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Bite Watch: Shock releases headline 2017
04/28/2017 11:33 PM ET
Ji-Man Choi's hot start in the Yankees organisation has him poised for a MLB return.
Ji-Man Choi's hot start in the Yankees organisation has him poised for a MLB return. (Ryan Schembri/SMP Images/ABL Media)

Are you comfy? Our second Bite Watch of 2017 has all the updates, good and bad. We've seen some shock releases as the White Sox let go of a former Bite pitcher, while another shows his skills for San Diego and our AAA players make an early impact. 


•M Steve Mintz - Down East Wood Ducks (Class A Advanced, Carolina League, Texas Rangers)
The Wood Ducks have been struggling with pitching - their team ERA is the second highest in the 10-team Carolina League, but with a 10-11 record they are third in their division and four games off top spot. They have also allowed the most runs after 21 games, 113, however they have the most strikeouts too, 205, and there is plenty to be optimistic about.

•P Nick Hutchings - RELEASED (Pittsburgh Pirates)
A three year Rookie League career has come to an end for Hutchings after 15 appearances for Bristol in 2016, and one for the Adelaide Bite in the past ABL season. He leaves the Pirates organisation with a 2-10, 5.56 ERA record to his name.

•P Devon Barker - Trebic Nuclears (Czech Extraliga)
Despite striking out 27 across three games, Barker is 1-2 with a 2.66 ERA as Trebic struggles to get into their groove. They're 1-7 with a 14 strikeout, eight inning game by Barker their only winning result so far.

•P Tyler Chappell - Trebic Nuclears (Czech Extraliga)
Across four at-bats, Chappell has yet to collect a hit, while he has a 3.38 ERA from three appearances. In relief he's struck out five in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs.

•P Max MacNabb - Skokani Olomouc (Czech Extraliga)
So far his best work has been with the bat, where he's hitting .412 after six games. With seven hits and six RBIs he's been making a steady contribution for Skokani, who are 4-4 so far. On the mound there has surprisingly been some struggles, and after three games he's 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA - although he has 20 strikeouts.

•P Sean Callegari - Cologne Cardinals (German Baseball Bundesliga)
A poor start has Cologne 1-5 with Callegari pitching two starts for a strong 1.35 ERA. While 11 runs have been scored while he's on the mound, only two were earned, and alongside 17 strikeouts in 13 innings there is plenty to suggest he can guide Cologne up the ladder - if their defence holds.

•P Taylor Hawkins - Charlotte Stone Crabs (Class A Advanced, Florida League, Tampa Bay Rays)
Life as a knuckleballer is never easy and with a 7.20 ERA after six games, Hawkins is still searching for perfection. One five hit, five run outing was his major undoing, however he bounced back beautifully with a three-inning save, pitching three strikeouts as Charlotte knocked off Palm Beach 10-0 on April 21.

•P Chris Horne - Therwil Flyers (Swiss NLA)
Horne has arrived in Switzerland with Therwil 1-1 after the Swiss NLA kicked off last season. Zurich are the only undefeated side so far in the seven-team league.

•C Marcus Greene Jr. - Fort Wayne Tin Caps (Class A, Midwest League, San Diego Padres)
Hitting .306 for the season, Greene Jr. is .353 in his past 10 games, clubbing five extra base hits and 10 RBIs in that time. Over 15 games he has 15 hits and has fought hard to lift his ERA right up.

•C Alex Carter - Montpellier Barracudas (Division Elite, France)
Riding a six-game win streak, Montpellier are 7-1 and one of three leading teams in the French league. They'll take on the other two top sides, Senart and Rouen, in the upcoming weekends, and through six appearances Carter is smashing .591. He has 10 hits, seven runs and 10 RBIs and has made an instant impact.

•C Jackson Brebner-Russ - Kotlarka Praha (Czech Extraliga)
At 3-5, Kotlarka are fighting for form, although Brebner-Russ has so far made a good impression with a .238 average and one homer. He also struck out nine in a seven inning start, earning the win after allowing just one run.

•C Jordan McArdle - Arizona Diamondbacks

•1B Josh Altmann - Down East Wood Ducks (Class A Advanced, Carolina League, Texas Rangers)
We don't know how he does it, but Altmann is once again the face of consistency. Averaging .250, he capped off an eight game hit-streak with a lovely solo homer against Carolina just a few days ago as the Wood Ducks won 6-4.

WATCH: Altmann's solo bomb for Down East.

•2B Jordan Cowan - Modesto Nuts (Class A Advanced, California League, Seattle Mariners)
A stunning season has Cowan hitting .328 after 16 games with 20 hits and 12 runs. His hot start has cooled down but the infielder has been working hard in each appearance, while it looks like he is picking up some skills over at third base as well.

•OF LeDarious Clark - Down East Wood Ducks (Class A Advanced, Carolina League, Texas Rangers)
Clark hasn't had the smoothest season so far but four hits, two runs and two RBIs in his past three outings have him on the right track. With an ERA in the low .200s he'll be aiming for more consistent at-bats and getting on top of some pesky strikeouts,


•P Kevin Comer - Fresno Grizzlies (Triple A, Pacific Coast League, Houston Astros)
It's been a superb season so far Comer, pitching no runs in his first six outings. His seventh saw him give up one earned run as his ERA rose to a shocking… 0.69. With a strong run of form at AAA (eight strikeouts and one earned run in 10 innings) he has the composure for a late inning star.

•P Chris Dula - RELEASED (Texas Rangers)/Gateway Grizzlies (Frontier League)
Dula leaves the Minors with a 5.38 career ERA from the bullpen, but there will be no break for the 24-year-old after he was picked up by the Independent Gateway Grizzlies. Not all released players find a new home so soon, however the former Ranger was keenly selected by the Grizzlies in their league draft.

•P Josh Tols - Niigata Albirex (Baseball Challenge League, Japan)
At 10-4, Niigata are third in their divison, while Tols stole the headlines with a dominant no-hitter during the week. It was his first career no-hitter, the fifth in BCL history, and the second by a Niigata player. The 6-0 win is also a milestone as he is the first foreign player to record a no-hitter in BCL history.

READ: Tols throws a no-hitter (and Google translate attempts to make sense of Japanese).

•P Kody Kerski - Modesto Nuts (Class A Advanced, California League, Seattle Mariners)
He only made his Nuts debut on April 19, and in three appearances Kerski has shown some of his best work. In a 12-4 win over Visalia he struck out five in two innings for his first win of the season, and all up in 4 1/3 innings he has struck out eight.

•P Wilson Lee - Bonn Capitals (German Baseball Bundesliga)
Bonn are 4-0 with Lee making a steady start; he has two hits, four runs and four walks across three games, while also pitching one run and one strikeout in two relief innings.

•C Mason Pickard - Pitt Community College
Heading towards the business end of the season, Pickard has elevated his average back over .250 thanks to five hits in his past three games. Cruising at 31-7 after winning their past six games, Pickard is enjoying a hot run against Lenoir College with a three-run homer and RBI double in a 19-1 win, and a RBI groundout and RBI double in a 15-5 win.

•1B Kyle Petty - Arkansas Travellers (Double A, Texas League, Seattle Mariners)
If 2016 was a humbling initiation to AA ball, 2017 has seen Petty improve his consistency at each at-bat, hitting .258 so far. Eight hits in nine games revealed his talent, although 13 strikeouts have let him down so far.

•2B Travis Demeritte - Mississippi Braves (Double A, Southern League, Atlanta Braves)
Another player with a strikeout weakness, Demeritte is toiling away with 16 hits, 11 runs and nine RBIs in 19 appearances for the Braves. If he can maintain his consistency his .225 average will rise pretty quickly.

•OF Gary Owens - Heidenheim Heidekopfe (German Baseball Bundesliga)
Perfect. After eight games, Heidenheim have eight wins and Owens is on fire with 17 (yes, 17) hits. He's scored 12 times and brought home nine runs on his bat for a .486 average. Right now he's looking pretty unstoppable.


•P Kyle Hooper - RELEASED (LA Dodgers)
Spring Training brought no joy for Hooper as he was released by the Dodgers with the 25-year-old's Minor League career ending after four years. He reached AA last year, while his career return saw him go 8-6 with a 3.37 ERA in 109 appearances, primarily from the bullpen.

•C Rocky Gale - El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple A, Pacific Coast League, San Diego Padres)
It feels like a quiet season for Gale, although the catcher is averaging .273 thanks to seven hits in his last four outings. The surge in form is a good sign as he aims to bounce back in Padres contention.

•P Craig Stem - Tigres de Quintana Roo (Liga Mexicana de Beisbol)
At 9-13, Quintana and losing pace with their division leaders already, but Stem has pitched a great start so far. From the bullpen he has five saves from nine games, allowing just one run from his past six outings. Limited to just eight innings so far, he's struck out 10 as well, making a great cameo impact.

•C William Thorp - Haar Disciples (German Baseball Bundesliga)
With Haar second in Division South, Thorp has clubbed eight hits, eight runs and six RBIs after eight appearances as the Disciples build a solid foundation with a 6-2 record.

•2B Brandon Dixon - Louisville Bats (Triple A, International League, Cincinnati Reds)
He's rarely put a foot wrong in the past, but 2017 has been a huge challenge for Dixon at AAA. Hitting .203, he's enjoying plenty of at-bats but not the consistency. We all know he can get the hits, but the early season blues have been a challenge.


•P Blake Smith - RELEASED (Chicago White Sox)
After breaking into the White Sox line-up in 2016, after five appearances Smith was released for the 2017 season. At 29, age may have been an issue, with Smith pitching a 3.86 career ERA in the Minors, while he hit .269 back in his previous life as an outfielder. While the pitching switch saw him achieve his ultimate goal, it is sad to see it end so suddenly.

•2B Brock Hebert - Arkansas Travellers (Double A, Texas League, Seattle Mariners)
Not one for big hits, Hebert mashed his second home run of the season this week in a 5-6 loss to Tulsa, with the homer just his 12th career bomb since 2012. With 11 hits in 16 games this season he's averaging .212 so far.


•P Andrew Kittredge - Durham Bulls (Triple A, International League, Tampa Bay Rays)
Kittredge has been clean this season, striking out 14 in 14 innings with a 1.29 ERA from seven games. His worst appearance was a five hit, one run starting stint which lasted less than three innings, but in relief he has been superb.

•OF Quincy Latimore - Lakeland Flying Tigers (Class A Advanced, Florida League, Detroit Tigers)
Australia's Zac Shepherd may have been stealing the limelight in the Florida League, but Latimore is looking sharp after a sluggish start. While he may only be hitting .228, he's finding more base hits and more consistency and should rise up the ranks very soon.

•1B Ji-Man Choi - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders (Triple A, International League, New York Yankees)
Choi is showing us the exact same form which saw him break into the LA Angels team last season, and with 16 hits in 15 games he will be right in the frame for a Yankees call up. He will also benefit from poor hitting by both of their first baseman thus far, and if his hot hitting continues he'll be back at the top.

WATCH: Choi clears the fence in a super AAA start.


•P Ryan Beckman - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Double A, Southern League, Miami Marlins)
A shin contusion had Beckman on the sidelines for the past fortnight, and after a couple of horror innings the break will hopefully have allowed him to shake off some jitters. He'll return carrying an ERA over 20.

•P Wayne Ough - Solingen Alligators (German Baseball Bundesliga)
He's stepped up to manage the Alligators and a 3-3 start has them right in the thick of the action. So far he's seen some inconsistent pitching and hitting but there are positive signs with some strong hitting.

•P Derrick Miramontes - Toros de Tijuana (Liga Mexicana de Beisbol)
With Toros leading all at 17-7, Miramontes has been consistent in relief, pitching a 3.75 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.

P James Jones - Round Rock Express (Triple A, Pacific Coast League, Texas Rangers)
After undergoing Tommy John's surgery in August last year, Jones is listed on the Disabled 60-Day at the AAA level. After a brief season in transition to pitcher he is clearly still in Rangers plans, although it is unclear what happens next.


P Brandon Maurer - San Diego Padres (National League West)
Four saves from nine games has Maurer in form, with the closer not allowing a run in his past four appearances. He's also struck out 12 in 8 2/3 innings, a stunning return so early in the season, while his 0.81 WHIP is the second lowest for the Padres out of their regular pitchers. Sadly the Padres are struggling at 9-15 and already trail their division leaders, Arizona, by six games.

WATCH: Maurer power saves the day for San Diego - again.


This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.