Update On Former Tide Baseballers

As the summer for the 2011 baseball season is coming to a close, 21 former Alabama Crimson Tide baseball players are competing daily in the minor leagues. The 21 players span 14 years (1998-2011) as Nathan Kilcrease and Adam Morgan began their professional careers this season, while Paul Phillips is in his 14th season in professional baseball.

Just a few months ago, Nathan Kilcrease and Adam Morgan were top starters for Alabama.

Kilcrease (2008-11) has made 13 appearances with one start for the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League. He has a 2-2 record with a 2.95 ERA and one save with 21 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched.

Morgan (2009-11), who was a third round draft pick by the Phillies in June, has made six starts for the Williamsport Crosscutters, posing a 1-2 record with a 2.36 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.

Late in June, Ross Wilson (2008-10), a member of the 2010 Crimson Tide, was called up to Double-A Birmingham. Since being called up, Wilson has appeared in eight games, collecting five hits with two RBI in 27 at-bats. For the season, Wilson is hitting .260 with two home runs and 28 RBI in the Chicago White Sox farm system.

UA teammates Kent Matthes (2006-09) and Josh Rutledge (2008-10) have been tearing things up for the Modesto Nuts in the California League.

Matthes is hitting .334 for the season with 23 home runs and 95 RBI in 93 games. He also has 39 doubles, which are the most by any player in the Colorado Rockies organization.

Rutledge saw his average climb to .341, second best in the Rockies system, after posting a Modesto Nuts team record 27-game hitting streak. His streak came to an end on Aug. 3, with a 0-for-3 night against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Matthes is third in the organization in batting average.

Former major league pitchers Wade LeBlanc (2004-06), Taylor Tankersley (2002-04) and Lance Cormier (1999-2002) are currently pitching for their respective organization's triple-A affiliate, while LeBlanc and Cormier have made appearances in the big leagues this season.

LeBlanc is 9-1 with a 4.30 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 106.2 innings for the Tucson Padres in 2011. He made four starts for the San Diego Padres this season, posting a 0-2 record with a 4.98 ERA in 21.2 innings.

Cormier started the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but after posting a 0-1 record with a 9.88 ERA in nine appearances, he was moved to the Durham Bulls of the International League. With the Bulls, he is 3-3 with a 5.56 ERA in 34 innings, and has made three starts.

Tankersley has been with the Buffalo Bisons for the entire 2011 season, posting a 0-1 record with a 6.26 ERA in 39 outings.

Austin Hyatt (2007-09) continues to have a promising season for the double-A Reading Phillies. In 22 starts, he's posted a 10-5 record with a 3.76 ERA and was named to the Eastern League All-Star team.

Jason Townsend (2010) continues to have a solid season for the West Virginia Power of the South Atlantic League, out of the bullpen. Townsend (0-1) has a 2.51 ERA and nine saves with 35 strikeouts in 34 appearances in 2011.

Alabama's 2010 ace Jimmy Nelson (2008-10) is 6-7 with a 4.34 ERA in 20 starts for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the single-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Nelson, a second round pick by the Brewers in 2010, has 96 strikeouts in 118.1 innings pitched with one complete game.

In 27 games, Clay Jones (2009-10) is hitting .309 with a pair of home runs and 17 RBI for the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Greg Paiml (2004-07) has played in 89 games for the Birmingham Barons, posting a .230 average with two home runs, 12 doubles and 27 RBI.

Cale Iorg (2005) began the season with the triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, but after 88 games and a .208 average, he's spent the last six games with the double-A Erie Seawolves in the Detroit Tigers organization.

Vin DiFazio (2009) is hitting .218 with six home runs and 22 RBI for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Paul Phillips (1998) has a .230 average with three home runs and 19 RBI for the Columbus Clippers, the triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, and Brandon May (2007-09) is hitting .185 in 32 games for the single-A Peoria Chiefs.

On the mound, Tyler White (2009-10) has a 1.17 ERA in 11 appearances in Detroit's single-A system and Del Howell (2007-09) is 1-8 with a 4.54 in 17 appearance with 14 starts in the Brewers organization.

Emeel Salem (2005-07) and Jake Smith (2007-10) have missed the 2011 season with injuries.

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