A number of former West Coast League standouts have either made their Major League Baseball debuts or have been called back up to the big leagues as of late.
Thomas Eshelman had a strong outing for the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night. In Eshelman’s start against the Tampa Bay Rays he went five innings and allowed just two runs. He earned second team All-WCL honors in 2012 as a member of the Klamath Falls Gems.
Chris Mazza, a Bend Elks alum, impressed in his debut with the New York Mets on Saturday, posting four strong innings in relief. Mazza allowed just one run in his four innings of work against the Atlanta Braves.
Former Corvallis Knights hurler Stephen Nogosek also recently made his MLB debut with the New York Mets. The University of Oregon product made his first appearance as a big leaguer on June 18 and has appeared out of the bullpen in five total games for the Mets. Nogosek helped the Knights capture the West Coast League championship in 2013.
Jeff Brigham was called up by the Miami Marlins in June to help boost their bullpen. Brigham, out of the University of Washington, made his MLB debut in 2018. He went on to make four starts for the Marlins last season. He received second team All-WCL honors as a standout closer for the Bend Elks in 2011.
About the West Coast League:
The West Coast League (WCL) is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. Situated in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the 15-year-old, 12-team, professionally operated wood-bat league showcases pro prospects from major conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with the best summer weather in North America. Ninety alums and current players of WCL teams were selected in the 2019 MLB Draft, including the No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman. In 2018, 294 WCL alums appeared or were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 39 in the major leagues, such as all-star outfielder Mitch Haniger (Seattle Mariners); ace hurler James Paxton (New York Yankees): slugger Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies); and rising star pitchers Marco Gonzales (Seattle Mariners) and Matt Boyd (Detroit Tigers). Overall member attendance was 496,278 this past summer, a tremendous increase of 20 percent over the previous season.