MiLB update: Justus, Howard continue progress
Former Cartersville High School baseball stars Connor Justus and Sam Howard continue their progress in the month of July with their respective minor league teams.
Justus has hit .325 over his last ten games with the Advanced Class A California League Inland Empire 66ers and Howard has maintained a 3.63 ERA through 17 starts with both the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats and the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.
CONNOR JUSTUS — Inland Empire 66ers, Los Angeles Angels organization — Advanced Class A, California League — 22, SS, 5th round pick in 2016 — Cartersville HS, Georgia Tech
Justus has hit for a .325 average (13-for-40) over his last ten games, including hits in eight of those games and multiple hits in four of his last ten games. He has also driven in six runs, scored seven, and stolen one base during that stretch.
The recent surge has Justus hitting .210 for the season with a .332 on-base percentage through 82 games.
Defensively, the shortstop has a .955 fielding percentage in 313 total chances and has been part of 44 double plays.
Inland Empire (17-13, second half) is two games behind Rancho Cucamonga (L.A. Dodgers affiliate) in the California League’s South Division second half standings. The 66ers are 47-53 overall in 2017.
SAM HOWARD — Albuquerque Isotopes, Colorado Rockies organization — Triple A, Pacific Coast League — 24, LHP, 3rd round pick in 2014 — Cartersville HS, Georgia Southern
Howard received no decision last Saturday in a 4-3 loss at Salt Lake. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits and four walks in four and two-thirds innings. He left the game in a 3-3 tie, but the Bees took the contest in walk-off fashion with a solo home run in the bottom of the tenth.
Howard has a 3.63 ERA in 2017 in 17 starts split between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque. He was a 4-6 record with one complete game and shutout in just over 86 innings. He has struck out 79 and walked only 27.
Albuquerque (51-50) is currently in second place in the PCL Pacific Southern Division. The Isotopes are three games behind the Salt Lake Bees, an affiiate of the Los Angeles Angels.