As MLB clubs are busy shaping their rosters in Spring Training, they also take a chance to look at some of the talent in the lower minors.
In addition to the Turks minor-leaguers that were already at Spring Training (Mac Williamson, Clint Robinson, Logan Kensing) four more former Turks got the call this past weekend to report to Spring Training.
Emilio Pagan, Trey Cochrane-Gill, Julio Felix and Reuben Sosa will all get a chance to show the decision makers that they are not to be forgotten “down on the farm”.
Pagan was just a lanky 19-year old when he suited up for the Turks in 2011. As an infielder and occasion Right-hand pitcher, Pagan was talented but raw that summer for possibly the most prospect rich Turks team in decades. Fast forward a couple of years and Emilio parlayed an added 25 pounds, some mound savvy and some zip to the fastball to become a star as the closer at Belmont Abbey. The Seattle Mariners noticed, drafted Pagan and placed him on the Low “A” ladder. To say he has dominated is an understatement. Pagan is currently on the roster of the Clinton LumberKings but who knows as teams break camp.
Cochrane-Gill was a hard-throwing but smallish righty from Auburn when he arrived in Harrisonburg for the Summer of 2012. All Trey did was go 6-0 in for the Valley League Champions. Upon his return to Auburn, Trey and fellow Tiger and Turk Dillon Ortman continued their development on the mound. Both were drafted. Ortman by the LA Angels and Cochrane-Gill by the Mariners. Trey, like Pagan in 2013, had a dominant summer as the closer for the Pulaski (VA) Mariners and Everett Auqasox.
Felix is another fire-balling righty from the 2011 Turks. The Tigers drafted Julio out of Pima CC in 2012. After several seasons as a middle reliever and spot starter, Julio found his niche last summer as the closer for the West Michigan Whitecaps. 13 saves in 16 chances has certainly brought Felix back into focus for the Tigers.
Switch-hitting IF/OF Ruben Sosa was two things when he arrived in Harrisonburg in 2010, fast and raw. The Astros drafted Sosa out of Oklahoma City University in 2011 and he began his climb through the minors. Strictly an outfielder now, Ruben has already played parts of two seasons at the AAA level. The Astros also called Sosa to Spring Training last season.
While you will often see references to the current Turks in the majors like Erik Kratz, Clint Robinson, Brad Mills and Cliff Pennington, there are 25 former Turks at nearly every level of professional baseball hoping to someday make it to the show.
Turks Nation remembers our former Turks and wishes them the best in the coming season and beyond!