By Scott Barancik, Editor

It’s been two months since Jewish Baseball News brought you up to date on how our minor leaguers are doing. Here are some highlights through games played July 7, 2022:

Mazel Tov

  • Every year, 50 of the top prospects in the minor-league system are chosen to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game. The only Atlanta Braves farmhand to make the cut in 2022 is P Jared Shuster (AA/Mississippi Braves), a 1st-round pick in the 2020 draft and Atlanta’s #8 prospect, according to Shuster ranks #5 in the Southern League in ERA (3.13), #3 in WHIP (1.04), #4 in innings pitched, and #3 in strikeouts. The Futures Games takes place July 16 at Dodger Stadium. Side note: former MLB star Shawn Green will serve as the hitting coach for Shuster’s National League team.
  • 1B Spencer Horwitz (Blue Jays/AAA/Buffalo Bisons) was named Eastern League (AA) Player of the Week for June 6-12, during which he hit .450 (9-for-20) with a HR, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, a .577 OBP (on-base percentage), and a 1.477 OPS (on-base plus slugging). That wasn’t the end of Horwitz’s good news, either. On July 1, the Radford University alum went 5-for-6 with a HR, 2 doubles, and 5 RBIs on July 1. Six days later, he made his Triple-A debut, going 4-for-8 with 2 doubles in a July 7 doubleheader. Not bad for an athlete who wasn’t selected until the 24th round of the 2019 draft.
  • OF Hunter Bishop (Giants/High-A/Eugene Emeralds) has yet to live up to the promise of being picked #10 overall in the 2019 draft, but the 6-foot-5-inch outfielder appears poised to break out. Bishop was named Northwest League Player of the Week for June 20-26, hitting .381 (8-for-21) with 2 HRs (including a grand slam), a triple, 10 RBIs, a stolen base, .458 OBP, and 1.220 OPS.
  • P Colton Gordon (Astros/Rookie/FCL Astros Orange) was the last of 2021’s Jewish draftees to appear on the field. The 6-foot-4-inch southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery two months before the draft and has been recovering ever since. But Gordon finally made his pro debut on June 13. Through four appearances, he is 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA and has held opposing batters to a .120 average, yielded just 3 hits and a walk over 7 combined innings, and struck out 11 batters.

At the plate

  • 3B/2B Zack Gelof (Athletics/AA/Midland RockHounds) had rocketed through Oakland’s minor-league system since the A’s selected him in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft. Now ranked the club’s #3 prospect by, Gelof has excelled this season, hitting .316 (53-for-168) with 4 HRs, 26 RBIs, 8 stolen bases, and a .371 OBP. Some more optimistic observers foresaw the 6-foot-3-inch Gelof not only advancing to Triple-A this season but possibly Oakland. Unfortunately, a recent injury — torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder — hit “pause” on Gelof’s ascent.
  • 1B Matt Mervis (Cubs/AA/Tennessee Smokies) was selected out of high school in the 39th round of the 2016 draft but instead went to Duke University, where he started out as a pitcher. Four years later, the Cubs signed him as an undrafted free agent, and boy, has that proved to be a smart move. After a lackluster debut in 2021, Mervis began the 2022 season in High-A, where he hit a sizzling .350 with 7 HRs, 29 RBIs, and a 1.039 OPS. He’s been nearly as productive since a promotion to Double-A, hitting .312 with 13 HRs, 44 RBIs, and a 1.001 OPS. Mervis’s total of 20 HRs ranks him #10 (tied) among all minor leaguers.
  • May 22 was a memorable day for C CJ Stubbs (Astros/High-A/Asheville Tourists) and big-league brother Garrett Stubbs (Phillies), as both homered. CJ wasn’t done with the long ball, though. From June 29 to July 3, the USC alum homered in four straight games.

On the mound

  • Angels rookie P Kenny Rosenberg (Angels/AAA/Salt Lake Bees) got his third call-up of the year on June 19, and just like the two prior promotions, he made one appearance and was sent back to Triple-A the following day. But Rosenberg’s most recent demotion was a bit puzzling, given his performance: 4.2 scoreless innings marked by 2 hits, 3 walks, and a strikeout.
  • Could P Jake Fishman (Marlins/AAA/Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp) be the next Jewish minor leaguer to make his MLB debut this season? Setting aside the status of Miami’s depth chart, Fishman would seem a good candidate. The 6-foot-3-inch middle reliever is 3-0 with one save, a 1.88 ERA, and 36 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. Fishman’s WHIP (walks/hits per inning) of .097 ranks #9 among International League pitchers who have tossed at least 30 innings.
  • P Kyle Molnar (Angels/High-A/Tri-City Dust Devils) didn’t have a promising rookie season in 2021. After a decent start in High-A, the UCLA alum was trounced in Double-A, going 0-2 with a 13.21 ERA, yielding 2.62 WHIP, and being hit by opposing batters at a .400 clip. Talk about your turnarounds. In 18 games across Low-A and High-A this season, Molnar is 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA and has held opponents to 1.13 WHIP and .190 batting average.
  • P Bubby Rossman (Phillies/AA/Reading Fightin Phils) played for Israel in the 2021 European Championships, but by then he hadn’t played affiliated ball since 2016. The tide turned in late 2021, when Philadelphia signed Rossman as a free agent and, in April 2022, plunked him down in Double-A. Rossman has acquitted himself well so far, going 2-2 with one save, a 3.58 ERA, modest 1.27 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. And he’s been steadily improving, lowering his ERA from 7.84 in April to 2.03 in May and 1.50 in June.

Other news

  • More bad luck for P Sam Delaplane (Giants/Low-A/San Jose Giants). Once ranked as high as #20 on’s list of the Mariners’ top prospects, the reliever has dominated batters since 2017, going 12-6 with 17 saves, a 2.56 ERA, and jaw-dropping average of 15.3 strikeouts per 9 innings. But Tommy John surgery cost the Eastern Michigan alum nearly three years of his career, and an ill-fated rehab stint this season recently ended with a forearm strain.
  • 2B Tyler Krieger (Braves/AA/Mississippi Braves), who played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, has retired after a 6-year career. A 4th-round pick in the 2015 draft, Krieger was named the 10th-best minor-league second baseman in 2017 by He finished his pro career with a .250 average in 1,775 at-bats.

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