Seventeen Former Frogs To Begin 2012 With MLB Organizations
April 4, 2012
Seventeen former TCU baseball players will begin the 2012 season with major league organizations. Additionally, Jake Arrieta, Matt Carpenter and Andrew Cashner have each earned spots on MLB Opening Day rosters.
Arrieta, entering his third season with the Baltimore Orioles, will be the team's opening day starter Friday at home against the Minnesota Twins. He has proven to be solid in debuts throughout his career, most recently the Orioles' home debut in 2011, allowing one run over six innings in a 5-1 win against the Detroit Tigers. In 2010, he began his career with a road victory against the Yankees. Following successful campaigns in 2006 and 2007 for TCU, Arrieta was taken in the fifth round (159th pick overall) by Baltimore. He was 10-8 last season and ended the 2012 spring campaign 1-0.
After an outstanding spring, Carpenter, who played seven games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, earned himself an Opening Day roster spot for the defending World Series champs. He collected his first major league hit with a double off of Kerry Wood in his debut June 4. In 25 Spring Training games, Carpenter hit .357 (third-best on the club) with nine doubles and a pair of home runs. He concluded a stellar career with the Horned Frogs in 2009, helping lead the squad to their first Super Regional appearance in school history. That summer, Carpenter was selected in the 13th round by the Cardinals.
Cashner was a force in Spring Training, recording a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings pitched while striking out 16 for the San Diego Padres. He was a first round pick (19th overall) of the Chicago Cubs in 2008, and pitched for the MLB club the last two years before being traded in January. In an injury shortened season with the Cubs in 2011, he posted a 1.69 ERA with eight strikeouts. A 2008 All-American for TCU, Cashner struck out 80 in just 54 innings, saving nine games along the way and held opponents to a .122 batting average.
Four other former Horned Frogs, three of whom have MLB experience, will begin their 2012 seasons in Triple-A. Sam Demel, a former third-round pick of the Oakland A's, has thrown 62 2/3 innings over the last two seasons for the Arizona D'Backs. He will begin the season with the Reno Aces. Chad Huffman, taken in the second round by the Padres in 2007, played nine games for the New York Yankees in 2010 before being acquired by the Cleveland Indians prior to the 2011 slate. He will open the 2012 campaign with the Columbus Clippers, where he spent all of last season.
Scott Atchison has seen the most professional action of any former Horned Frog still playing. From 2004-2011, he pitched part of five seasons for the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox. To date, Atchison has a 4.09 career ERA in the big leagues, but will start the season in Pawtucket. Bryan Holaday, who spent the majority of Spring Training with the big league club, won the job to be the starting catcher for Toledo. He had 11 at-bats for the Detroit Tigers this spring. Holaday capped off a fantastic career for the Horned Frogs by hitting .409 with four home runs in the 2010 College World Series.
Matt Curry will be the lone former Horned Frog in Double-A at the start of the season. He spent some time with the big league team during spring training, earning three at-bats with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is slated to begin the season with the Altoona Curve. Known for his epic grand slam versus Florida State in the 2010 CWS, Curry has hit 22 home runs with a solid .287 average at three different levels over the past two seasons.
Greg Holle (Brevard County Manatees), Matt Purke (Potomac Nationals) and Kyle Winkler (Visalia Rawhide) are featured on Class A-Advanced rosters with the Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, and Diamondbacks, respectively.
In Single-A action, Erik Miller will begin the 2012 campaign with the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds). Tyler Lockwood (Red Sox) is set to play for the Greenville Drive, while Taylor Featherston will open the season with the Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies).