Boise Hawks Alumni Report (April 19)

A total of 117 former Boise Hawks are currently on Major League baseball rosters, MLB affiliate rosters, or, in the case of former Hawk Micah Hoffpauir (’02), playing for the Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Japanese League.  Of the group, 18 players are in the Big Leauges, 24 more are playing a the AAA level, 20 are currently at AA, 38 are at the Class A level (either Advanced-A or Low-A), with 18 more players still in their parent teams’ complex in Extended Spring Training.

The complete list can be viewed at the following link – HawksAlumni4-19-11.

Some notes on the list – two former Hawks sluggers, Ryan Harvey (’04) and Kyler Burke (’07/’08) are both being converted from outfielders to pitchers.  Most remember both for their long home runs, but both also had amazing outfield arms – rated among the tops in the Cubs organization at the time.  Harvey is in Florida at the Red Sox spring training facility, while Burke is at Fitch Park in Mesa working with Rick Tronerud and David Rosario.

Hot starts for former Hawks include Lou Montanez (’04), who has been a key cog in the Iowa Cubs line-up after being signed in the offseason after four years in the Orioles organization.  Montanez is hitting .375 and leading the I-Cubs with 12 RBI.  Two other arms of note – Rich Hill (’02/’03) has throwed eight-plus scoreless innings out of the pen for the Pawtucket Red Sox and may be the first call-up for Boston, while Andy Sisco (’02) has regained his form after numerous injuries sidelined him for three seasons – picking up two wins and tossing six scoreless innings for the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees.

At AA – the Tennessee Smokies are unreal at the plate, led by former first-round picks Brett Jackson (’09), Ryan Flaherty (’08), and Josh Vitters (’07/’08).  Jackson is hitting .441 with a homer, seven RBI, and five stolen bases out of the lead-off spot, Flaherty is hitting .375 with a team-high three homers and 10 RBI, while Vitters is hitting .375 with two homers and 10 RBI.  On the mound, Trey McNutt (’09) has come off the disabled list after missing over a week with a blister – after tossing two-plus scoreless innings in his 2011 debut.

In Class-A, the knuckle-curve of Robert Whitenack (’09) has come of age, as the righty is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts in Daytona, being helped by the bat of Matt Cerda (’09), who is among the Florida State League leaders with a .405 batting average.  Also playing well for the D-Cubs is Jae-Hoon Ha (’09), hitting .375 with eight RBI.  At Peoria, Eric Jokisch (’10) has been dominant in his three appearances, allowing just one run in 11 innings of work, as has Marcus Hatley (’07/’08/’10), who has tossed four scoreless innings in recovering from arm issues that sidelined him in 2010.  The Chiefs offense has been led by the versatile Greg Rohan (’09), who has a homer and 10 RBI, while hitting .317 (and has played the outfield, first base, and third).

Many other former Hawks have already signed contracts with Independent Teams – whether in the Frontier League, American Association, Atlantic League, North American League, or Can Am League.  Aaron Shafer (’08), Corey Martin (’09/’10), Jon Hunton (’04), Dan McDaniel (’08), Chris Walker (’02/’03), Alan Rick (’03), and Bobby Wagner (’09) are among the few who have inked contracts.  Indy ball starts in mid-May.

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