11/17/2011 1:41 PM
The Victoria Generals of the Texas Collegiate League have seen 11 of their former players drafted by Major League Baseball teams over the course ofthe last two years. Several of those players have signed professional contracts and are quickly climbing through the ranks of the minor league system.
After the 2010 MLB draft, the Generals saw two of their former pitchers, Zach Nuding and Willie Kempf, move on into the professional ranks.
Zach Nuding, the Generals primary closer in 2009, was selected by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 2010 MLB draft. After completing his sophomore season at Weatherford College, Nuding chose signing with the Yankees over continuing his collegiate career at Texas Tech University where he had committed to play.
After pitching only two innings to start his professional career in 2010, Nuding logged 108.1 innings in 2011 as he climbed through the ranks of the Yankees minor league system. Nuding started the season in rookie ball with the Yankees of the Gulf Coast League. After establishing his early dominance in the league by posting eight strikeouts in seven innings, Nuding received a promotion to the Charleston RiverDogs, the Yankee’s low-A club. In Charleston, Nuding went 7-6 in 20 starts with 82 strikeouts in 98.1 innings of work to go along with a 4.48 ERA. Nuding’s final start of the 2011 season came after his second promotion of the summer, this time to the Yankee’s advanced-A club, the Tampa Yankees. Nuding pitched just three innings in the game without allowing a run.
Willie Kempf, a starting pitcher forthe Generals in 2009, was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 27th round of the 2010 MLB draft. Kempf, who attended Baylor University, quickly worked his way through the ranks of the Braves minor league system inhis first year as a pro.
In 2010, Kempf finished with a combined 8-2 record and a 1.70 ERA while spending time with the GCL Braves (rookie), the Danville Braves (rookie), and the Rome Braves (low-A). Kempf only allowed 14 earned runs on 53 hits in 74.1 innings of work while striking out 41.
Kempf started the 2011 season with the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Braves advanced-A team. Kemp posted a 6.75 ERA in 46.2 innings while recording 35 strikeouts. Kempf then headed back to Rome and finished the summer strong with a 3.84 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 86.2 innings.
The 2011 MLB draft contained nine former Generals: Bryson Myles in the 6th round by the Cleveland Indians, Abel Baker in the 7th round by the Los Angeles Angels, David Rollins in the 24th round by the Toronto Blue Jays, Kenny Jackson in the 31st round by the Florida Marlins, Ryan Turner in the 32nd round by the Tampa Bay Rays, Joseph Dvorsky in the 35th round by the Chicago White Sox, Kyle Arnsberg in the 40th round by the St. Louis Cardinals, Blake Ford in the 46th round by the Houston Astros, and Conner Mach in the 46th round by the New York Yankees.
Seven of those nine players went on to sign and begin their professional careers this past summer. Kyle Arnsberg and Conner Mach each selected to return to school and re-enter the draft in 2012. Arnsberg now attends Louisiana Tech University as a sophomore after transferring from McLennan Community College while Conner Mach has returned to the University of Missouri for his senior year.
Bryson Myles, who played for the Generals during their inaugural season in 2009, was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 6th round with the 188th overall pick of the 2011 MLB draft. Myles had just completed his junior season at Stephen F. Austin State University where he was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year.
In his first year as a pro, Myles had a breakout rookie season while playing in the outfield for the Cleveland Indian’s short-season club, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Despite battling injuries, Myles hit .302 with 10 doubles, three triples, one home run, 15 RBIs, 36 runs, 24 walks, and 20 stolen bases. For his efforts, Myles was named a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star. Myles is thought to be one of the most projectable future major leaguers in the Cleveland minor league system according to several scouts.
Myles was sent to the Cleveland Indians 2011 Fall Instructional League following the regular season. In 11 games, Myles hit .345 with three doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, four runs scored, and three stolen bases.
Abel Baker, the starting catcher for the Generals in 2010, was selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the 225th overall pick in the 7th round of the 2011 MLB draft. Baker, who hit a homerun in the decisive game of the Generals’ 2010 TCL Championship, started his collegiate career at Baylor University before transferring to Grayson County College.
After leading Grayson to an appearance at the Junior College World Series, Baker signed a professional contract and had a great 2011 campaign with the Los Angeles Angels rookie ball affiliate, the Orem Owlz. Baker hit .306 with 10 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 33 RBIs, 22 runs, 27 walks, and one stolen base.
After making just one start for the Generals in 2011, David Rollins signed with the Toronto Blue Jays and was assigned to rookie ball with the Bluefield Blue Jays. Rollins was dominant in his first four starts, posting a 3-0 record to go along with a 1.25 ERA. He struck out 18 batters in 21.2 innings. For his efforts, Rollins received a quick promotion to the Blue Jay’s short-season club, the Vancouver Canadians. Rollins made three more starts for the Canadians, posting a 2.57 ERA while notching one win. Rollins struck out 11 batters in 14 innings of work.
Former Generals shortstop, Kenny Jackson, was selected in the 31st round by the Florida Marlins in the 2011 draft. Jackson was the Generals starting shortstop in both 2009 and 2010 and was a big part of the Generals’ 2010 TCL Championship team.
After helping lead Texas A&M University to an appearance at the College World Series, Jackson signed with Florida and was assigned to the Marlins of the Gulf Coast League. Jackson hit .202 in 37 games with four doubles, 15 RBIs, 14 runs, 16 walks, and three stolen bases while primarily playing third base.
Former right-handed pitcher Ryan Turner was selected in the 32nd round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays signed Turner after his junior season at Tarleton State University. Turner was assigned to the Rays of the Gulf Coast League and went on to post a 1-1 record while appearing in 13 games. Turner struck out 17 batters in 17 innings to go along with a 6.35 ERA.
The 2010 TCL Pitcher of the Year, Joseph Dvorsky, was selected in the 35th round by the Chicago White Sox. Dvorsky hurled the first and only nine-inning no-hitter in TCL history during the summer of 2010.
After a stellar senior season at Texas State University, Dvorsky signed with the White Sox and reported to rookie ball with the Great Falls Voyagers. Dvorsky went 4-0 on the season with a 2.93 ERA and four saves. In 27.2 innings, Dvorsky struck out 32 batters.
In the 44th round of the 2011 draft, Blake Ford, a member of the 2009 Victoria Generals, was selected by the Houston Astros.
Ford signed with the Astros following his senior season at Lamar University in Beaumont. Stepping into the closer’s role for the Astros of the Gulf Coast League, Ford posted a 4-3 record with eight saves and 20 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.
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