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Utahns in baseball: A look at where players with Utah ties are suiting up in 2017

We have come to the start of another baseball season, and there are plenty of players with Utah ties playing at all levels of the sport. There are pitchers and fielders playing in single-, double- and triple-A as well as a handful of key contributors who are on major league rosters.

Here is a list of the players with Utah ties who are suiting up on major league or minor league teams to start 2017.

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Christian Colon, Taylorsville High School, Kansas City Royals

Colon is back with the Kansas City Royals where he hit .231 with 34 hits and 13 RBIs in 54 games in 2016. He made his first appearance of the season on Saturday where he went 0 for 2 in a 7-3 win over the Houston Astros.

Jeremy Guthrie, BYU, Washington Nationals

Guthrie, who had been with the Nats' single-A team was called up to the big club for a spot start — on his 38th birthday. The party did not go as planned. He had a difficult night in a starting appearance for the Washington Nationals on Saturday as he gave up 10 earned runs on six hits and four walks in just two-thirds of an inning of work in a 17-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

He has since been designated for assignment.

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler throws in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 3, 2017 in Minneapolis. | Jim Mone, Associated Press

Brandon Kintzler, Dixie State, Minnesota Twins

Kintzler is off to a brilliant start coming out of the bullpen in his second season with the Minnesota Twins. He has made four appearances out of the bullpen and collected three saves while allowing just one hit and striking out four in 4.1 innings.

C.J. Cron, Utah, Los Angeles Angels

Following a strong 2016 campaign that saw him hit .278 with 16 home runs and 69 RBIs in 116 games, Cron is back with the Angels to start the season. In five games, he is hitting .316 in 19 at bats, including a two-hit game in a 5-0 win over the Oakland A's on April, 5.


Stephen Fife, Utah, New Orleans Baby Cakes (Miami Marlins)

After a season where he went 0-2 in seven starts with the Iowa Cubs, Fife signed a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins in December and was assigned to the triple-A affiliate New Orleans Baby Cakes shortly thereafter. He has yet to make his debut in 2017.

Braeden Schlehuber, Viewmont High School, Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves)

Schlehuber is back with the Gwinnett Braves where he spent all of 2016 and hit .236 with 14 RBIs in 40 games. He is currently on the seven-day disabled list and has yet to make his regular season debut.

This is a 2017 photo of Tyler Wagner, who is currently with the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock. | Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

Tyler Wagner, Utah, Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers)

After splitting time between the Triple-A Reno Aces and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016, Wagner is now with the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock. He started his first game of the season in a 2-1 win over the Nashville Sounds where he threw five scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out four.

Taylor Cole, BYU, Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays)

After spending most of the last two seasons playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Cole has moved up to the Blue Jays' triple-A affiliate in Buffalo where he is on the seven-day disabled list to start the season.

Brady Lail, Bingham High School, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees)

Lail is back with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he spent much of 2016 in the RailRiders' starting rotation. During his 17 starts, he finished with a 7-6 record with a 5.07 ERA while striking out 58 batters in 92.1 innings of work.

This is a 2017 photo of left fielder Jaycob Brugman, who is currently in the Oakland A's organization. | Chris Carlson, Associated Press

Jaycob Brugman, BYU, Oakland A's organization

Brugman had a really good season at the plate in 2016 while spending time in double- and triple-A. He batted .285 with 33 doubles, 12 home runs and 87 RBIs. Most of that production came with the triple-A Nashville Sounds, where he hit .295 with 26 doubles, seven homers and 67 RBIs in 94 games.


Parker Morin, Utah, Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals)

After a difficult year in the batter's box that saw him collect just 43 hits and 22 RBIs in 76 games in triple-A, Morin is back down to double-A to start the season. He has already made one appearance on the year where he went 0 for 3 with a strikeout in a 6-4 win over the San Antonio Missions.

Eddy Alvarez, Salt Lake Community College, Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox)

Alvarez is back with the White Sox's double-A affiliate in Birmingham where he hit .263 with 104 hits, including 17 doubles and 62 RBIs in 2016. He has already played three games with the Barons this season and has collected two hits and three RBIs in 12 at bats.

Jacob Hannemann, BYU, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs)

After hitting .247 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs to go long with 26 stolen bases in 74 games for Tennessee in 2016, Hannemann is back with the Smokies. While he is on the active roster, he hasn't played in four games since joining the team from the Iowa Cubs.

Adam Law, BYU, Arkansas Travelers (Seattle Mariners)

Law is back for his second year in double-A after he spent the 2016 season playing for the Tulsa Drillers and the Jackson Generals. He was at his best with the Generals where he hit .321 with three home runs and 19 RBIs in 47 games while proving to be a valuable utility man in the field.

He has played one game with the Travelers in 2017 where he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Seattle Mariners catcher Marcus Littlewood brings home a run with this grounder against the Chicago Cubs during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 10, 2017, in Peoria, Ariz. | Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

Marcus Littlewood, Pine View High School, Arkansas Travelers (Seattle Mariners)

Despite struggling from the plate in eight games in triple-A, Littlewood had a very productive season in 2016. He hit a career-best .307 with 59 hits, including 21 doubles and 23 RBIs in 56 games with the double-A Jackson Generals.

He has made one appearance with the Travelers in 2017 where he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Trey Nielsen, Utah, Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)

After a solid season that saw him finish with an 8-8 record and two complete games in 23 appearances — 19 as a starter — Nielsen is back with the Cardinals' double-A affiliate in Springfield. He is currently on the seven-day disabled list and has yet to make an appearance this season.

Single-A Advanced

Tanner Banks, Salt Lake Community College, Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox)

Banks had a successful season in his two spots in 2016 as he finished with a 12-7 record and three complete games over 27 starts. He started out the year in Kannapolis where he won six games and was a midseason All-Star before moving on to the Winston-Salem Dash and adding six more victories in 16 starts.

He is back with the Dash and has already provided a solid start as he threw six innings of one-run ball in a 5-3 loss to Buies Creek.

Bret Helton, Utah, Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh Pirates)

After a decent season with the West Virginia Power where he finished with an 8-9 record in 26 starts, Helton moved up to Bradenton where he has started out the season coming out of the bullpen. In his lone appearance for the Marauders, he allowed four hits and two earned runs in 2.2 innings to come away with his first win of the season.


Porter Clayton, Dixie State, Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays)

Clayton is on his third different team in three seasons after he was drafted in the 19th round of the 2015 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He made his first appearance for the Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League over the weekend and gave up three hits and two earned runs in 2.1 innings in a 5-4 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

Staten Island Yankees pitcher Kolton Mahoney pitches against the State College Spikes during a minor league baseball game in Staten Island, N.Y., on Sunday, June 28, 2015. | Gregory Payan, Associated Press

Kolton Mahoney, BYU, Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)

After spending his first two seasons as a starter with the Staten Island Yankees, Mahoney has moved up to Charleston where he has started the season coming out of the bullpen. In his first appearance of the year, he threw two innings of one-hit ball in a 12-4 win over the Lexington Legends.

Brennon Lund, BYU, Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels)

A year after batting .307 with 30 RBIs and 15 stolen bases while playing for the Orem Owls and the Burlington Bees, Lund is back in Burlington to start the 2017 campaign and is off to a nice start. He is batting .300 in 10 at-bats with two runs and two stolen bases in three games.

Michael Rucker, BYU, South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs)

Rucker had a terrific first year in the Cubs organization as he finished with a 3-0 record while not allowing an earned run and striking out 18 batters in 12.2 innings. He has continued that impressive trend in his first appearance in South Bend as he worked two innings of no-hit ball while striking out three in a 1-0 loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps over the weekend.

Taylor Snyder, Salem Hills High School, Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies)

Snyder had a good season in rookie ball with Grand Junction in 2016 after he was selected in the 16th round of the 2016 draft by the Colorado Rookies. He hit .287 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 49 games to earn a promotion to the single-A Asheville Tourists.

The 2017 season hasn't started as smoothly as he has gone hitless in eight at bats for the 2-2 Tourists.

Ben Wright, Copper Hills High School, Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox)

Wright has already started his second season in Kannapolis after spending most of his rookie year coming out of the bullpen for the Intimidators. He has already made two appearances in 2017 and has an ERA of 2.70 after giving up two hits and one earned run while striking out three in 3.1 innings.

Danny Beddes, UVU, Pittsburgh Pirates organization

Beddes had an impressive rookie campaign with the West Virginia Black Bears after he was selected in the 15th round of the 2016 draft. He finished with a 6-3 record and an ERA of just 2.27 in 12 starts while fanning 55 batters in 71.1 innings of work.

Dalton Carroll, Utah, Atlanta Braves organization

Carroll had a successful first season playing for the Atlanta Braves' affiliate in Danville after he was selected in the 21st round of the 2016 draft out of Utah. He had an ERA of 2.93 while totaling 26 strikeouts and just seven walks in 27.2 innings in 16 appearances out of the bullpen.

Payton Henry, Pleasant Grove High School, Milwaukee Brewers organization

The Pleasant Grove High School star played his first season of professional ball in Arizona after he was taken in the sixth round of the 2016 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. After a slow start in the Arizona League, he finished strong with 10 hits in his last six games to boast his batting average to .256 in 24 games while collecting seven doubles and 17 RBIs.

Joe Barlow, Riverton High School, Texas Rangers organization

The Riverton High and Salt Lake Community College product spent last season in the Arizona League after he was selected in the 11th round of the 2016 draft by the Texas Rangers. He made 13 appearances — three as a starter — and finished with a record of 2-4 and an ERA of 4.41 in 32.2 innings.