MiLB update: Geekie suffers season ending injury
Unfortunately, one of the MiLB players with local connections had his season come to an end this past week with an injury.
Dalton Geekie, who pitched locally at Georgia Highlands College, and is a relief pitcher with the Rome Braves, suffered a season-ending elbow injury.
Three other players with local ties — Grant DeBruin, Connor Justus, and Sam Howard — continue to toil at the MiLB level.
Grant DeBruin — Hagerstown Suns — Class A, South Atlantic League — MLB Parent Club, Washington Nationals -- (Adairsville HS)
The former Adairsville High School and University of Alabama-Huntsville standout has continued a steady rise in his batting average and offensive production in July and early August. He has now started nine consecutive games for the Suns and had a 7-for-13 home series against the West Virginia Power August 1-3. He is 11-for-39 over his last ten starts at first base and as a designated hitter.
Through 50 games this season, DeBruin is hitting .257 with four home runs and 27 RBIs. DeBruin, 26, spent the first part of the year in extended spring training and was briefly at the Advanced Class A level with the Potomac Nationals. His season stats reflect his time with both clubs. Hagerstown is 25-18 in the SAL second half, currently leading the Northern Division by one-half game over the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers’ affiliate) and by one game over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins’ affiliate). The Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies’ affiliate) is only one and one-half games back in a closely contested division race. Hagerstown already clinched a post-season spot by winning the division’s first half.
Dalton Geekie — Rome Braves — Class A, South Atlantic League — MLB Parent Club, Atlanta Braves -- (Georgia Highlands College)
Geekie has been placed on the disabled list for the remainder of the season by the Braves and was forced to have Tommy John surgery after developing an issue in his elbow August 1. Geekie finished his first pro season with a 2-4 record and had a 5.16 ERA in 31 appearances in 2016. He had one save in his only save opportunity and worked 45 and 1/3 innings. Opponents had a .247 batting average against him.
Rome is currently 23-20 in the South Atlantic League’s second half standings, in second place, two and one-half games behind the Southern Division leading Augusta GreenJackets (SF Giants affiliate).
Sam Howard — Hartford Yard Goats — Double-A, Eastern League — MLB Parent Club, Colorado Rockies -- (Cartersville HS)
Howard has now won three of his last four starts for the Yard Goats with victories July 17, July 27, and August 3. He had a no-decision performance July 22 during that span.
August 3, the 6-3 southpaw allowed only one earned run in five innings of work as the Hartford won at Trenton, 4-1. Howard limited the Thunder to only four hits and two walks and recorded six strikeouts.
The 23-year-old former Canes and Georgia Southern University pitcher is now 7-8 on year after starting the season 4-3 with the Advanced Class A, Modesto Nuts of the California League. He has a 3.57 ERA in 21 starts and 118 and 1/3 innings. Opponents have a .253 batting average against him.
The Yard Goats are 63-49 on the year and in third place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division. They trail the Reading (PA) Fightin’ Phils by 12 games.
Connor Justus — Burlington Bees — Class A, Midwest League — MLB Parent Club, Los Angeles Angels -- (Cartersville HS)
After a fast start with the Rookie level Orem Owlz, Justus continued his rapid progress with a fast start with the Class A (full season) Burlington Bees of the Midwest League.
Over his last ten games, however, the former Cartersville Purple Hurricanes’ and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ shortstop is only 6-for-33 at the plate. Justus was selected in the fifth round of this year’s June MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels.
Justus’ batting average remains .304 through his 42 games as a professional. He has 11 extra base hits, including one home run and 27 RBIs.
Defensively, Justus has a .921 fielding percentage in 163 total chances. He has been part of 20 double plays in 349 innings.
The Burlington Bees are 23-20 in the second half standings of the Midwest League’s Western Division and are 55-58 overall in 2016. The Bees are currently six games back of division-leading Clinton LumberKings (Seattle affiliate).
Donavan Tate — Rancho Cucamonga Quakes — Advanced Class A — California League — MLB Parent Club, Los Angeles Dodgers
Tate played in ten games after coming off the disable list to start the season. He has a .143 batting average in 35 at bats with a home run and four RBIs. He has played defensively at both corner outfield positions and has been utilized as a designated hitter, but has not seen action since July 6. The Quakes are 19-17 in the second half standings of the California League’s South Division. They are currently 5.5 games behind the Lancaster JetHawks (Houston Astros affiliate).
To check on these local players any time, use the 'Athletes Beyond Bartow' page of this web site to locate active links to each players statistics, schedules, results, and other team information.