Rookie Leagues Dish: Delta Force

Prospect Of The Day

The Rockies may have found a diamond in the rough with their 37th-round draft pick this year in center fielder Delta Cleary. Cleary’s team, the Casper Ghosts of the Pioneer League, played a double header yesterday against the Billings Mustangs (Reds) and Cleary had a day to remember. Over both of the games he went 6-for-10 with a triple (1), two home runs (3), six runs scored (12) and four RBIs (9). Cleary, whose cousin is Miami Heat forward Shawn Marion, is a toolsy switch-hitter from Arkansas. In high school, he played baseball, was quarterback of the football team and averaged 13 points per game for Jonesboro’s 6-A state championship team. Despite being regarded as the best athlete in the state for the 2007 draft, Cleary went undrafted and headed to Louisiana State-Eunice Junior College where he helped the Bengals win their second Division II Junior College World Series in the last three years. Cleary is hitting .321/.356/.554 through his first 56 professional at-bats.

Prospect Nuggets

Bristol (White Sox) steamrolled Bluefield (Orioles) 19-2 last night in the Appalachian League. Bristol’s offense was led by right fielder Kenneth Gilbert who went 2-for-6 with two doubles (11) and five RBIs. Designated hitter Jedon Matthews also chipped in, going 4-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs. . .  Pulaski third baseman Mario Martinez (Mariners) went 2-for-5 with his 14th double and an RBI. He’s now hitting .328/.352/.478 on the season. Teammate, shortstop Gabriel Noriega (Mariners), also went 2-for-5 with two singles. . . Billings left fielder Tony Brown (Reds) went 3-for-5 with his eighth double and 11th home run for the season in the first game of a double header against Casper (Rockies). The effort wasn’t enough, however, as Billings lost both slugfests, 14-7 and 12-9. . . After a slow start to his professional career, GCL Marlins center fielder Issac Galloway has been hot in August (.354/.362/.477). He went 2-for-3 with a double last night, giving him 11 hits in his past five games. . . Outfielder Jaff Decker hit his fourth professional home run for the AZL Padres last night as part of a 2-for-4 performance. . . Shortstop Brandon Crawford is doing his best to forget a disappointing spring with UCLA and has gotten off to a hot start in his first three games with the AZL Giants. Last night, Crawford went 2-for-4 with a double. . . Johnson City first baseman Edgar Lara (Cardinals) went 2-for-4 with his fifth home run on the season. . . Max Ramirez had another great game in a rehab appearance with the AZL Rangers, going 2-for-3 with a double. . . GCL Nationals left fielder Destin Hood went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. . . 6-foot-4 left hander Aaron King threw five scoreless innings as the AZL Giants knocked off the AZL Athletics, 2-0. King allowed two hits, walked one and struck out nine. The Giants’ seventh-round draft pick this season is now 4-1 on the season with a 2.96 ERA over his first 27 1/3 innings.

What To Watch For Today

The third-overall selection of this year’s draft, first baseman Eric Hosmer (Royals), is scheduled to make his professional debut with Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League on Saturday.