Several Former Cal Baseball Players Excelling in the Minor Leagues

July 16, 2009

BERKELEY, CALIF. - Former University of California baseball standouts Matt Gorgen, Charlie Cutler and Brett Jackson are three players excelling in minor league baseball this summer and are among a group of 16 Golden Bears who are currently competing in the various levels of professional baseball other than the Major Leagues. Cal has two players in Triple A, two players in Double A, four players in High Single A, one player in Single A, five players in Short-Season A and two players in Rookie League.

All 16 of the players in minor league ball were mentored by Bear coach David Esquer, who has seen 51 of his players sign professional contracts since 2000, including first round picks Conor Jackson in 2003 (first baseman/outfielder, 19th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks), Brandon Morrow in 2006 (right-handed pitcher, fifth overall by the Seattle Mariners), David Cooper in 2008 (first baseman, 17th overall by the Toronto Blue Jays) and most recently Brett Jackson in 2009 (outfielder, 31st overall by the Chicago Cubs).

Cal also has five players who are currently on Major League rosters - catcher John Baker (2000-02) with the Florida Marlins, utility player Geoff Blum (1992-94) with the Houston Astros, Conor Jackson (2001-03) with the Diamondbacks, Morrow (2006) with the Mariners and outfielder Xavier Nady (1998-00) with the New York Yankees. Jackson and Nady are currently on the disabled list due the illness/injury.

Right-hander Gorgen, who pitched for Cal from 2006-08 and whose 20 career saves is second on the all-time Cal list, is having a phenomenal season with the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the High A Florida State League. Gorgen is 4-0 with a 0.59 ERA and 14 saves in 27 appearances. He has also struck out 57 batters in 45.2 innings. Gorgen was a 16th round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008.

Left-handed hitting catcher Cutler, a catcher/outfielder for the Bears who lettered in 2007-08, was recently called up from Single A to the High A Palm Beach Cardinals and could face Gorgen in the Florida State League. Cutler was batting .351 with 11 doubles, a triple, four home runs and 44 RBI in 66 games for the Class A Quad City River Bandits.

Brett Jackson, Cal's most recent first rounder after being picked 31st overall by the Cubs in Major League First-Year Player Draft June 9, moved up from Chicago's Arizona Rookie League team to the Short-Season A Boise Hawks of the Northwest League. Jackson is batting .300 (12-for-40) with a triple, home run and nine RBI in 11 games for the Hawks after hitting .455 (5-for-11) with a triple and four RBI in three games in the Arizona league.

Other notable Bears in the minors are Cal's two Triple A prospects, Brian Horwitz and Allen Craig, and Single A standout Josh Satin. Horwitz played for the Bears from 2001-04 and signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants in 2004. He has already had a stint in the Major Leagues with the Giants (21 games in 2008, .222, two home runs, four RBI) and is currently batting .293 with seven doubles, a triple, four home runs and 19 RBI in 50 games for the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League.

Craig, a shortstop/outfielder at Cal from 2003-06, is now playing first base for the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League and will compete against Horwitz. Craig is currently hitting .264 with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 32 RBI in 75 games. He was an eighth round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 draft.

Finally, Satin is representing Bear baseball in fine fashion as he is batting .294 with 21 doubles, four home runs and 42 RBI in 87 games for the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Single A South Atlantic League. Satin (2005-08), after earning Freshman All-America honors in 2005 and first-team All-America honors by Baseball America in 2008, was drafted in the sixth round by the New York Mets.

Cal also has five players who are currently on Major League rosters - catcher John Baker (2000-02) with the Florida Marlins, utility player Geoff Blum (1992-94) with the Houston Astros, Conor Jackson (2001-03) with the Diamondbacks, Morrow (2006) with the Mariners and outfielder Xavier Nady (1998-00) with the New York Yankees. Jackson and Nady are currently on the disabled list due the illness/injury.

Below is a listing of Cal's minor leaguers and how they are doing up to this point of their seasons.

Golden Bears in the Minor LeaguesName (years lettered at Cal) Position in pro ball, Minor League team (organization and round picked), Stats

Triple A

Brian Horwitz (2001-04) OF, Fresno Grizzlies (San Francisco Free Agent) Pacific Coast League .293, 7-28, 3B, 4-HR, 19 RBI in 50 games

Allen Craig (2003-06) 1B, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Eighth Round) Pacific Coast League .264, 12-2B, 8-HR, 32 RBI in 75 games

Double A

Brennan Boesch (2005-06) RF, Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Third Round) Eastern League .259, 17-2B, 5-3B, 17-HR, 56 RBI in 81 games

David Cooper (2007-08) 1B, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto First Round 17th overall) Eastern League .256, 18-2B, 4-HR, 32 RBI in 76 games

High Single A

Chris Errecart (2004-06) 1B, Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee Fifth Round) Florida State League .257, 11-2B, 5-HR, 20 RBI in 46 games

Matt Gorgen (2006-08) RHP, Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay 16th Round) Florida State League 4-0, 0.59 ERA, 14 saves, 57 k's in 45.2 innings, 27 appearances

Charlie Cutler (2007-08) C, Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis 14th Round) Florida State League .375, 5-2B, RBI in five gamesRecently moved up to Palm Beach from Class A Quad City River Bandits where he hit .351, 11-2B, 3B, 4-HR, 44 RBI in 66 games

Tyson Ross (2006-08) RHP, Stockton Ports (Oakland Second Round) California League 4-5, 4.15 ERA, 67 k's in 73.2 innings, 16 starts (from Oakland, Bishop O'Dowd High School)

Single A

Josh Satin (2005-08) 2B, Savannah Sand Gnats (New York Mets Sixth Round) South Atlantic League .294, 21-2B, 4-HR, 42 RBI in 87 games

Short-Season A

Craig Bennigson (2006-08) LHP, Tri-City Dust Devils (Colorado Ninth Round) Northwest League 2-2, 2.14 ERA, 19 k's in 21.0 innings, eight games of relief

Brett Jackson (2007-09) OF, Boise Hawks (Chicago Cubs First Round 31st overall) Northwest League .300, 3B, HR, seven RBI in 10 gamesRecently moved up to Boise from Cubs Arizona Rookie League where he hit .455, 3B, four RBI in three games

Michael Brady (2007-09) 2B, Jamestown Jammers (Florida 24th Round) New York-Penn League .333 (2-for-6) in four games

Michael Bugary (2009) LHP, Lowell Spinners (Boston 15th Round) New York-Penn League 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 k's in 2.0 innings (no hits, no runs, two walks) June 23 versus Oneonta Tigers

Jeff Kobernus (2007-09) 2B, Vermont Lake Monsters (Washington 2nd Round) New York-Penn League .111 (3-for-27), RBI in seven games

Rookie League

Blake Smith (2007-09) OF, Ogden Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers 2nd Round) Pioneer League Has yet to playRecently moved up from Dodgers Arizona Rookie League where he hit .227 (5-for-22), 2B, two RBI in six games

Dylan Tonneson (2008-09) C, Padres Arizona Rookie League (San Diego 36th round) .125 (5-for-40), 2-2B, five RBI in 11 games

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