International Baseball

Europeans in the Majors & Minors: June 2024

Europeans in the Majors & Minors: June 2024

29/06/2024, International, Baseball, Mister Baseball, Article # 31846058

By DZ. Filed June 26, 2024.

The big news over the last month has been the continued dominance of Italy’s Samuel Aldegheri. The righthander has been striking out hitters consistently in a starter role at High-A. Elsewhere, Germany’s Paul Hoff played in his first pro games with the Brewers in the Dominican, and Sem Robberse (before recently going on the injured list) and Adam Macko are both making a case for their MLB chance. Meanwhile, several pitchers in the lower levels followed rough performances in May with excellent work in June.

Name (age*), organization, country, team.
*Age is as of Sept 1, 2024 (playing age this season).
Team Prospect Rankings: BA (Baseball America): #; FG (Fangraphs): #; MLB ( #.

MLB (1)
Max Kepler (31), Minnesota Twins. Germany.
After hitting .294 in May, Kepler is at .194 in June. He has had two multi-hit games for the month, and he has missed a handful of games recently with an injury that did not require a trip to the IL. In his 10th MLB season, the Berlin native is hitting .251 and has six home runs and a stolen base. The lefty is a free agent at the end of this season. He has the regular right fielder for the Twins, where he has spent his entire career.

Triple-A (1)
Sem Robberse (22), St Louis Cardinals. Netherlands. Memphis Redbirds. BA: 11; FG: 8; MLB: 12.
Robberse went on the injured list June 18 with a 5-4 record and 4.65 ERA, having punched out 71, with 62 hits and 25 walks allowed in 71.2 innings. Potentially fighting an injury leading up to his IL stint, Robberse had a 1.77 ERA on May 2, but has given up 12 home runs since the start of May and his walks have uncharacteristically spiked.

Double-A (3)
Adam Macko (23), Toronto Blue Jays. Slovakia/Ireland. New Hampshire Fisher Cats. BA: 16; FG: 7; MLB: 9.
After featuring a 1-2 record one month ago, Macko is now 5-2 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He has gone at least five innings and allowed three or fewer runs every start since May 2. The southpaw has 78 strikeouts versus 22 walks and eight hit batters.   

Ernesto Wilson Martínez (25), Milwaukee Brewers. France. Biloxi Shuckers.
While we noted Martínez’ hot May last time, he has slowed down in June with a .186 average for the month. Overall this season, however, he does have seven home runs and 13 stolen bases (with 3 caught stealing), paired with a .240 average and .306 OBP.  

Shervyen Newton (25), Kansas City Royals. Netherlands. Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
Newton was hurt to begin the year, and has now been back on the active list for 17 games. Hearkening back to a very slow start to 2023, Newton is hitting .161 with 24 strikeouts in 56 at bats. He does have four extra base hits and a stolen base.

High-A (4)
Samuel Aldegheri (22), Philadelphia Phillies. Italy. Jersey Shore BlueClaws.BA: Not listed; FG: 22; MLB: 24.Aldegheri has had a dominant campaign thus far in 2024. After struggling with strikes a bit in May, he has found his groove to strike out 8, 10, 10, 9, and 9 hitters in his last five starts, without having more than two walks in any of those games. Thus far, the Verona native is 5-4 with a 2.75 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. In 59 innings, he has struck out 83, walked 24, and allowed only 33 hits.  

Alessandro Ercolani (20), Pittsburgh Pirates. San Marino/Italy. Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Ercolani’s numbers (especially the 5.09 ERA) were spoiled by a single 2.1 inning outing with 10 runs allowed. He has had only one other game with more than two runs allowed. In 13 games, including eight starts, totaling 40.2 innings, Ercolani has a 3-1 record with 49 strikeouts, issuing 17 walks and 35 hits. He is being burned by the long ball, giving up eight home runs.

Arij Fransen (23), Cincinnati Reds. Netherlands. Dayton Dragons.Fransen had an April ERA of 8.53 and has been whittling that away – he is down to 5.86 through 27.2 innings. He had given up two or fewer runs in 10 consecutive outings before a four-run outing his last time out jumped his ERA back up. From Deventer and coming up through the national academy program, Fransen is 1-2 with 2 saves. He has 21 strikeouts and 22 walks.  

Omar Hernández (22), Kansas City Royals. Spain. Quad Cities River Bandits.Spanish catcher Hernández has now played in 30 games at the High-A level, throwing out an impressive 31 percent of runners. On the other side of the ball, he has stolen nine bases and hit .189 with nine walks and 29 strikeouts.

Single-A (4)
Jiorgeny Casimiri (23), Baltimore Orioles. Netherlands. Delmarva Shorebirds.Casimiri had a rough start to the year (his April ERA was 18.69) after shifting to the Orioles organization during spring training, but he has turned a corner and posted a strong June. He has pitched 10 innings over five games, with a 1.80 ERA and 1-0 record. During that stretch, he allowed just six hits, walking five and striking out eight.   

Ettore Giulianelli (21), St Louis Cardinals. Italy. Palm Beach Cardinals.
Giulianelli had a viral moment [link] in the midst of a strange statistical start to his 2024 season. He did not allow a hit in his first five games, but has averaged 1.5 walks per inning to date. In total, the Italian righty has a 4.32 ERA in 14 games (16.2 innings). He has struck out 27 and allowed only 12 hits while walking 24.  

Frank Hernández (22), Chicago Cubs. Spain. Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Hernández has 112 at bats in 32 games thus far, hitting .232 with a pair of doubles. Hernández has 10 walks and 30 strikeouts, and he has four stolen bases in five attempts. Meanwhile, although he has yet to pitch again in a game, his change in position to catcher appears to have stuck, as all of his other appearances have been behind the dish, where he has eight passed balls and has nabbed only seven percent of runners attempting to steal.

Kay-Lan Nicasia (24), Milwaukee Brewers. Netherlands. Carolina Mudcats.Nicasia had played 28 games by our last update. He is now at only 29 games played, going on the injured list on May 20 and transferring to the 60-day IL two weeks later.

Rookie League, U.S. Complex Leagues (6)
Gijs van den Brink (19), Kansas City Royals. Netherlands. ACL Royals.
Van den Brink has a 1-0 record and 3.68 ERA through his first six professional games. In 14.2 innings, he has walked 12 and struck out 15, allowing 14 hits.  

Brandon Herbold (20), Kansas City Royals. Netherlands. ACL Royals.
The Rotterdam lefty got off to a brutal start in his return to Arizona, posting a 9.64 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in 14 May innings, with batters hitting .296/.423/.500 with three home runs against him, although he did whiff 18. From the moment the calendar turned to May, however, Herbold has looked like a different pitcher, ringing up four in four shutout innings on a June 3 start and posting a 3.97 ERA for the month in full. In his 11.1 frames this month, the southpaw has permitted only six singles and one longball (.180 opponents’ average and .256 slugging), with five walks and a single hit batter (.283 OBP), registering 11 Ks.

Connor Prins (21), Seattle Mariners. Netherlands. ACL Mariners.
Prins is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA. He has pitched 12.2 innings across six contests. He has walked 11 and hit a pair, while striking out 10. He has allowed only nine hits.  

Stijn van der Schaaf (20), Boston Red Sox. Netherlands. FCL Red Sox.
The Dutch right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA in 13.1 innings. He has pitched in six games, with seven free bases versus 16 strikeouts amounting to six runs.

Dominic Scheffler (20), Cincinnati Reds. Switzerland. ACL Reds.The lefty from Zurich continues to battle the strike zone in the early going of his pro career and his return from elbow surgery. In 17.1 innings, he has struck out an eye-popping 29. However, he has also walked 26 and hit three batters, along with surrendering 14 hits. He has 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA.  

Yannic Walther (20), Milwaukee Brewers. Germany. DSL Brewers 1.The Heidelberg native played three games in early May, then did not appear again until one week ago. He has now played four more games and has four hits in fifteen at-bats. He has walked once and has five strikeouts.  

Rookie League, Dominican Complex Leagues (4)
Peter Bonilla (19), Los Angeles Dodgers. Spain. DSL LAD Bautista.
Bonilla has appeared just once so far, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings with one hit and one strikeout. This is his third season with the Dodgers in the D.R.

Tim Fischer (20), Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany. DSL LAD Mega.
The Regensburg native begins his second pro season with 4.2 innings across three starts. He has walked seven and struck out eight, allowing five hits, and accumulating a 9.64 ERA.

Paul Hoff (18), Milwaukee Brewers. Germany. DSL Brewers 2.
Hoff has pitched in his first three professional games. The former Wild Farmer has pitched 12.2 innings, allowing eight hits and seven runs while striking out seven and walking eleven. He has a 1-0 record and 4.97 ERA.

Williams Wong (18), Texas Rangers. Italy. DSL Rangers Red.
Wong, an infielder, is playing his second year in the Dominican – and yet he will play this entire season as an 18-year-old. He has played 15 games thus far, accumulating 12 hits and 12 walks while striking out 10 times. He has also stolen two bases, with a triple slash line of .218/.368/.309.

Yet to Appear in 2024 (3)
Darnel Collins (20), Kansas City Royals. Netherlands. ACL Royals Gold.
Collins is on the Restricted List and has not played for the Royals in 2024.  

Mathias LaCombe (22), Chicago White Sox. France. ACL White Sox.
After time at the Toulouse Academy and Cochise College in Arizona, LaCombe was drafted last summer. He is on the active roster for the Arizona complex team but has yet to appear in a game.

Boris Vecerka (21), Arizona Diamondbacks. Czechia. Visalia Rawhide.
Officially on the Single-A injured list after elbow surgery, Brno native Večerka has yet to make his pro debut.