Marauders in the Florida State League. He is batting .292 (70-for-287) with 31 runs, 13 doubles, two triples, one home run, 25 RBIs, and three stolen bases.
Ryan Honeycutt (2010 draft) – Giants
Currently in the San Francisco Giants organization, Honeycutt is hitting .306 for the Arizona Giants in the Arizona Rookie League. He has five doubles, two home run, and 21 RBIs in 24 games.
Kenny Toves (2010 draft) – Marlins
The native of Carlsbad, N.M., has appeared in 21 games for three different Single-A teams in the Florida Marlins organization in 2012. He has posted a 2-0 record with two saves, 37 strikeouts, and a 4.76 ERA in 34 innings.
Edwin Carl (2010 free agent) – Royals
The native of Farmington, N.M., has pitched for two Single-A teams in the Kansas City Royals organization in 2012. In 31 games, including 11 starts, he has record of 7-4 and a 3.07 ERA in 108 1/3 innings. He has struck out 95 and walked only 26.
Cameron Monger (2009 draft) – Padres
After getting selected in the 27th round of the 2009 draft by the San Diego Padres, he has spent 2012 playing for the Worcester Tornadoes in the Canadian-American Association independent league and was a teammate of former major leaguer Jose Canseco for 20 games. He has scored 44 runs and has also chipped in with 12 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 16 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in addition to his .254 batting average.
Bobby LaFromboise (2008 draft) – Mariners
The 2008 eighth round draft pick has spent time in both Double-A and Triple-A this season. He was 1-0 with a microscopic 1.01 ERA and two saves for the Jackson Generals before getting promoted to the Tacoma Rainiers. There he has posted a 5-2 record with a 1.57 ERA and three saves in 24 games. In total he has 64 strikeouts against only 21 walks in 61 innings and has not allowed a single home run at either level. He is a strong candidate to be called up to Seattle when rosters expand in September.
Willy Kesler (2010 draft) – Mariners
The 18th round draft pick in 2010 has pitched well for the Single-A High Desert Mavericks in the California League. He has a 2-2 record in 19 appearances and has struck out 22 and walked only 9 in 28 innings.
Cole White (2009 draft) – Royals
The former sixth round draft pick is pitching for the Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League. He has a 3-1 record and a 4.37 ERA in 35 innings. He has struck out 28 and allowed only one home run.
Danny Ray Herrera (2006 draft) – Mets
Herrera appeared in three games in the New York Mets organization for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League. He recorded one save, a 1.50 ERA, and five strikeouts in six innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the rest of the season.
Mike Brownstein (2009 draft) – Brewers
He appeared in five games for the Grand Prairie AirHogs in the independent American Association. He hit .278 with four runs and four RBIs in his brief stint.