It was a big year for metro-east players in the 2015 Major League baseball draft.
Here’s a report on their early progress in the minor leagues, as well as a quick update on the careers of the region’s three big league players:
Cody Daily, 22, of Granite City, was signed out of Southern Illinois University Carbondale by the Chicago White Sox in June. Through 20 games and 82 at-bats in the Arizona instructional league, he hit .390 with three home runs and 15 RBI with a 1.135 OPS. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound first baseman has been promoted to the class A Kannapapolis (N.C.) Intimidators of the South Atlantic League, where he had two hits, including a solo home run, in eight at bats.
Jake DePew, 23, of Granite City, is a back-up catcher for the Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Ray's AA Southern League affiliate. He's hitting .234 with two home runs and 12 runs batted in, but he's struck out 436 times in 128 at-bats. In 240 games played over five minor league seasons, DePew is batting .219 with 6 home runs and 80 RBI. He was drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 draft straight out of high school.
Bryant Holtmann, 22, a native of New Baden and graduate of Central High School in Breese, is off to a rocky start through his first six professional games. The left-handed pitcher was drafted out of Florida State University in the 24th round by the Arizona Diamond backs and assigned to the low-A Missoula (Mont.) Osprey of the Pioneer League. But he's 0-1 with a 9.75 ERA in 11 innings pitched, all in relief.
Bryan Hudson, 18, was selected in the third round by the Cubs out of Alton High School and signed last month for a $1.1 million bonus. He was assigned to the Cubs instructional Arizona League team in Mesa.
Kane Sweeney, 22 and a product of Belleville West was drafted out of Morehead State University by the New York Yankees in the 29th round of this year's draft. In 15 games for the class A Pulaski Yankees of the Applachian League, the big left-handed hitting first baseman is batting .318 with a .430on-base percentage. He's also hit six doubles, a triple and four home runs, which contribute to a .621 slugging percentage and 1.052 OPS.
In the big leagues
Neal Cotts, 35, is 1-0 with a 3.43 ERA in 40 relief appearances for the Millwaukee Brewers. The Lebanon left-hander is in his 10th season in the major leagues and first with the Brewers.
Jake Odorizzi, 25, of Highland, has returned to the Tampa Bays rotation after an oblique strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. He's made three starts since his return, most recently striking out five in five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies July 22. In 15 starts through Monday, he's 5-6 with a 2.85 ERA. He has 74 strikeouts in 91.2 innings pitched.
Josh Thole, the 28-year-old Mater Dei product is now in his seventh season in the big leagues. He is hitting .269 in 26 at-bats as a back up catcher for the Toronto Bluejays.