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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Justus stays hot at plate, Seigler returns from injury, Howard optioned to T

In the week ending Sunday, July 29, L.A. Angels' prospect Connor Justus continued a hot offensive summer of progress with the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League and rookie professional Anthony Seigler returned from a minor injury to continue his steady work in Florida. Meanwhile, Sam Howard was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque after his second stint this season with the big league Colorado Rockies.


SAM HOWARD — Albuquerque Isotopes (5th-yr. pro; LHP; Colorado Rockies organization; Triple-A Pacific Coast League; Georgia Southern; Cartersville HS)… The Colorado Rockies optioned Howard back to Triple-A Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League on Saturday. The southpaw was returned to the minor leagues to make room on the Rockies’ 25-man roster for the acquisition of Seunghwan Oh. Oh, a right-handed reliever, was officially acquired last Thursday from Toronto in an attempt to bolster their bullpen. Howard did not make an appearance for Colorado in this second stint of the year with the major league team. The 25-year-old made his first appearance in the big leagues this season tossing a scoreless inning June 10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 14 starts with the Isotopes this year, Howard’s results in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League have come against hitters who are on average 1.6 years older. Over 68 innings in Albuquerque, the 6’3” southpaw has a 5.43 ERA (5.02 FIP) with a 1.59 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 rate and 3.4 BB/9 rate. Howard was not listed as a probable starter for any of the Isotopes games in July. Albuquerque (50-57) is currently fourth in the PCL’s Pacific Southern Division and has a seven-game homestand against Round Rock and New Orleans that begins Wednesday.

CONNOR JUSTUS — Inland Empire 66ers (3rd-yr. pro; MIF; L.A. Angels organization; Advanced Class A California League; Georgia Tech; Cartersville HS)… continued his productive offensive summer with the 66ers hitting .325 over his last ten games with a home run, five RBIs, eight runs scored, seven walks, and a pair of stolen bases. In 34 games since returning to Inland Empire on June 22, Justus is hitting a robust .305 with a .409 on-base percentage, and a slugging percentage of .516. The recent hitting surge has the middle infielder with a .234 batting average for 91 games split between Double-A Mobile and Inland Empire. He has totaled six homers and 38 RBI for the year with a .352 on-base percentage. Defensively, Justus has a .953 fielding percentage in 85 games combined with the two Angels’ affiliates. He has started 56 games at shortstop and 29 at second base with 17 errors in 360 total chances. He has also been part of 48 double plays. Inland Empire (54-54 overall, 20-17, 2nd half, third place California League South Division) hosts Lancaster Tuesday through Thursday in a three-game series before entertaining Modesto for three games Friday through Sunday.

ANTHONY SEIGLER — GCL Yankees West (1st-yr. pro; C; N.Y. Yankees organization; Rookie Gulf Coast League; Cartersville HS)… now has ten starts as a professional after going 2-for-10 with one RBI and one run scored in three games last week. In his ten games with Yankees West, Seigler is 10-for-31 (.323) with a pair of doubles and three RBIs. He has walked five times for a .417 on-base percentage, has scored five times, and has typically hit in the two-hole of the batting order. Defensively, the Yankees first-round selection has thrown out two of thirteen stolen base attempts and has a fielding percentage of .986. Yankees West (15-14) are currently in third place of the Gulf Coast League’s Northwest Division and have ten games scheduled this week, including four doubleheaders, to catch up a schedule that has been hampered by recent rainouts.

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