OLEAN- St. Bonaventure alumnus and infielder Cole Peterson began his career in the Detroit Tigers organization this weekend working efficiently both at the plate and in the field.
Peterson’s former teammate and Frewsburg native, pitcher Connor Grey, has struggled at times in his first full-season as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
The shortstop from Johnsonburg, Pa. collected two singles in seven at-bats striking out just once for the Connecticut Tigers (NY-Penn League). Peterson doesn’t possess a strong bat, a normal characteristic for most shortstops. (Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Cal Ripken, Jr. and the late Ernie Banks.)
Peterson is known to reach base frequently, however, compiling a college-career .382 on-base percentage (.402 this spring). He, of course, can reach with singles, doubles and walks.
St. Bonaventure’s former shortstop also has an above-average glove, compiling a .966 fielding percentage as a Bonnie.
“Cole continued to make himself better through his work ethic. He has great hands, feet and a strong arm defensively and has continued to improve with the bat to the point where he was a viable candidate for the top player in the Atlantic 10,” St. Bonaventure head coach Larry Sudbrook said in an interview with GoBonnies.com.
Sudbrook called Peterson the best defensive shortstop he has coached in his 32 years with the program.
“We have had a couple other shortstops get the chance to play professionally (Elk County, Pa. native Jesse Bosnik, for example),” he said. “But defensively Cole was heads and tails above anyone else we’ve had.”
Detroit’s 13th-round pick converted all 12 chances defensively this weekend, including 10 assists and two putouts via the double-play.
Grey, a fellow Bonnie alumnus and Frewsburg native, has pitched relatively inconsistent thus far in five 2017 appearances (four starts). Grey’s path started in A-Advanced Visalia, struggling in his solo appearance April 26th (a start) against the Lake Elsinore Storm. He tossed just 3.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits and two walks.
Grey proceeded to make two appearances (one start) for the AAA Reno Aces. His first appearance came in relief May 1st against Fresno. Grey tossed two innings, allowing an earned run on two hits and fanned two.
The pitcher made his first Triple-A start May 6th against Sacramento. Grey pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five earned runs, four hits and a walk. He also struck out six batters.
Grey pitched arguably his worst start since last July against Everett of Short-Season A-Ball (first start in return to Hillsboro Hops) June 18th. He lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on six hits and a walk. Grey also gave up a homer, but struck out two.
The Hops Pitcher regained control Saturday during an efficient start against the Boise Hawks. Grey tossed 80 pitches in six innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs (including a two-run homer to end his start). Grey also struck out nine and walked just one.
Grey has kept his home run total to three. He has walked just five batters, a respectable number for five appearances (one per game). He, however, has struck out just 22 in 19 innings.
Grey’s inability to strike out his opponent, Saturday notwithstanding, has derailed his overall ability to record outs. Grey is known as a strikeout pitcher, which means he’s also prone to sacrifice base hits.
Grey told WNYNewsNow June 12th he’ll be in Hillsboro for the foreseeable future.
His start Saturday, however, shows he has tremendous potential on the rubber as he continues his journey to the Major Leagues.