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Utahns in baseball: How 26 players with Utah ties are performing in majors and minors this season

It has been an up-and-down start to the baseball season for many of the players with Utah ties, with a lot of them struggling at the plate or on the mound. That has led to a handful of players getting released and having to look for (and some finding) new teams.

There have also been some solid contributors and players who have done enough to move up through the ranks with their respective clubs.

Here is a list of the players with Utah ties who are suiting up on major league or minor league teams this season, and how they have performed so far.

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Major leagues

Christian Colon, Taylorsville High School, Kansas City Royals/Miami Marlins

Colon saw his days with the Kansas City Royals come to an end after he struggled with the bat to start the season. He has since been picked up off waivers by the Miami Marlins but is still finding little success swinging the bat, with just three hits in seven games.

On the season he is hitting .188 with a double in 32 at-bats over 14 games.

Jeremy Guthrie, BYU, Washington Nationals/Acereros del Norte

After a disastrous start with the Nationals early in the season, Guthrie moved on to the Mexican League with Acereros del Norte, where he had mixed results coming out of the bullpen. He has made eight appearances with his new squad, but he gave up 16 hits and seven earned runs in 7.2 innings before he was released over the weekend.

Brandon Kintzler, Dixie State, Minnesota Twins

Kintzler is in the middle of a fantastic season as the closer for the American League Central-leading Twins. He has been especially solid of late, as he has totaled seven saves and a win in his last 10 appearances while giving up just three earned runs in 9.2 innings.

On the season, he has a 2-0 record with 17 saves in 24 games with an ERA of 2.55 over 24.2 innings.

Bees' first baseman C.J. Cron warms up as he prepares to bat as the Salt Lake Bees fall 4-0 to the Tacoma Rainiers at Smith's Ballpark in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

C.J. Cron, Utah, Los Angeles Angels/Salt Lake Bees

Cron had a strong showing during his second stint with the Salt Lake Bees before he was called back up to the Angels. During his last eight games in Salt Lake, he had four two-hit games and 15 runs batted in, including a night with two home runs and seven RBIs against the El Paso Chihuahuas.

In 25 games with the Angels, he is hitting .233 with a home run and eight RBI.

In 12 games with the Bees, he totaled 18 RBI with four home runs while batting .340.


Miami Marlins pitcher Stephen Fife walks across the field during a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in Jupiter, Fla. | David J. Phillip, Associated Press

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

Fife has been a key member of the Baby Cakes' rotation all season long. One of his best outings recently came in an 11-3 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers, when he threw six innings of two-hit ball while giving up just one earned run and striking out five to secure his fourth win of the season.

In 11 starts on the season, he has a record of 4-3 with an ERA of 4.14 in 58.2 innings.

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

Schlehuber has played in just three games so far after spending much of the season on the disabled list. While he has seen very limited action, he has already showed some pop with two hits and a home run in just six at-bats.

He is currently on the seven-day disabled list.

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

Wagner has had a tough opening to the season as a starter in Round Rock, as he has given up seven runs or more in four of his eight starts. His best outing so far came in a 5-0 win over the Tacoma Rainiers, when he gave up just one hit over five innings to earn his only win of the year.

In 11 appearances, he has a record of 1-5 with two saves with an ERA of 8.55 in 46.1 innings.

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

Cole has been on the disabled list since the start of the season and has yet to make his first appearance.

New York Yankees' Brady Lail pitches during a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. | Matt Rourke, Associated Press

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

Lail has spent his season playing in both Double- and Triple-A in the Yankees organization. His best start in Triple-A came in a 3-0 win over the Toledo Mud Hens, when he went six innings and allowed just three hits while fanning six.

In 10 total starts, he has a 4-2 record with an ERA of 4.66 in 58 innings.

Jaycob Brugman, BYU, Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics)

Brugman has been swinging a hot bat and playing error-free defense in the outfield for much of the season since returning to the Sounds lineup from the disabled list. His best performance recently came in a 12-3 win over the Iowa Cubs, when he went 2 of 4 with a double and a run batted in.

In 30 games, he is hitting .305 with five doubles, a home run and seven RBI in 118 at-bats.

Parker Morin, Utah, Northwest Arkansas Naturals/Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals)

Morin has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where has yet to find much rhythm in the batter box. One of his best games of the year came in a 4-2 win over the New Orleans Bay Cakes, when he went 2 of 4 with a pair of singles and an RBI.

On the season, he is batting .149 with three doubles, a home run and 11 runs batted.

Trey Nielsen, Utah, Springfield Cardinals/Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals)

After making seven appearances in Springfield, Nielsen moved up to Triple-A Memphis, where he has been excellent in a relief role. One of his best showings came in a 6-3 loss to Albuquerque, when he threw two scoreless innings.

In five games since moving up, he has an ERA of 1.86 with eight strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

Chicago Cubs' Jacob Hannemann juggles during the team's photo day Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. | Morry Gash, Associated Press

Jacob Hannemann, BYU, Tennessee Smokies/Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs)

Even though he struggled at the plate for much of the season with the Smokies, Hannemann has moved up to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, where he collected a hit in four at-bats during his first game Monday night.

In 35 games, he is hitting .183 with nine doubles, a home run and six runs batted in.


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

Alvarez has had an up-and-down season at the plate during his second year with the Barons. He hit below .200 for much of April before pushing his average up to .250 thanks to four multiple-hit games in a five-game stretch. Since then he has bounced between .219 and .254 while splitting time between second base and shortstop. One of his best games lately came in a 7-6 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts, when he reached base in all five of his plate appearances, including three singles and two walks.

In 48 games, he is hitting .246 with eight doubles, two home runs and 15 runs batted.

Adam Law, BYU, Arkansas Travelers (Seattle Mariners)

After playing just one game early in the season, Law has been on the disabled list since April 14.

Marcus Littlewood hits a grounder against the Chicago Cubs in spring training Friday, March 10, 2017, in Peoria, Ariz. | Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

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

Littlewood is having a productive offensive year as a part-time player for the 25-30 Travelers. One of his best games of late came in a 6-3 over the Tulsa Drillers, when he went 2 for 3 with a home run and an RBI.

In 31 games, he is batting .281 with six doubles, two home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Single-A Advanced

Michael Rucker, BYU, South Bend Cubs/Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs)

Rucker is off to a terrific start in his second season in the Cubs organization. He has already moved up from Single-A to Single-A Advanced after showing off his remarkable ability to get the big strikeout. One of his best games recently came in a 6-3 win over the Carolina Mudcats, when he gave up two hits and fanned six in 3.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.

In 12 games, he has an ERA of 1.96 with 38 strikeouts in 23 innings.

Tanner Banks (16) warms up prior to his start on July 15, 2015 at Lindquist Field in Ogden, Utah. | Brett Hein

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

Banks has been the ace of the Dash starting staff all season long, as he leads all starters in wins, ERA and innings pitched. One of his best recent games came in a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Mudcats, when he went eight innings of scoreless ball while striking out five.

In 11 starts, he is 5-2 with an ERA of 3.62 and 53 strikeouts in 64.2 innings.

Bret Helton, Utah, Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburgh Pirates)

After starting out the season in the bullpen, Helton has moved into the starting rotation, where he has made a pair of solid starts. He best recent game came in a 5-1 win over the Fort Myers Miracle, when he pitched seven scoreless innings to get the win.

On the season, he is 3-0 with an ERA of 4.12 with 39 strikeouts in 43.2 innings of work.

Brennon Lund, BYU, Burlington Bees/Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels)

After a nice start with an at the plate and on the base paths in Burlington, Lund has been moved up a rung in the Angels system. One of his best games in Burlington before moving up came in a 4-3 loss to Kane County, when he went 4 for 4 with all three runs batted in and a pair of stolen bases.

In 50 games, between the Bees and 66ers, he is hitting .302 with 16 extra base hits, 21 runs batted in and 14 steals.


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

It has been a tough season for Clayton, who pitched just 17.1 innings out of the bullpen for the Hot Rods before he was released in early May. His best outing of the year came in a 6-2 win over the Dayton Dragons, when he allowed just one hit and no runs in four innings of relief to earn a save.

In eight games, he had a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 6.23.

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

Kolton Mahoney, BYU, Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees), Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins)

Mahoney was untouchable during the early part of the year, as he went five appearances without giving up a run. Things went downhill from the there, as he allowed runs in five of his next six games before he was released. He has since found a new home with the Grasshoppers, where he struck out three in two innings in his first appearance.

In 12 games, he has a 1-2 record with an ERA of 1.71 and 29 strikeouts in 26.1 innings of work.

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

Snyder is trying to break out of a difficult slump that has kept his batting average below .200 for more than a month. His best recent showing came in a 7-1 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws, when he went 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and three RBI.

In 36 games, he is hitting .189 with eight doubles, two home runs and 11 runs batted in.

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

Wright has been used mostly as a middle reliever during his second season with the Intimidators, with varying level of success. He has held opponents scoreless in 10 of 18 appearances but has given up earned runs in three of his last five games.

On the season, he has a 1-3 record with one save in four chances in 23.1 innings.

Payton Henry, Pleasant Grove High School, Milwaukee Brewers organization

Henry is one of three catchers listed on the AZL Brewers in the Arizona Rookie League. The Brewers' first regular-season game is June 24.

Joe Barlow, Riverton High School, Texas Rangers organization

Barlow is listed on the roster of the AZL Rangers, who start their season in three weeks.