MILB Player Periscope: How did the Central Pennsylvania Minor Leaguers fare in 2021?

Numbers mean everything in baseball, so we thought now was the time to check out some of the mid-Pennsylvania minor leagues on the rise and how each has fared in the 2021 season.

It’s a tough world for aspiring Grand Leaguers, but those dozens of stars have continued to move towards the dream, one that area pros like Kansas City Royals wide receiver Cam Gallagher (Manheim Township) and the Phillies Philadelphia OF Travis Jankowski (Lancaster Catholic) have reached.

The 12 minor league players below have worked hard inside the Mid-Penn Conference, the Lancaster-Lebanon League or in the PennLive coverage area. Players are listed alphabetically with their hometown, high school, and where each completed the ’21 campaign.

Ben Dum, RHP, Rome Braves (High-A, Braves)

Hometown: Elliottsburg High school: West Perry

Buzz: Dum moved from West Perry to the Virginia Commonwealth and eventually to the independent Frontier League at the age of 22 in 2019. The Minnesota Twins would eventually sign him to a minor league contract. Dum was released last September and intended to pitch locally before the Braves brought him back into the miners in February. The right-hander opened spring with the Augusta GreenJackets and was promoted to High-A Rome in August. He’s got a 3-2 combined record this season with a 3.75 ERA, three saves and 52 strikeouts in 48 innings.

Ben Dum, a native of Perry County, starts a game for the Southern Illinois Miners. (photo of miners in southern Illinois)

Nate Fassnacht, IF, Jersey Shore BlueClaws (High-A, Phillies)

Hometown: Ephrata High school: Ephrata

Buzz: The Philadelphia Phillies’ 2019 eight-round pick initially played for the Mounts and George Washington University. He would make his professional career in the New York-Penn League at Williamsport, hitting 0.227 in 45 games. This year, the versatile infielder – he’s made starts and second, third and shortstop – has played 69 of those 71 games for the Jersey Shore, reaching .213 with 43 runs scored and 29 scored. Those other two games came with a triple A. Lehigh Valley in August.

Derek Fisher, OF, Nashville Sounds (Triple-A, Brewers)

Hometown: Lebanon High school: Cedar Ridge

Buzz: Fisher, the 37th overall pick for the Houston Astros in 2014, was traded from Toronto to Milwaukee in February. In five seasons with the Astros and Blue Jays, Fisher played 168 MLB games, reaching 0.195 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. The Brewers sent Fisher to Triple-A Nashville in June, where an injury forced former Cedar Crest and the University of Virginia to begin ending his season on the 60-day IL. Fisher reached 0.205 for the Sounds in 85 home plate appearances.

New Orleans Baby Cakes 2019 opening

Round Rock Express right fielder Derek Fisher (2) catches a ball during the New Orleans Baby Cakes home opener against the Round Rock Express at the Shrine on Airline on Friday, April 5, 2019 (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA. com | The Times-Picayune)

Myles Gayman, RHP, Arizona Complex League (Rookie, Reds)

Hometown: Chateau-de-Vert High school: Greencastle-Antrim

Buzz: Although Gayman’s college career began at Penn State, the right-hander found his rhythm at Barry University in 2020. This season, Gayman has gone 4-0 in six starts, compiling a 0.21 ERA in 33 strikeouts. in 43 2/3 sleeves before the end of the season. due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gayman would later sign a free agent contract with Cincinnati and spend year 21 in rookie ball at the Arizona Complex League. He made 10 appearances and went 1-1, with a 4.11 ERA and 23 strikeouts.

Tyler Herb, RHP, Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A, Mariners)

Hometown: Tower city High school: Williams Valley

Buzz: Born in Harrisburg, Herb distinguished himself in three sports at Williams Valley, going 22-9 with a 3.40 ERA in 61 games at Coastal Carolina. Caught in the 29th round by the Seattle Mariners in 2014, the relentless right-hander has been on the verge of making it into the big leagues on several occasions. He’s been in the minors with San Francisco, Baltimore, and days after agreeing to pitch for the Lancaster Barnstormers earlier this year, was signed again by the Mariners. He pitched for the Arkansas Travelers Double-A and Tacoma Triple-A this year, going 3-7 with a 4.16 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings.

Barry Myles Gayman University pitcher

University pitcher Barry Myles Gayman, who played at Greencastle-Antrim, signed an unwritten free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Gayman was 4-0 this season with 33 strikeouts in a 0.21 ERA before the NCAA season closed. Barry was 17-4 and ranked 7th in the latest college baseball poll. (Barry University athletic photo)

Nathan Ocker, RHP, Lake County Captains (High-A, Indians)

Hometown: Middletown High school: Middletown neighborhood

Buzz: Ocker’s name is splashed all over the College of Charleston record book – No. 2 all-time in saves (26), appearances (92), strikeouts by 9 innings (10.24) , etc. –And Cleveland claimed the closest in the 29th round in June 2019. Ocker would reach Triple-A Columbus for one game and two scoreless innings earlier this year, but the majority of his time was with High-A Lake Charles. The right-hander went 6-0 with a 3.03 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings of work. He also assisted in three saves.

Hunter Schryver, LHP, Charlotte Knights (Triple-A, White Sox)

Hometown: Mechanicsburg High school: Cumberland Valley

Buzz: Schryver’s career path took him to Villanova University to become the Tampa Bay Rays‘ seventh-round pick in 2017. Taking two steps to the High-A ball with the Rays, Schryver was transferred to the White Sox from Chicago in July 2018. He went from Charlotte to extended work at the White Sox alternative training site and back to the Knights for the past three years. The southpaw has gone 1-1 this season, producing a 5.10 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings.

Hunter Schryver, Chicago White Sox

Schryver has made four appearances for the Charlotte Knights since joining the AAA branch of the Chicago White Sox earlier this month. (Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)

Hayden Seig, RHP, Trenton Thunder (MLB Draft League)

Hometown: Mechanicsburg High school: Mechanicsburg area

Buzz: The former St. Joseph’s University star finished his college career in May and launched with the Independent American Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks two months later. Signed by the Los Angeles Angels in August, Seig was posted to the Trenton Thunder but would end the season on the 60-day IL.

Deon Stafford, C, Winnipeg Goldeyes (Independent)

Hometown: Marysville High school: Lower dolphin

Buzz: Stafford was the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 148th overall selection in 2017. The call followed a fantastic and record-breaking career at St. Joseph’s University. After reaching High-A Bradenton in 2019, Stafford, a South Atlantic League All-Star the previous season, would open this year with six rookie league games before being assigned to Double-A Altoona. He would hit a .245 combined with four homers and 8 RBIs. Started by the Pirates in July, Stafford finished his season 0.309 in 27 games for Winnipeg.

Beck Way

The Yankees selected Northwest Florida State College right-hander Beck Way in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft. (Photo by Northwest Florida State College)

Beck Way, RHP, Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A, Yankees)

Hometown: Mechanicsburg High school: Cumberland Valley

Buzz: Way took an engaging route to pro ball, starting with his stint at Cumberland Valley, then Belmont-Abbey College and Northwest Florida State College. Coupling his 0.67 ERA and 58 NFS strikeouts with his Cape Cod League job in 2019, it was easy to see why the New York Yankees took the right-hander with his fourth pick. round in ’20. Way has worked at Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley this season, combining 83 strikeouts and a 3.98 ERA in 63 1/3 innings. He went 4-3 in 18 starts.

Justin Williams, 3B, Pics Fayettevile (Low-A, Astros)

Hometown: Mechanicsburg High school: Cumberland Valley

Buzz: Williams, who finished his junior season at Penn State in the spring, signed with the Houston Astros in July after being selected in the 17th round. The former All-Big Freshman hit .302 for the Nittany Lions with 17 more hits and 23 RBIs. Williams played his first professional season with the Low-A Woodpeckers, contributing to a 0.213 batting average, in 127 official batting appearances, with five homers and 16 RBIs.

Fordham University pitcher Anthony Zimmerman

Fordham RHP Anthony Zimmerman signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds. (Courtesy of Fordham University Athletics)

Anthony Zimmerman, RHP, Daytona Tortugas (Low-A, Reds)

Hometown: Harrisburg High school: Central dolphin

Buzz: Fantastic senior season at Fordham University – Zimmerman was 3-2 with three saves and a 0.99 ERA in 36 1/3 innings – the reliever signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. As the pandemic wiped out the for the 2020 season, Zimmerman returned to the mound in 21, splitting time between the Reds affiliate Low-A in Daytona and the Arizona Instructional League. He had a 3-2 combined with a 5.44 ERA in 31 games, recording 31 strikeouts against 10 walks.

Follow Eric Epler on Twitter – @threejacker

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