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Rounding the Bases: Iowa Baseball in the Minors

Iowa has an exciting crop of players in the minor leagues. What are they up to this season?

At the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft, the Hawkeyes had four guys drafted from what turned out to be one of their best and most exciting teams in a long time. With the addition of Jake Adams, Mason McCoy, Ryan Erickson, and Nick Gallagher to the squad of former Iowa players in the minors, the Hawkeyes now have thirteen players trying to work their way to the show. At about the midpoint of the 2017 baseball season, it seems like an appropriate time to check in on some familiar faces and see how they’re performing thus far this season.

Matt Dermody (TOR): Dermody is currently the oldest former Hawk in the minors and the only one to have made it to the show at any point in his career. At AAA, the lefty has put up some pretty strong numbers, going 5-1 with a 3.08 ERA in 29 appearances. He’s striking out almost a batter every inning and over five batters for every base on balls. He did make it to the Majors earlier this season, where he didn’t fare so well in his only appearance for Toronto. He gave up five runs and only recorded one out, which would bring his MLB ERA to 135.00. Ouch.

Jake Yacinich (LAA): Yacinich is doing pretty well in High-A ball with the Inland Empire 66ers, slashing .282/.336/.383 over 61 games, all of which would be career bests if he stays on his current pace for the remainder of the year. The former eighth-round draft pick has four home runs and 19 RBI on the year.

Tyler Peyton (CHC): Peyton has struggled at bit at Class A South Bend in his first season in the minors for the Cubs organization. Through 10 appearances (two starts), the righty is 2-3 with a 4.85 ERA. He’s been hit around a bit, giving up almost 11 hits per nine innings on the year, which hasn’t paired well with an average walk rate of 3.5 per nine innings.

Eric Toole (COL): In limited playing time at Class A, Toole has slashed .224/.297/.345 with one home run and six RBI in 2017. While he hasn’t been a force at the plate this year, he’s been as solid as they come defensively - he hasn’t committed an error in 270 innings.

Blake Hickman (CWS): After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Hickman has been relatively solid this season with Class A Kannapolis. The hard-throwing righty is 1-4 with a 4.70 ERA in eight starts, although his K/BB ratio is pretty low at just over 2/1.

Nick Roscetti (MIL): Rookie League actually recently just started, but Nick Roscetti has been on a tear through his first 13 games of action on the young season. He’s slashing .291/.339/.473 with five doubles, a triple, and a home run.

Joel Booker (CWS): Booker was on a tear at Class A Kannapolis earlier this season, but since receiving a call-up to High-A Winston-Salem, the outfielder has had his fair share of struggles. With Kannapolis, he slashed a terrific .312/.374/.400 with three homers and 27 RBI in 61 games. Since his call-up, however, he’s only hitting .169 in 18 games, although he does already have six stolen bases.

Nick Gallagher (CLE): No stats yet.

Ryan Erickson (CWS): SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT: Erickson has only made five appearances out of the bullpen in the Rookie League this season and he hasn’t yet found his footing. He’s rocking a 5.40 ERA and has struggled keeping runners off base - he’s giving up 15 hits per nine innings and walking four batters per nine innings thus far. One thing that’s been impressive though has been his K/9 rate - he’s striking out over a batter per inning.

Mason McCoy (BAL): McCoy has only played nine games thus far in Low-A ball, but he’s been raking thus far. The shortstop is slashing .360/.471/.560 in his 25 at-bats and has taken an impressive seven walks already.

Jake Adams (HOU): You didn’t think we forgot about Mr. Adams, did you? Adams has been destroying baseballs in Low-A ball, already hitting five home runs in just 17 games. He’s hitting for low average thus far (.215), but that’s sure to go up once he adjusts a bit more to the higher quality pitching than what he saw at the college level. One thing that might be a concern thus far is strikeouts. He’s struck out in 33% of his at-bats in the minors, although in just 17 games, it’s definitely too early to panic about that yet.