Just over a month ago, we took a look at the former Ohio State baseball players that were making their way through the minor leagues, trying to make their dreams of playing baseball in the big leagues come true. It is time for another update, as some players are starting to find their stride as the calendar has turned to June.
A couple Buckeyes that you won’t see on this update are Ryan Feltner, who is currently on the active major league roster of the Colorado Rockies, and Travis Lakins Sr., as the Baltimore pitcher is on the 15-day injured list with an elbow injury.
Seth Lonsway - San Francisco Giants
The 2021 sixth round draft pick is still undefeated this year, compiling a 5-0 record with a 3.65 ERA in 11 appearances. Lonsway has been used out of the bullpen, recording a save and finishing four games so far this year for the San Jose Giants, which is the Class-A affiliate for San Francisco.
Even though Lonsway hasn’t pitched more the four innings in a game this year, he makes sure all his pitches count, as he has struck out at least six batters in four of his 11 appearances. Lately, Lonsway has been spot-on with his command, issuing just two walks in this last three appearances. Prior to that, Lonsway had given up at least two walks in his first eight appearances this year.
Garrett Burhenn - Detroit Tigers
After a May that saw Burhenn register his first two wins of the year, the former Ohio State righty suffered his first loss on the first day of June. Burhenn did rebound on Wednesday in his most recent start, striking out seven over four innings in a no-decision for the Class-A Lakeland Tigers.
Through nine starts this season, Burhenn is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA. What has been most impressive about Burhenn’s pitching this year has been some of his strikeout totals. The ninth rounder in the 2021 MLB Draft has 58 strikeouts in 42.2 innings pitched. Burhenn recorded 10 strikeouts on May 24, which was his second start this season where he whiffed at least 10 batters.
Jack Neely - New York Yankees
Another 2021 Ohio State draft pick that has been lighting up the Florida State League with his strikeout totals is Jack Neely, who has 46 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched. The difference between Neely and Burhenn is how they are used, with Neely coming out of the bullpen for the Tampa Tarpons. Neely has five appearances this season where he has struck out at least four batters.
While Neely’s strikeout numbers can be electric, the tall righty has also been prone to giving up some big innings, as he has allowed 19 runs (16 earned) in those 24.2 innings. After some rocky appearances, Neely has calmed down lately, giving up just one run and three hits in his last 4.1 innings pitched, while striking out 10 batters. With the Yankees bullpen being loaded with quality arms right now, the organization can take their time to develop the Ohio State alum.
Dillon Dingler - Detroit Tigers
There have been some growing pains for Dingler so far this season at the dish for Double-A Erie. In 48 games and 179 at-bats, Dingler is hitting .235 with four homers, 20 RBIs, and 69 strikeouts. June has been especially difficult for the catcher, with Dingler recording just four hits in his 30 at-bats this month. Though all four hits have been doubles, Dingler has also struck out 13 times.
Dominic Canzone - Arizona Diamondbacks
An argument could be made that Canzone has been the most impressive former Buckeye in the minor leagues this season. After being promoted from Double-A Amarillo to Triple-A Reno in late April, Canzone has really found his groove in the month of June. The outfielder is hitting .429 with 12 hits in 28 at-bats, driving in 15 runs for Reno so far this month. Of those 12 hits he has in the eight games he has played, four have been home runs. On Wednesday night, Canzone hit a grand slam in a win over Sacramento.
It’s not like Canzone had a terrible May, as he hit .239 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 20 games. If Canzone can continue hitting like he currently is, the Diamondbacks might decide to see what he can do at the major league level sooner rather than later, especially since Arizona is currently sitting at 28-32 this year, and likely won’t be a threat to make the playoffs.
Andrew Magno - Detroit Tigers
The left-handed reliever has put up some sparkling numbers so far this season with the High-A West Michigan Whitecaps. Magno is 1-0 this year with a 0.43 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. Of the 17 games Magno has pitched in, he has saved four games and finished a total of seven games. All of Magno’s saves, as well as his one win, came between May 8 and May 26.
Magno has been pretty much perfect since his first appearance of the year on April 12, where he allowed the only runs he has given up this season. While Detroit likely doesn’t want to rush Magno, if he continues pitching like he currently is, he’ll deserve to be moved up to Double-A Erie, where he would join former Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler.
Connor Curlis - Cincinnati Reds
Even though the numbers haven’t been very pretty for Connor Curlis, the lefty has done his best work of the season this month. Curlis has started two games in June, pitching 11 innings, striking out eight batters, giving up just one run, and earning his second win of the season.
The great pitching from Curlis this month is even more of a surprise considering how bad he was in May, posting a 6.93 ERA with 27 hits and 2 runs given up in 24.2 innings over five starts. Even with his June starts, Curlis is still sitting at 2-2 with a 5.27 ERA this year, so he’s likely not a threat to be promoted to Triple-A Louisville, but his last two starts could set the tone for a strong rest of the season.
After being included in our first minor league round-up, Shea Murray had a few really rough outings that led to the former Ohio State pitcher being released by the Indianapolis Indians, who are the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to being released, Murray had a 12.71 ERA over 5.2 innings in the six games he appeared in. Murray had given up 15 hits and 18 runs during that span, but only eight of those runs were earned.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated if Murray is picked up by another organization.
Ronnie Dawson - Cincinnati Reds
After being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 Draft in December, Ronnie Dawson saw some brief action with Cincinnati, appearing in a game for the Reds in early May. The outfielder spent the rest of the month with Triple-A Louisville, where he hit .200 with 14 hits in 70 at-bats.
June has been a lot better month for Dawson, who already has nine hits in 35 at-bats this month, and at least one hit in seven of the nine games he has played in. The most incredible stat for Dawson is that we aren’t even halfway through June and his 10 runs scored have already doubled the number of times he crossed the plate in May. If he continues producing like he has so far in June, the Reds might be wise to give him another shot at the big league level.
Tanner Tully - Cleveland Guardians
After appearing briefly for the major league club back in April, Tully continues to put in work on the mound for the Columbus Clippers. The 26th round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft is still undefeated so far this year, going 5-0 with a 3.90 ERA in his 10 starts for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate.
Tully’s most recent start saw him pitch five innings, allow just five hits, and not allowing a run on Wednesday night, earning the win for Columbus. The solid start was great to see after Tully had a bit of trouble in his prior start on June 3, where he allowed 11 hits and six runs over five innings. Even though there are some pitchers that Cleveland might opt to bring up because they have better stuff, it’s hard to deny just how reliable Tully has been during his time in Columbus.