Friday, April 08, 2005

Beesball: Players from the Past

... Mike Nickeas begins his double-A life today.

Ok, potential recruits, read this:

There are other factors in Nickeas' quick ascension. Georgia Tech is a top program in college baseball's premier conference, the ACC. Nickeas played on the USA National Team.

More and more, college players are making the jump from short-season rookie ball to Double-A. Some, such as Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira – another Georgia Tech product – spent just one season in the minors.

"Mike is from a top college program and he played for Team USA," said John Lombardo, the Rangers' director of minor league operations. "He's been there and done it. We have confidence he can handle it."

Note that the writer made a boo-boo with his conference reference, which I glady modified for him.

By the way, he's not the only guy making his way to the bigs. There is a long list of former Jackets ascending, and here's two more.

Matt Murton (West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx-Cubs Organization):

Just three years ago, Matt Murton helped lead the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to a trip to the Colllege World Series, a 52-16 record and a No. 5-ranking in final college baseball poll.

Soon the power-hitting outfielder could be patrolling the outfield at famous Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The former Eagle's Landing and Georgia Tech standout began his pro career in the Boston Red Sox organziation, but was traded to the Cubs as part of the Nomar Garciaparra deal.

Murton split his time last year with the Sarasotoa Red Sox and the Daytona Beach Cubs, both Class A teams. In 102 games with Sarastoa, Murton hit 301 with 11 homers. After the trade, he played in 24 games for Daytona Beach, hitting .253.

During the Florida State League All-Star game festivities last year, Murton won the home run derby.

Jason Perry (Sacramento Rivercats/Athletics organization)

Like his college teammate, Matt Murton, Jason Perry played a key role for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during his college career.

During Tech's 2002 season, Perry hit .325 with 12 home runs. Perry turned pro at the end of the 2002 season, and has been working his way through the Oakland Athletics organization ever since.

A year ago, at Modesta, the team's Class A organization, Perry, who played for Jonesboro coach Don Corr in high school, belted 24 home runs and drove in 80 RBIs.

Those offensive numbers garned Perry an invite to the Major League spring training camp with Okland. On March 15, he was optioned back to the minors and sent to the Sacramento Rivedogs camp, the team's triple-A affiliated.