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Catching up with the Oklahomans in pro baseball

Find out where some of the players with Oklahoma ties in major and minor league baseball are now.
by Michael Baldwin Published: February 23, 2014
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ATLANTA

SS Andrelton Simmons (Western): The Braves' starting shortstop didn't produce eye-popping offensive stats (.248, 59 RBIs) but he plays solid defense and is the No. 6 hitter in a lineup that's projected to repeat in the NL East.

BOSTON

Manager John Farrell (OSU): After managing Toronto the two previous seasons, Farrell had a smashing debut with the Red Sox. Farrell led Boston to its third World Series title in 10 years. Under Farrell, the Red Sox posted 97 wins and won the AL East for the first time in six years.

CHICAGO CUBS

C George Kottaras (Connors): After hitting .180 with five home runs in 100 at bats with Kansas City, Kottaras will attempt to make the Cubs' Opening Day roster as the backup.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

P David Purcey (OU): The former first-round draft pick made it back to the majors last season and pitched well (2.31 ERA) in 25 innings with the White Sox. He'll still have to earn a spot in the bullpen during spring training.

Manager Robin Ventura (OSU): He's coming off a disappointing 63-99 finish, a year after he led the White Sox to 85 wins in his managerial debut. Management showed confidence in the former All-Star third baseman, giving Ventura a multi-year extension weeks before spring training.

COLORADO

P Brett Anderson (Stillwater): Injuries have limited the 26-year-old left-hander the past three years. He logged only 45 innings with Oakland last season. Some believe Anderson is better suited for the bullpen, but the Rockies obtained him in a trade to fill a rotation spot.

LA ANGELS

P Garrett Richards (Edmond Memorial): The 25-year-old right-hander was 5-4 with a 3.60 ERA his final 13 starts to earn the No. 3 spot in the rotation heading into spring training.

LA DODGERS

OF Matt Kemp (Midwest City): The injury-plague Kemp played in only 167 games the past two seasons. He might be traded, but $130 million remaining on a $160 million contract might be an issue. When healthy, Kemp notched MVP-quality stats (.324, 39 HRs, 129 RBIs) three years ago.

P Jamey Wright (Westmoore): After pitching well on Tampa Bay's AL wild-card team, the 39-year-old right-hander returns to LA. Now a bullpen specialist, Wright is nearing 2,000 career innings and has posted a sub-4.00 ERA the past four seasons.

MIAMI

3B/PH Greg Dobbs (OU): The 35-year-old bench specialist hit .228 with 22 RBIs last season in 237 at bats. Interestingly, Dobbs is one of only four Marlins who were on Miami's Opening Day roster two years ago.

MINNESOTA

Manager Ron Gardenhire (Okmulgee): The Twins have averaged 97 losses the past three seasons, but gave “Gardy” a two-year deal. This will be his 13th season leading the Twins, who have won 998 games and six division titles under Gardenhire.

NY METS

Jeremy Hefner (Perkins, ORU): The 27-year-old right-hander, who once lived in Moore, was 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 23 starts. After undergoing Tommy John surgery six months ago, Hefner will use spring training to jump start his return.

PITTSBURGH

SS Jordy Mercer (Taloga, OSU): Earning the everyday shortstop job, Mercer played well for the Pirates, who ended a lengthy playoff drought. After starting the season in Triple-A, Mercer hit .285 with eight homers in 333 at bats with Pittsburgh.

ST. LOUIS

OF Matt Holliday (Stillwater): The six-time All-Star is a career .311 hitter coming off another standout season (.300, 22 HRs, 103 runs, 94 RBIs). Helping fill the Albert Pujols void, Holliday helped lead the Cardinals to the World Series.

SS Pete Kozma (Owasso): Despite starting 24 of 30 postseason games the past two years, Kozma, 25, isn't assured of an Opening Day roster spot after St. Louis signed veteran Jhonny Peralta.

P Tyler Lyons (OSU): The former ninth-round pick pitched in 53 innings with the Cardinals after a strong showing (7-2, 3.32 ERA) in 100 Triple-A innings. A nasty curveball gives the 26-year-old left-hander a shot at making the Opening Day roster.

SEATTLE

P Scott Baker (OSU): 2012 Tommy John surgery lingered last season but the 32-year-old right-hander who once started Opening Day for the Twins notched a solid resume (63-48, 4.15 ERA) in seven seasons with Minnesota. With a new organization, Baker is attempting to grab a spot in the rotation.

TEXAS

P Tommy Hanson (Tulsa born): Following a disappointing, injury-marred season with the Angels, the 27-year-old right-hander could earn a spot in the Rangers rotation with a strong showing this spring.

SAN DIEGO

P Josh Johnson (Jenks): Last season Johnson was plagued by injuries, going 2-8 with Toronto. The 30-year-old right-hander owns a 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA in 160 career starts. The Padres are his third organization in three years.

WASHINGTON

1B Adam LaRoche (Seminole State): In the final year of a two-year, $24 million deal, LaRoche's production dropped (20 HRs, 62 RBIs) last season after he slammed 33 homers with 100 RBIs the previous year.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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