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Chronique: Mills gradue dans le AA des Nationals

03 décembre 2017

Texte écrit par Bob Wirz (via www.canamleague.com)

Johnny Hellweg and Jordan Mills are two recent Can-Am hurlers moving up in major league farm systems with Hellweg recently winning a promotion from Pittsburgh to its top minor league roster in Indianapolis and Mills being promoted by Washington to Double-A Harrisburg.

Hellweg, who had already played in three other farm systems, finished '16 and spent a good chunk of '17 with the New Jersey Jackals, eventually having his contract purchased by the Nationals and helping Double-A Altoona win the Eastern League title.  His 56 appearances with the Jackals when he won five of nine decisions, saved 20 games and posted a 3.66 ERA seems to have been extremely beneficial in the recently-turned 29-year-old's career.

Mills, a 25-year-old lefty, had a bounce-back season after being released by Houston when he played at Quebec in 2016, posting a 1.96 ERA in 44 appearances (three starts).  He was a perfect 6-0 in decisions and saved three games for the Capitales.  That led to a contract from the Nationals last January and a combined 6-5 record with six saves and a 3.62 ERA with two Class A teams.

Next season will be the 6-foot-5 hurler's first opportunity to win a Class AA job.

Aigles' Scott Kuzminsky Climbs

Three years ago Scott Kuzminsky finished up his career with the University of Hawaii without being drafted despite a 3.25 earned run average mostly as a starting pitcher.  The next season (2015) the right-hander got his feet wet as a rookie professional with Wichita of the American Association and briefly with the Trois-Rivieres Aigles.

He advanced in 2016 to be the busiest pitcher on the Aigles staff, working 40 times in relief during the 100-game season (3-1, 4.00 with 50 strikeouts in 45 innings).  That experience and work in the Frontier League early this season allowed the Puyallup, WA native to attract the Seattle Mariners late in the campaign, and a 1.08 ERA in seven appearances in rookie league play even got him two end-of-season relief appearances at Triple-A Tacoma.

This also earned the 26-year-old some time in October in the Venezuelan Winter League.

That is a lot of progress in a short span for the 6-foot-2 hurler so it will be fascinating to see if that growth continues next season in the Mariners' chain.

About Bob Wirz

Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003.  He is a frequent contributor to this site, has a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and a book about his life, "The Passion of Baseball", is available at traditional book-buying sites, or at  www.WirzandAssociates.com.