Here’s a quick look at the progress so far of the South Africans in the minor leagues.
Gift Ngoepe, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Current team: Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
The 26-year-old is getting regular playing time as the shortstop in Indianapolis, and he remains on the Pirates 40-man roster. Ngoepe and the SA baseball community are hoping for his breakthrough to the MLB club this season. The Pietersburg, Gauteng native is hitting .211 with a .261 on-base average. He’s had 8 doubles and a home run, walking 9 times versus an astounding 61 strikeouts in 42 games. He’s stolen 4 bases in 5 attempts.
Anthony Phillips, Los Angeles Angels.
Current team: Arkansas Travelers (AA)
The second baseman, Ngoepe’s double play partner on the national team, is hitting .230 with a .304 OBP in 41 games. He has six extra base hits and has been successful in 1 of 5 stolen base attempts. Phillips comes from Bellville in the Western Cape.
Dylan Unsworth, Seattle Mariners.
Current team: Jacksonville Generals (AA)
Unsworth is currently on the Disabled List and hasn’t pitched in two weeks. In his 8 starts this season, he has yet to allow more than two earned runs, while allowing zero in half of them. The Durban, KZN native is 3-1 with a 1.18 ERA through 45 innings. He has walked seven and struck out 33.
Yet to appear in 2016 – currently in extended spring training:
Vince Deyzel, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Rowan Ebersohn, Minnesota Twins.
Victor Ngoepe, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Callan Pearce, Minnesota Twins.