Former Cartersville baseball players Connor Justus and Anthony Seigler both put together solid weeks at the plate in the lower levels of the minor leagues.
Justus has started swinging the bat better since returning to High-A ball, hitting safely in seven of nine games, including each of his past six, at the level. Including Monday's 1-for-3 showing, Seigler is 4-for-10 since an 0-for-4 game on June 25.
Both will look to keep their hot streaks going as the temperatures continue to rise.
Sam Howard (Albuquerque Isotopes, Colorado Rockies organization; Cartersville) — The southpaw made his 12th start of the year for Albuquerque last Friday and was tagged with the loss after going six innings and facing 27 batters. He left the game with the Isotopes trailing 4-2 in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Sacramento River Cats. All four runs off Howard were earned off seven hits, a walk, and one hit batsman. Two of the hits were solo home runs with the wind blowing out at Isotopes Park. Howard fanned five. He is now 3-5 for the season with a 5.53 ERA and 57 innings pitched. He has 44 strikeouts and 25 walks. Howard has gone winless since May, having allowed at least three runs in each of his four June starts at Triple-A. Although, he did have a scoreless inning with the Colorado Rockies in his MLB debut early in the month. Albuquerque (41-41) is in third place in the PCL Pacific Southern Division trailing co-division leaders El Paso and Salt Lake by 2 1/2 games. The Isotopes complete a five-game series in El Paso today against the Padres’ affiliate before hosting Mariners’ affiliate Tacoma for five straight nights starting Wednesday.
Connor Justus (Inland Empire 66ers; L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville) — Justus has hit safely in six straight games and has hits in seven of nine games since his return to the 66ers from Double-A Mobile. The stretch with Inland Empire also includes a pair of two-hit games. He has gone 9-for-35 (.257) with two doubles, two walks, three RBI, four runs, and a pair of stolen bases over the span. Defensively, the middle infielder has 42 games at shortstop and 22 at second base this season with both Mobile and Inland Empire. He has a .950 fielding percentage in 260 total chances across 447 innings. For the entire year, he's hitting to a .197/.316/.251 slash line. Only 11 games into the California League’s second half, the 66ers are 4-7 and five games behind Rancho Cucamonga in the South Division. Inland Empire completes a series at Rancho Cucamonga tonight prior to hosting Stockton for five straight evenings beginning Wednesday.
Anthony Seigler (GCL Yankees West, NY Yankees organization; Cartersville) — Seigler has started six of his team’s first nine games and has been slotted in the two-hole of the batting order in each of his last five starts. The rookie first-round selection is 6-for-18 with four walks, two doubles, two RBI and four runs scored. He has hits in five of his six games. Behind the dish in 35 innings, Seigler has thrown out one of four stolen base attempts and has not committed an error, although he has been charged with three passed balls. Last week, Seigler landed another national honor, as he was named high school position player of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Yankees West (5-3) trails Tigers West by one-half game in the GCL Northwest Division and has games this week against Tigers East, Phillies West, Tigers West, Pirates, Blue Jays and Phillies East. The 18-team Rookie League plays a 60-game schedule in major league spring training facilities throughout Florida. Yankees West plays home games at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.