Hornets in the Pros

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Mitch Lively

Mitch Lively (Sacramento State 2004-07)
RHP, Bravos de Leon (Mexican AAA)
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, 16th Round, 2007

MiLB Page | @LivelyMitch

Year-By-Year Pro Stats

Year (Level)  AP-GS W-L IP  ERA   K   BAA    Notable                                                                                
2007 (Rookie)  6-0 1-0 6.2   1.35   3   .182  Allowed just 1 earned run playing in the Pioneer League     
2008 (Rookie/A)   12-0 1-0 15.1   1.17  22   .211  Signed by SF, Had a 1.42 ERA in 12.1 innings in A ball
2009 (A/AA)  43-0 3-0 64.0 3.23 43 .250  3-0 with a 0.70 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 25.2 innings in AA
2010 (A/AA) 47-0 6-6 67.1 4.41 51 .275  2-4 with a 3.90 ERA and 25 strikeouts with 3 saves in AA
2011 (A/AA)  56-0 3-7 71.1 2.14 71 .213  Had 9 total saves, 1 at AA in 22.0 innings with no HR allowed
2012 (AAA) 47-0        8-4     78.1  2.99  69  .220  69 K's to 23 BB's, 26 earned runs in 78.1 innings
2013 (AAA) 30-20 7-5 124.0   4.72 99 .235  Became a starter, 4-1 with a 3.20 ERA post All-Star break    
2014 (AAA) 31-22 11-6 127.2 4.72 116 .293  Went 5-2 with 3.86 ERA with Syracuse, career high strikeouts
2015 (AAA/JPN) 30-2 0-2 49.2 4.04 47  --  0-2, 2.31 ERA W/Syracuse. 0-0, 6.14 ERA in Japan in 12 games
2016 (MEX/AAA) 50-0 3-2 53.1 2.36 57 .223  9-11 in save opps, 1.07 WHIP, 1.72 ERA in 36.2 IP with Reynoso 

Mitch Lively played his 10th year of professional baseball in 2016, having returned to the Washington Nationals organization after opening the 2016 season with the Broncos de Reynosa at the AAA level in the Mexican League. In 2015 Lively opted out of his contract with the Washington Nationals and joined the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Sapporo, Japan.

Lively had originally joined the Washington Nationals organization in 2014, and in his second season as a starter had a career-high 116 strikeouts and went 5-2 after joining the Syracuse Chiefs. He went 5-0 with a 2.63 ERA in five starts and seven total appearances in August.

The Susanville, Calif., native was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 16th round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft.

As a junior, Lively was Sacramento State's main closer, totaling eight saves in 25 appearances. His eight saves, four against WAC competition, ties for fourth in the Hornet single season record book. Lively also made 61 appearances in his three seasons with Sacramento State, a mark that ties for sixth in program history.

He also was a member of the school's football team where he earned honorable mention all-Big Sky honors as a punter.  

Justin Higley

Justin Higley (Sacramento State 2011-13)
OF, Stockton Ports (Advanced-A) - Organization: Oakland Athletics
Drafted by Oakland Athletics, 13th Round, 2013
MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @35_JHiggs

Year-By-Year Pro Stats

Year (Level)     G-AB       AVG     RBI    R     HR    OPS     Notable                                                                             
2013 (Rookie) 42-153 .275 29   31   6   .853  Seven doubles and two triples, Had RBIs in 9 of last 10 games  
2014 (A) 72-264 .254 37 34 7 .723  Moved to Full A after hitting .281 w/25 RBI in 24 games at Short A
2015 (A) 112-394 .206 54 59 14 .652  10 HR, 42 RBI in 75 games at Full A. Went 25-30 in sb attempts.
2016 (A) 127-446 .251 31 56 6 .706  Move to Adv-A last 12 gms and hit .360 w/.958 OPS. Went 20-26 in sb attempts 

Justin Higley started the 2016 season in Full A and moved to Advanced A Stockton for the last 12 games of the season, during which time he hit .360 with five doubles and two triples in just 50 at-bats. He split time at Full A and Advanced A in 2015 while in 2014, he began the season with the Vermont Lake Monsters and was moved up after hitting .281 with 5 home runs and 25 RBIs in 24 games. He hit .240 with 12 RBIs with the Snappers and played with Beloit in 2015 as well.

Higley was the first of three Hornets selected in the 2013 draft, taken with the 401st overall pick by the Oakland Athletics in the 13th round. He played his first pro season with the Athletics Rookie League team in the Arizona Rookie League.

A three-year starter at Sacramento State, Higley was a first team all-Western Athletic Conference selection as a sophomore in 2012. That season, he hit .292 with 12 doubles, a team-high five triples, four home runs and 26 RBIs. In 2013, his power numbers surged as he tied for the team lead with 10 home runs and added 10 doubles and three triples while hitting .252 and driving in 28 runs.

A Sacramento native, Higley was a three-time Academic All-WAC selection and finished his Hornet career tied for the program record with nine career triples. His cousin, J.R., is an outfielder in the Washington Nationals organization.

Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins (Sacramento State 2012-14)
1B, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) - Organization: Philadelphia Phillies
Drafted by Philadelphia Phillies, 5th Round, 2014

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @RhysHoskins22

Year-By-Year Pro Stats

Year (Level)   G-AB         AVG     RBI    R       HR     OPS     Notable                                                                             
2014 (A)  70-245 .237 40   30  9   .720  Hit .298 in 24 road games, .275 in 12 games after All-Star break 
2015 (A) 135-498 .319 90 86 17 .913  Full-A to Advanced-A. League All-Star, "Exploding" prospect
2016 (AA) 135-498 .281 116 95 38 .943  Eastern League Rookie of the Year, #13 prospect in PHI organization

Rhys Hoskins put together a monster season in 2016 staring for the AA Reading Fightin Phils. He was named Eastern League Rookie of the Year, was a mid-season and post-season All-Star, and was the Eastern League Player of the Month for June. He ended the season ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the Phillies organization by MLB.com.

In 2016 Hoskins ranked second in all of professional baseball with 38 home runs, trailing only his teammate Dylan Cousins' 40 homers. He helped lead the Fightins to the Eastern League title while leading the league in OPS and ranking second in virtually every other offensive category.

Hoskins was especially impressive during the month of June in 2016 when he was named the Eastern League Player of the Month after hitting .351 (39-for-111) with nine doubles, 13 home runs, 33 RBIs and 26 runs scored in 27 games. With a strong Spring Training leading up to the 2016 Hoskins was selected to start for the Phillies Futures team against the MLB club and hit a home run in the exhibition game.

Hoskins had a big second year in pro ball in 2015, moving to Advanced-A and totaling 90 RBI and 17 homers. He was named an All-Star in the South Atlantic League and was featured as an "exploading MLB prospect" by Bleacher Report. He opened his professional career with the Short-A Williamsport Crosscutters in 2014 and hit cleanup for most of his first pro year, totaling nine home runs and 40 RBIs while slugging .408. In 2015 he joined the Full-A Lakewood Blue Claws before moving to the Advanced-A Clearwater Threshers as the team's cleanup hitter. 

Named the WAC Player of the Year and a Louisville Slugger All-American after his junior season, Hoskins became the fourth-highest drafted player in program history when he was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth round and the 142nd overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. 

He was named a 2014 Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-America Third Team selection as chosen by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Hoskins, who attended Jesuit High School in Sacramento, became the first All-American for the program since Tim Wheeler in 2009.

He was the third player in program history to be named the WAC Player of the Year. During the 2014 regular season Hoskins led the WAC with nine home runs and a .563 slugging percentage while ranking second in runs batted in (45) and doubles (16). He hit .360 with six homers and 32 RBIs in WAC play, driving in more than one run per game in conference play.

Hoskins was named to the 2014 Baseball America Division I Preseason All-America Third Team leading up to his junior season. In just three years at Sacramento State he tied for third in program history with 128 career RBIs and with 49 career doubles, was sixth with 25 career home runs, and eighth with 200 career hits.

Alex Palsha
Alex Palsha (Sacramento State 2014)
RHP, St. Lucie Mets (Advanced-A) - Organization: New York Mets
Drafted by New York Mets, 27th Round, 2014

MiLB PageSacramento State Bio

Year-By-Year Pro Stats

Year (Level)     AP    W-L     SV     IP       ERA     K      BAA      Notable                                                                             
2014 (Rookie) 17 0-1 11 17.1  1.04   19  .217  1.04 WHIP, 11/12 saves, promoted to Kingsport Mets 
2015 (A) 24 0-1 13 26.1 0.68 34 .128  0.36 ERA, 13 saves in 22 games in Short-A for promotion
2016 (A) 42 5-4 18 57.1 2.98 65 .218  18-18 in saves, 65/22 K/BB ratio, was 3-1 after promotion




Alex Palsha was 14 for 14 in save opportunities and was a mid-season All-Star with the ColumbiaFireflies to earn a promotion to Advanced-A St. Lucie during the 2016 season. Palsha had a 1.97 ERA with Columbia and was part of a combined no-hitter, throwing two perfect innings to combine with three teammates for the no-hitter of Charleston. He was 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA and four saves in 14 games at Advanced-A.

Palsha, a 27th round draft pick of the New York Mets in 2014, had a brilliant first two professional seasons. In 2015 he had a 0.36 ERA and 13 saves over 22 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones, striking out 34 in 21.2 innings to earn a promotion to the Full-A Savannah Sand Gnats. In his first year he recorded 11 saves in 12 opportunities with a 1.04 ERA,  beginning the year with the GCL Mets before earning a promotion to the Kingston Mets at the end of the season. In two pro seasons he is 24-27 in save opportunities with a 0.82 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and .164 opposing batting average.

Palsha, from San Ramon Valley HS in Danville, was taken by the Mets with the 10th pick of the 27th round. He pitched just one season at Sacramento State after two seasons at Diablo Valley College and one year at College of San Mateo. He broke the program single-season record with a 1.82 earned run average (min. 50 innings pitched) and also established a new program record with 37 appearances in 2014.

Palsha had a 6-1 record with four saves over 59.1 innings pitched with a minuscule .174 opposing batting average. He totaled 57 strikeouts and just 28 walks while allowing only 35 hits, and 20 of his 37 pitching appearances were for more than one inning. In the WAC Tournament Palsha threw 5.1 scoreless innings allowing no hits, just one walk, and recording nine strikeouts with two saves and was named to the all-WAC Tournament team.

Alex Palsha
Nathan Lukes (Sacramento State 2013-15)
OF, Montgomery Biscuits (AA) - Organization: Tampa Bay Rays
Drafted by Cleveland Indians, 7th Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio

Year (Level)   G-AB         AVG     RBI    R       HR     OPS     Notable                                                                             
2015 (A) 5-16 .313 5 4 0 .826  Played 5 games at Short-A before a season ending injury
2016 (A) 115-432 .282 37 62 6 .763  Hit .301 with 5 HR and 32 RBI in Full-A for promo, totaled 15 steals



Nathan Lukes played his first full professional season in 2016 and was involved in a trade, moving from the Indians to the Tampa Bay Rays organization in part of a deadline deal that sent Brandon Guyer to the Indians. He began the season at Full-A Lake County before being promoted and played with two Advanced-A teams, playing 21 games with Charlotte after the trade. 

Lukes was the 19th pick of the 7th round and the 214th overall selection in the 2015 draft, becoming the sixth-highest Hornet draft pick in the Div. I history of the program. Unfortunately, his first pro season was limited to just five games before a season ending injury, but he did drive in five runs in those five games for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. 

In just three seasons at Sacramento State Lukes totaled 244 hits to break the program career hits record. He was a two-time all-WAC first team selection and hit a robust .345 in 2015 with 7 home runs and 38 RBIs. He reached base in each of the first 39 games of the 2015 season, one of just four players in Div. I to do so to that point, and reached in 56 of 60 games overall.

For his Hornet career Lukes hit .336 with 9 home runs, 96 RBIs, and 137 runs scored. In addition to holding the career hits record he is also tied for the all-time mark with nine triples, is second in career runs, fifth in at-bats, and ninth with 37 doubles.

Sutter McLoughlin (Sacramento State 2013-15)
RHP, Lakewood BlueClaws (A) - Organization: Philadelphia Phillies
Drafted by Philadelphia Phillies, 22nd Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @Graveman24

Year (Level)     AP    W-L     SV     IP       ERA     K      BAA      Notable                                                                             
2015 (Rookie/A)  20 4-0 4 27.1 2.30 33 .158  No runs allowed, 4 saves in 7 games at ROK for promotion
2016 (A) 36 1-3 14 46.2 2.51 42 .200  Went 14-15 in save opps, 0.92 WHIP, 42/10 K to BB ratio



Sutter McLoughlin spent the 2016 season as the closer for Full-A Lakewood, recording 14 saves and allowing just 13 earned runs in 46.2 innings. He was 14 for 15 in save opportunities and lowered his career professional opposing batting average to .185 with a 0.85 career WHIP.

After three record-breaking seasons at Sacramento State McLoughlin was selected with the 654th overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 22nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He totaled four saves without allowing a run and striking out 12 in 9.1 innings at Rookie ball to earn a promotion to the Williamsport Crosscutters, where he went 2-0 with a .200 opposing average in 13 games.

McLoughlin shattered the Sacramento State program record with 33 career saves and also recorded the lowest career ERA in program history at 1.93 (min. 100 innings pitched). As a senior McLoughlin broke the WAC career saves record despite missing the first month of the season due to injury, and for his career he totaled 77 strikeouts to just 23 walks.

He was a Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshman All-American after breaking the program record with 17 saves in his rookie season. As a sophomore he posted nine saves with a 1.81 ERA and went 4-2 before a 1.83 ERA and seven saves last season. A two-time all-WAC selection, McLoughlin ended the 2015 season with the fifth most career saves among all active NCAA Div. I pitchers.

Scotty Burcham (Sacramento State 2012-15)
SS, Lancaster JetHawks (Advanced-A) - Organization: Colorado Rockies
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, 25th Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @burchamlite

Year (Level)   G-AB         AVG     RBI    R       HR     OPS     Notable                                                                             
2015 (A) 35-136 .235 11 20 2 .611  Hit .292 in July, .271 in 15 games before All-Star break
2016 (A) 61-207 .271 22 25 2 .716  Hit .356 at home, Hit 14-22 (.636) with 5 RBI in last 6 games

Scotty Burcham spent the 2016 season with the Full-A Asheville Tourists as the team's starting third baseman. He hit a blistering .356 with a .847 OPS over 30 home games and hit .297 over the last 45 games of the season, ending the year going 14-for-22 with 5 RBI and 7 runs over his last six games. In September he started at shortstop for Team Israel in a World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Brooklyn and helped the country clinch a berth in 2017 WBC (story).

A four-year Hornet starter, Burcham was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 25th round (pick 737) of the 2015 MLB Draft. After a slow start he ended up hitting .292 in July and .271 in 15 games before the All-Star break for the Boise Hawks. He played both at SS and 2B with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 12 games at second.  

Burcham finished his collegiate career second in program history with 235 career hits, topped only by teammate Nathan Lukes. A four-year starter at shortstop, he is the all-time program leader with 844 career at-bats, is third in team history with 130 career runs, and is sixth with 40 career doubles.

An all-WAC second team selection as a senior, Burcham hit a career-best .329 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 2015, leading the WAC with 27 multi-hit games. He also hit .300 as a junior and for all four of his seasons with the Hornets he was among the top defensive players in the WAC. He started all but two Hornet games over his last three seasons.

Brennan Leitao (Sacramento State 2012-15)
RHP, Palm Beach Cardinals (Advanced-A) - Organization: St. Louis Cardinals
Drafted by St. Louis Cardinals, 26th Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @BrennanLeitao

Year (Level)     AP-GS    W-L    IP      ERA     K      BAA      Notable                                                                             
2015 (Rookie/A)  14-6 1-3 37.2  4.06   30  .310  22 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1.27 WHIP at ROK. 1-0 in 10 IP at A  
2016 (A) 22-21 6-8 133.2 4.04 102 .276  All-Star with Peoria before promotion, 102/29 K to BB ratio 

Brennan Leitao returned to being a full time starter in 2016 and was a midseason All-Star with Full-A Peoria, going 4-6 with a 2.84 ERA and a .234 opposing batting average. He also was a Midwest League Pitcher of the Week and earned a promotion to Advanced-A Palm Beach, where he had a 3.86 ERA in four starts.

Leitao was the fourth Hornet drafted in 2015 when he was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th round with the 791st overall selection. He pitched in both Rookie ball and Short-A in his first professional season, totaling 30 strikeouts to just 11 walks in 37.2 innings overall. He pitched in relief with the Class-A State College Spikes before returning to a starting role with the Johnson City Cardinals. 

Arguably the greatest starting pitcher in program history, Leitao graduated as Sacramento State's all-time leader with 31 career wins and 398.0 innings pitched. He is also third in program history with 226 career strikeouts and is the first player in program history to be a three-time all-WAC selection. He went 7-4 with a 2.20 ERA as a senior after being selected as a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American.

Leitao started at least 12 games and had at least seven wins in each of his four seasons, recording a 2.94 career ERA with 226 strikeouts and just 78 walks. He shined off the field as well and was one of 10 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award and was a finalist for the TD Ameritrade Fan's Choice Award. He ended his career ranked second among all active NCAA Div. I pitchers in victories, innings pitched, and games started.

Tyler Beardsley (Sacramento State 2015-16)
RHP, Cedar Rapids Kernels (A) - Organization: Minnesota Twins
Drafted by Minnesota Twins, 16th Round, 2016

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @Beardsley11

Year (Level)     AP-GS    W-L    IP      ERA     K      BAA      Notable                                                                          
2016 (Rookie/A)  12-10 3-2 59.2  3.17 46 .235  2-0, 2.65 ERA in ROK to earn promo, 46/15 K to BB ratio, 1.14 WHIP 

Tyler Beardsley was the first Hornet selected in the 2016 draft, chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round (483rd pick). After closing for the Hornets he was converted to a starter professionally and went 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in rookie ball to earn a promotion to the Class-A Cedar Rapids Kernels, where he had a .219 opposing batting average in 25.2 innings.

Beardsley was the third Hornet reliever to be drafted in the last three seasons after Alex Palsha in 2014 and Sutter McLoughlin in 2015. Beardsley pitched two seasons with the Hornets after transferring from College of the Sequoias as a junior.

In his first season assuming the Sacramento State closer role in 2016, Beardsley ranked among the top relief pitchers in NCAA Div. I as he was named to the midseason watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award. He ranked second in the WAC and tied for 35th in Div. I with 11 saves, tied for the second highest save total in a season in program history.

Beardsley also picked up four wins and had a team leading 1.71 ERA, allowing just nine earned runs in 47.1 innings pitched. He totaled 24 strikeouts to just 16 walks and had a .229 opposing batting average and a 1.10 WHIP. He had a 0.28 ERA with only one earned run allowed in his first 32.0 innings pitched of the season and did not allow a run through his first 15.0 innings pitched in WAC play.

Sam Long (Sacramento State 2014-16)
LHP, Hudson Valley Renegades (A) - Organization: Tampa Bay Rays
Drafted by Tampa Bay Rays, 18th Round, 2016

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @sam_long44

Year (Level)     AP-GS    W-L    IP      ERA     K      BAA      Notable                                                                             
2016 (Rookie)  11-3  1-1  27.0  3.33 35 .255  35-9 K to BB ratio. Was 1-0, 2.40 ERA, one save as a reliever 

Sam Long was drafted in the 18th round (540th pick) by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2016 MLB Draft. He was the second Hornet pitcher to play in the Rays organization in as many seasons after Ty Nichols signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2015. Long pitched in 11 games with two Rookie teams in 2016 and was strong as a reliever with a 1-0 ERA, 1 save, and 2.40 ERA over 15 innings in relief with the Princeton Rays.

Long was a Freshman All-American in his first collegiate season and racked up 19 wins in three years at Sacramento State, tied for the sixth most career wins in program history. He also left the program sixth in program history with 181 career strikeouts and fourth with 270.1 innings pitched.

Long had a 3.26 ERA over three seasons and earned Preseason all-WAC honors entering both his sophomore and junior seasons. Long was 8-2 with a 3.03 ERA as a freshman and was 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA as a sophomore, averaging better than six strikeouts per game in his career. He led the WAC and ranked 13th in all of NCAA Div. I with a 0.85 WHIP as a junior, helping the Hornets set single season program records for ERA and opposing batting average.

Gunner Pollman (Sacramento State 2014-16)
C, Jupiter Hammerheads (Advanced-A) - Organization: Miami Marlins
Drafted by Miami Marlins, 26th Round, 2016

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio

Year (Level)   G-AB         AVG     RBI    R       HR     OPS     Notable                                                                             
2016 (Rookie/A)  26-67 .179 10 5 1 .515   Hit .250 with 7 RBI in 14 games at ROK, 6 runners CS at Class-A  

Gunner Pollman was selected in the 26th round (pick 773) by the Miami Marlins in the 2016 MLB Draft. He was the first Hornet catcher drafted since Derrick Chung was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. After 14 games in Rookie ball in 2016 Pollman was promoted to Class-A Greensboro and allowed just three stolen bases with six runners caught stealing in 12 games.

Pollman ranked among the national leaders with 57 runners caught stealing over his sophomore and junior seasons, easily leading the WAC in both years. He cut down 30 runners in 2016, 13 more than any other WAC catcher, and had 27 caught stealings in 2015, nine more than the next closest WAC catcher.

Pollman was named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, presented annually to the top catcher in Div. I, in both his sophomore and junior seasons. He was the primary catcher for the 2015 Hornet pitching staff that broke program records with a 2.97 season ERA and a .235 opposing batting average. He started 53 games and played in 57 of the 58 total Hornet games in 2016 and also contributed offensively, tallying 10 multi-hit games with three 3-hit games as a junior and ranking third on the team in doubles in each of his last two seasons.