By Reed Graff
Texas State Baseball has seen some spectacular players come through its system in the past. Just in the last two years, six Bobcats have been drafted in the Major League Draft. Let us take a look at former bobcat ball players playing professional baseball and see how they are doing!
Theodore “Teddy” Hoffman was the offensive cornerstone for the bobcats this past season. His 16 home runs and .349 batting average both led the team, and he was drawing scouts to San Marcos all year long. Hoffman was drafted in the 15th round by the Detroit Tigers, and is currently playing for the short season A Ball Connecticut Tigers. He has started his career off slow, hitting only .104 through 19 games, which is unfortunate, but Hoffman has the tools and the makeup to right the ship and become a contributing major leaguer.
The all-time strikeout leader at Texas State went in the 9th round in 2016 to the Baltimore Orioles, and has been solid in his time in the minor leagues. Through two seasons, he has a 4.04 Earned Run Average, and has struck out 105 batters through 151.1 innings pitched. Humpal seems to be the next Bobcat that could reach the Show.
Hennigan was also drafted in 2016 in the 21st round by the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-handed pitcher was lights out in 2016, striking out 19 in 14 innings pitched, and finishing with a 1.88 Era. He was rewarded by being placed in Full Season A Ball, and is currently pitching for the Lake Wood Blue-Claws. He has not been as solid, but he continues to pursue his dream of making the major leagues.
The sweet swinging left-handed outfielder crushed his way into Bobcat fans hearts during his time in San Marcos, and that swing got him drafted by the Red Sox in 2016. After struggling last year, Studdard has come back better this season, hitting .228 with an on base percentage over .300, and has slugged one home run, 3 doubles, and has driven in 11 runs. He is currently at A ball Advanced playing for the Greenville Drive. Studdard has the swing, plate discipline, and defensive skills to work his way into a major league baseball stadium near you here in the next few seasons.
The bobcat from the 2016 draft that has had the most success, Mazzacoli was selected in the 29th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and has not looked back. The righty has been spectacular, throwing 41 strikeouts in 44 innings, allowing only one home run, and carrying an ERA at 2.84. Mazzacoli likely looks at a career as a relief pitcher, but the next bobcat on the list has been a pretty good reliever himself; look for Mazzacoli to follow in his footsteps.
Donnie Hart was the latest bobcat to reach the big stage, pitching in relief for the Baltimore Orioles. Hart was drafted in 2013, and he reached the Majors last season, and proceeded to rack up a 0.49 Era through 18 innings. While he has bounced back and forth between Triple A and the majors, Hart has had another solid season. He has a 2.76 Era this season, striking out 25 in 32.2 innings. Hart could be in a major league bullpen for quite some time.
Do I even need to remind you about this guy? Goldschmidt has become the face of Texas State Baseball, and his rise to being the best first basemen in baseball is amazing. The 5 time all-star is consistently an MVP Candidate playing for the Arizona diamondbacks, and this season is no different. Goldy is hitting .316 with 22 home runs, 78 Runs batted in, and has 15 stolen bases which is phenomenal for a first basemen. Goldschmidt has been the closest thing the Major leagues have seen to a Jeff Bagwell since the old Astros slugger retired. If you have not been keeping up with this man’s career up to this point, start to do so now.
The 2017 Texas State baseball team looks to have several players that have major league potential. Junior second basemen, Jonathan Ortega, is an outstanding baseball player in the mold of Astros star Jose Altuve. Ortega could be a first 10 rounds pick come next June. Ryan Newman has special power from the left side of the plate, and that alone should draw him some looks. Freshman Pitcher, Nicholas Fraze, has the frame to pitch at the next level, it is just a matter of developing himself into a complete pitcher, and that is something that the Bobcat coaching staff excels at. These three as well as several other Bobcats will look to carry on the great Bobcat legacy we have here come next Spring!
Featured image by Jessica Calderon.