All Anthony Seigler did all spring was rake for the Cartersville baseball team, hitting extra-base hit after extra-base hit. It's only fitting that his first professional knock came on a double in his debut for the Gulf Coast League Yankees West on Monday.
Seigler's team came up short in the first game of the season for one of New York's rookie ball affiliates. But it was a debut to remember for Seigler, who started at catcher and batted fifth in the order.
He flew out to right in his first plate appearance. However, his third-inning, two-out double helped the Yankees West rally for three runs in the frame, including Seigler scoring from second base on a two-run single.
Given Seigler's scorching hot postseason, which included a home run in his final high school at bat, it's unsurprising the Yankees' top selection in the 2018 draft had a solid showing Monday before being replaced in the sixth.
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Sam Howard (Albuquerque Isotopes, Colorado Rockies organization; Cartersville HS) — Howard made his first start for the Isotopes after returning to Albuquerque following a brief stint with the Rockies, where he pitched a scoreless inning against the Diamondbacks. Howard worked four innings in a no-decision Sunday night at home against the Nashville Sounds. The ‘Topes went on to win the high-scoring game, 17-12, as the two teams combined for 29 hits. Howard allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks. He struck out three and left the game with Albuquerque tied 5-5. For the 2018 season, Howard is 3-4 with a 5.24 ERA in 10 starts for the Isotopes. He has 36 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings. Albuquerque (34-35) wraps up a seven game homestand Monday and today with a pair of games against Nashville. The Isotopes then travel to Pacific Northern Division leading Fresno for a four-game series Thursday through Sunday. Howard’s next scheduled start will be at home next week when Albuquerque hosts Sacramento.
Connor Justus (Mobile BayBears, L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville HS) — Justus appeared in three of six games this past week for the BayBears who went 3-3 in that stretch and completed the season’s first half in second place in the Southern League. He was 1-for-12 at the plate with a run scored in his three appearances. All three games for Justus were road games at the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and he started twice at second base and once at shortstop. He hit sixth in the order each time. Justus finished the season’s first half with a .186 batting average in 188 at-bats over 57 games. He walked 30 times with nine extra-base hits and 13 RBI. His on-base percentage was .313. Defensively, the middle infielder started 33 games at shortstop and 22 at second base. He had a fielding percentage of .951 in 223 total chances and was part of 37 double plays. Following Tuesday’s Southern League All-Star Game in Birmingham, Mobile hosts a six-game series with the Tennessee Smokies Thursday through next Tuesday.
Anthony Seigler (GCL Yankees West, N.Y. Yankees organization; Cartersville HS) — The 2018 first-round pick made his professional debut Monday afternoon for GCL Yankees West. He started at catcher for five innings and was 1-for-2 at the plate with a double and a run scored in the fourth inning. In his first pro at bat, Seigler flied out to right field. The Yankees West lost the game to the GCL Phillies East 8-3 at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Florida. It was both teams’ 2018 season-opening game. The GCL Yankees West schedule this week includes the Tigers East (today), Tigers West (Thursday), Braves (Friday), and Phillies West (Saturday). Gulf Coast League rookie-level teams play a 54-game schedule in June, July and August.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.