Former Bend Elks closer Jeff Brigham of University Washington made his big league debut yesterday as he started on the mound for the Miami Marlins.
The right-hander tossed 3 innings in the Marlins 6-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Marlins Park.
Brigham closed for Bend in 2011 where he made 9 regular-season appearances and went 2-1 with 5 saves while posting a 0.94 ERA. He also made two post-season appearances, earning a save.
Other recent WCL alum call-ups were catcher Rocky Gale with the Dodgers (Corvallis, 2007 and 2009), reliever Jimmie Sherfy with Arizona (Corvallis, 2011), infielder Pat Valaika of Colorado (Wenatchee, 2011), pitcher Adrian Sampson with Texas (Bellingham, 2011) and pitcher DJ Johnson of Colorado (Corvallis, 2008-2009).
Brigham is one of several alums that made their big league debuts this season like pitcher Shane Bieber of Cleveland (Cowlitz, 2014) and infielder Mitchell Walding of Philadelphia (Cowlitz, 2011). Like Brigham, Bieber also debuted as a starting pitcher, on May 31, 2018. Bieber is a key part of the playoff contending Indians as the UC Santa Barbara alum has made 15 starts and gone 8-3 with a 4.66 ERA in his rookie campaign. Walding also debuted on May 31, 2018, with the Phillies.
On August 3, the hard-charging Oakland A’s called up WCL alum outfielder Ramon Laureano (Medford, 2014) who has been a fixture in center field since.
Several alums have been having big MLB seasons such as closer Bud Norris of St. Louis (Corvallis, 2005) who is fifth in the NL in saves with 28 and the Seattle Mariners all-star outfielder Mitch Haniger (Corvallis, 2010). Other WCL alums having standout seasons are starting pitchers James Paxton of Seattle (Kelowna, 2007), Nick Pivetta of Philadelphia (Victoria, 2013), Marco Gonzales of Seattle (Wenatchee, 2010), Matt Boyd of Detroit (Corvallis, 2010) and Tyler Anderson of Colorado (Corvallis, 2009); relief pitchers Adam Cimber of Cleveland (Kitsap, 2010), Jace Fry of the Chicago White Sox (Corvallis, 2011), Trevor Hildenberger of Minnesota (Bend, 2012), Phil Maton of San Diego (Kelowna, 2012) and Ryan Tepera of Toronto (Kelowna, 2009); slugger Rhys Hoskins of Philadelphia (Kitsap, 2012) and infielder Matt Duffy of Tampa Bay (Corvallis, 2010).
In total, 36 alums of WCL teams have appeared on MLB rosters in 2018 including the aforementioned as well as reliever Matt Andriese of Tampa Bay/Arizona (Corvallis), first baseman Chris Davis of Baltimore (Kelowna), starting pitcher Sam Gaviglio of Toronto (Corvallis), starting pitcher Jason Hammel of Kansas City (Wenatchee), starting pitcher Blaine Hardy of Detroit (Wenatchee/Bend), starting pitcher Tommy Milone of Washington (Wenatchee), reliever Josh Osich of San Francisco (Corvallis), reliever Marc Rzepzynski of Seattle/Cleveland (Bellingham/Corvallis), pitcher Zack Weiss of Cincinnait (Wenatchee), infielder Eric Sogard of Milwaukee (Bend), catcher Chris Stewart of Atlanta/Arizona (Corvallis), catcher Andrew Susac of Baltimore (Corvallis) and reliever Taylor Willaims of Milwaukee (Cowlitz).
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League (WCL) is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The 14-year-old, 12-team, professionally operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest showcases pro prospects from major conferences across the nation June through August. Out west, the league features an unparalleled history of memorable fan and player experiences and the best summer weather in North America. 72 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB 2018 June draft. 270 WCL alums appeared or were active in affiliated professional baseball in 2017 including 31 in the major leagues, such as 2015 home-run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore); slugger Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia); rising star pitchers James Paxton (Seattle) and Matt Boyd (Detroit); and all-star outfielder Mitch Haniger (Seattle) and closer Bud Norris (St. Louis).