Talkin' Baseball and the Buckeyes

To commemorate Eric Fryer's trade from the New York Yankees organization to the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as more or less the middle of the baseball season, we take a look at some of the notable performances so far among former Buckeyes in affiliated minor league baseball.

First, on Eric Fryer: the Yanks traded the outfielder who can also catch as part of a deal to acquire veteran third baseman Eric Hinske on Tuesday, a move seems to think could have been in the works for a while:

The Pirates have had their eye on Fryer for over a year now, with Huntington noting that the Pirates tried to acquire him last year while Fryer was in the Brewers' system. Fryer, 23, has been playing with the Yankees' high Class A Tampa affiliate, where he made 55 appearances in left, five behind the plate and one in right this season. In 59 games, he's hit .250 with 11 doubles, two home runs, 24 RBIs and 34 runs scored. Fryer, a 10th-round Draft selection in 2007, has been assigned to high Class A Lynchburg, and the Pirates plan to develop him as a catcher.

New York originally acquired Fryer this past offseason after he had a huge season in Single-A for the Milwaukee Brewers organization...

Other MiLB performers of note this year (this is not a comprehensive list but rather some highlights):

Outfielder Matt Angle is hitting .282 with 24 stolen bases in 30 tries in 66 games for the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) in advanced Single-A in the Carolina League.

First baseman Ronnie Bourquin was recently called up to Double-A Erie in the Eastern League after a torrid 62 games with West Michigan in low Single-A. For the Whitecaps, he hit .304 with 21 doubles and 47 RBI. He is off to a slow start with the SeaWolves, however, with seven hits in his first 23 at-bats (.174 average). He did hit a homer and a triple while driving in five runs in his first seven games in Erie.

Also sent to Double-A recently but having a much better go of it (and in the Southern League) is outfielder Doug Deeds, who is hitting .352 with an 1.011 OPS in 16 games with the Tennessee Smokies. The downside for Deeds? His move this season was down rather than up. He began the year with Iowa in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he batted .264 with 15 extra-base hits in 47 games after being a non-roster invitee to spring training. He drove in 18 and struck out 37 times with 10 walks in Iowa.

A bit further down the line, Jack "J.B." Shuck entered July hitting .314 with 15 stolen bases and a .393 OBP through 70 games for the Lancaster JetHawks in the advanced Single-A California League. Among his 91 hits were 13 doubles and six triples in his first full year as a pro.

Turning to pitchers, we have two notable Buckeyes.

June 29, lefty Cory Luebke made his first appearance of the season in Double-A, and it was winning debut for the Maria Stein Marion Local product. Pitching for San Antonio in the Padres organization, he struck out four while walking one and allowing four hits and one run (earned) in 5.0 innings. That was after going 8-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 14 starts in the California League.

Meanwhile, second-year pro Dan DeLucia made his first appearance of the year with one inning for the Gulf Coach League Blue Jays in rookie ball June 23. He struck out one and walked another while not allowing a hit. (DeLucia, by the way, is a writer for the website, and he chronicles some of his travels there, as you'll see if you follow this link).

As blog The Buckeye Nine pointed out last week, Luebke and Bourquin both took part in midseason all-star games in June.

With all that said, we have to leave you with some bad news: Former Ohio State LHP and the Cleveland Indians' starter in the home opener this season Scott Lewis will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion about his ailing pitching arm, says The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

That wraps up another edition of the Professional Speaking Weekly Roundup, a summer feature on designed to help pass the long summer months before football kicks up again, but don't forget you can always find more news of former Buckeyes playing for pay, whether you choose to go the message board route on our Ask The Insiders message board or the stand-alone feature on the web. Head either place now for updates from the past week regarding Santonio Holmes, Kevin Houser, Kirk Barton, A.J. Hawk, Ryan Pickett and B.J. Mullens, among others.

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