Bulls in the Pros: Montes and Villar Doing Damage in July

The former tandem on the left side of USF’s infield are producing for their respective clubs


TAMPA, JULY 26, 2019 – 
Former USF infielders are in the midst of strong stretches and a former starter-turned-closer continues to dominate.

Montes and Villar Surging
Infielder Coco Montes has been heating up over the last 10 games, batting .389 for the Asheville Tourists (A, Colorado Rockies) of the South Atlantic League. He has five multi-hit games in that time. Montes has played in 96 games in his first full pro season with 21 doubles, nine homers, 59 RBI and 38 runs scored.


Montes’ partner on the left side of USF’s infield in 2018, David Villar is also rising as the calendar approaches August. Villar is hitting .366 over his last 10 games with seven runs and four RBI for the San Jose Giants (A-Advanced) of the California League. He’s batting .277 on the year with seven home runs, 39 RBI, 41 runs and 21 doubles on the year. 


Sanders Stellar in Second Full Season

Righty Phoenix Sanders was USF’s Friday night arm in 2017. Now in his second full season in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization, Sanders is flourishing out of the bullpen. He has spent the entire year with the Montgomery Biscuits (AA) as the team’s closer. Sanders has 15 saves with a 1.94 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 46.1 innings. He has four saves in his last four opportunities, surrendering just two hits in 4.0 innings. In his last 10 games, Sanders has allowed just 10 hits and one runs with 19 strikeouts.


Lawson Locked-In

Right-hander Brandon Lawson has given the Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA, San Francisco Giants) length in his last two outings. He pitched 8.0 innings on July 19, allowing just one hit with six strikeouts. He went 6.0 frames on Thursday, allowing one run with three strikeouts. He’s 4-5 this year in 17 starts with a 3.64 ERA and 56 strikeouts. 


Merrell Getting Acclimated to New Home 

2017 first-rounder Kevin Merrell was traded from the Athletics to the Royals in mid-July. He has played in just nine games for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA). Though his batting average isn’t gaudy, he has hit safely in seven straight games. Merrell has four runs, two doubles, two triples and four stolen bases in the limited time with his new club. 


Find out how other former USF standouts are faring in pro baseball this season below:

NameOrganizationPositionLeague (Level)TeamStats
Austin AdamsSeattlePMLBSeattle Mariners (10-day IL)3.47 ERA, 41 Ks, 23.1 IP, 21 app.
Nelson AlvarezN.Y. YankeesPAppalachian League (Rookie Advanced)Pulaski YankeesMinors 2019 (3 teams): 7 games, 2-1, 6.2 IP, 5 Ks
Joe CavallaroN.Y. MetsPFlorida State (A Advanced)St. Lucie Mets4-3, 3.93 ERA, 47 Ks, 50.1 IP, 26 games, 3 saves
Tommy EveldMiamiPSouthern (AA)Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp2-3, 3.46 ERA, 3 saves, 17 Ks, 13.0 IP, 11 games
Jimmy HergetCincinnatiPInternational League (AAA)Louisville Bats1-4, 3.79 ERA, 46 Ks, 35 games, 40.1 IP, 2 saves
Joe GenordN.Y. Mets1BNew-York Penn (A-Short Season)Brooklyn Cyclones.228 AVG, 5 HR, 8 doubles, 22 RBI, 16 runs, 35 games
Brandon LawsonSan FranciscoPEastern (AA)Richmond Flying Squirrels4-5, 3.64 ERA, 56 Ks, 89.0 IP, 17 starts
Shane McClanahanTampa BayPFlorida State (A-Advanced)Port Charlotte Stone Crabs5-1, 0.94 ERA, 7 games, 6 starts, 38.1 IP, 40 Ks
Kevin MerrellKansas CitySSTexas (AA)Northwest Arkansas Naturals9 games, 7 hits, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 4 stolen bases, 4 runs, 2 RBI
Coco MontesColoradoSSSouth Atlantic (A-Advanced)Asheville Tourists.261 AVG, 9 HR,
21 doubles, 59 RBI, 38 runs, 96 games
Dan OteroClevelandPMLBIndians (10-day IL)4.56 ERA, 10 Ks, 23.2 IP, 20 games
Andrew PerezChicago White SoxPCarolina (A-Advanced)Winston-Salem Dash0-2, 1.93 ERA, 15 Ks, 14.0 IP (Dash ONLY)| 2019: 2.16 ERA, 2 saves, 29 games, 50.0 IP, 67 Ks
Kevin QuackenbushLos Angeles DodgersPPacific Coast (AAA)Oklahoma City Dodgers2-3, 3.86 ERA, 8 saves, 70 Ks, 46.2 IP, 41 games – PCL All-Star
Phoenix SandersTampa BayPSouthern (AA)Montgomery Biscuits3-3, 1.94 ERA, 52 Ks, 46.1 IP, 15 saves, 35 games
Peter StrzeleckiMilwaukeePMidwest (A)Wisconsin Timber Rattlers0-1, 3.46 ERA, 3 saves, 42 Ks, 41.2 IP, 28 games
Ryan ValdesPittsburghPFlorida State (A-Advanced)Bradenton Marauders2-2, 5.84 ERA, 1 save, 24.2 IP, 19 games, 20 Ks
David VillarSan Francisco3BCalifornia (A-Advanced)San Jose Giants.277, 7 HR, 21 doubles,
39 RBI, 41 runs, 80 games
Alec WiselyClevelandRHPArizona League (Rookie)AZL Indians1-1, 6.94 ERA, 11.2 IP, 12 Ks, 7 games

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