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HORNETS IN THE PROS

All-Time Draft Picks (PDF)

Mitch Lively

Mitch Lively (Sacramento State 2004-07)
RHP, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan)
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, 16th Round, 2007
NPB PageMiLB 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


In his ninth season in the minor leagues Mitch Lively opted out of his contract with the Washington Nationals and joined the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Sapporo, Japan.

Lively had 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.  

Tim Wheeler (Sacramento State 2007-09)
OF, Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA) - Organization: Colorado Rockies
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, 1st Round, 2009
MiLB Page | @TimSWheeler

Year-By-Year Pro Stats



Year (Level)   G-AB         AVG     RBI    R       HR     OPS     Notable                                                                             
2009 (A)  68-273 .256 35   44  5   .713  Went straight to A ball, had 10 steals, .332 OBP, .381 SLG     
2010 (A)   129-510 .249 63   88 12   .725  Moved to Advanced A, had 22 steals, .341 OBP, .384 SLG
2011 (AA)  138-561 .287 86 105 33 .900  Broke Rockies AA HR record, invited to Spring Training
2012 (AAA) 92-379 .303 37 67 2 .768  Broke hamate bone but had best pro avg. and a .357 OBP
2013 (AAA) 109-397  .262 42 59 5 .685  .330 OBP and .355 SLG with 12 steals, hit .317 in June
2014 (AAA) 119-416 .233 45 51 11 .700  .387 SLG, went 6-for-13 with 3 HR and 6 RBI in last 3 games

Tim Wheeler is in Triple-A for the fourth consecutive year in 2015, playing for the Albuquerque Isotopes in the Colorado Rockies system. Wheeler, who was a first-round pick of the Rockies in 2009, was ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the team's minors by MLB.com entering 2013.

Wheeler became the program's highest draft pick is history, as no Hornet had ever been taken prior to round four. He began his professional career with the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Class-A Short-Season Northwest League, where he hit .256 with five homers and 35 RBI in 68 contests, while stealing 10 bases.

Wheeler, a native of Sacramento, became the school’s first two-time first team all-Western Athletic Conference selection in 2009. The center fielder hit .385 on the season with 18 home runs and 72 runs batted in, setting the school’s single season RBI record in the process. He also broke the school’s all-time RBI mark in just three seasons, boasting 142 in his career. Wheeler hit .457 on the season with runners in scoring position, and .451 with runners on base, while amassing 15 stolen bases and five outfield assists. Wheeler ranked in the top 30 nationally in six categories, with his highest ranking coming in RBI.

For his efforts, Wheeler was named All-American by four different publications, which included second team honors from both Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association. He was the first player to earn All-American honors for the Hornets since Harvey Hargrove earned third team honors in 1997.

As a sophomore in 2008, Wheeler hit .330 with three home runs, 43 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. He tied for the longest hitting streak in the WAC on the season, hitting safely in 20 consecutive games while posting 17 multi-hit games. In 2007 as a freshman, Wheeler hit .310 with six home runs, improving his average to .352 inside of WAC play.


Derrick Chung Derrick Chung (Sacramento State 2009-12)
C, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA) - Organization: Toronto Blue Jays
Drafted by Toronto Blue Jays, 31st Round, 2012
MiLB Page | @therealthing6 


Year-By-Year Pro Stats

Year (Level)    G-AB         AVG     RBI    R     HR     OPS     Notable                                                                               
2012 (A)  34-108 .241 12   12  0   .665  Went straight to A ball, had 7 doubles and a triple, .341 OBP
2013 (A) 71-244 .287 21 24 0 .677  Hit .366 in May, totaled 12 doubles and 3 stolen bases
2014 (A/AA) 96-349 .281 28 31 2 .696  Hit .320 with .833 OPS in 49 games at A to earn promotion
 
Derrick Chung was promoted to the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats midway through his second season playing with the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays. He hit .320 in 49 games with Dunedin to earn the promotion. Chung was selected in the 31st round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and played a short season with the Vancouver Canadians to begin his professional career.
 
During his time at Sacramento State, Chung made 72 career starts at short before going down with an injury early in his junior year. After receiving a medical redshirt for the 2010 season, Chung was asked to move to catcher due to a lack of depth on the roster and shined in his new role.

He tallied the best season of career in 2012 as a senior. He was second on the team and third in the Western Athletic Conference with a .340 batting average to go with 14 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 31 RBIs and a .401 on-base percentage. He led the team with seven stolen bases in 10 attempts. He was a first team all-WAC selection following the season.

His outstanding senior season was recognized nationally as Chung was named a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, making him one of the top-12 catchers in the NCAA.


Justin Higley Justin Higley (Sacramento State 2011-13)
OF, Beloit Snappers (A) - Organization: Oakland Athletics
Drafted by Oakland Athletics, 13th Round, 2013
MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio

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


Justin Higley was promoted to Advanced-A and the Beloit Snappers 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. 

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.

Tanner Mendonca (Sacramento State 2011-13)
RHP, Great Falls Voyagers (Rookie) - Organization: Chicago White Sox
Drafted by Minnesota Twins, 17th Round, 2013
MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @TanTheMan13

Year-By-Year Pro Stats

Year (Level)     AP-GS    W-L    IP      ERA     K      BAA      Notable                                                                             
2013 (Rookie) 12-7 2-1 23.1  8.49   23  .279  Allowed only 2 home runs, 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in away games 
2014 (Rookie/A)  18-0 1-2 25.1 3.91 47 .200  41 K/6 BB in 21.1 IP to earn promotion, .154 Opp Avg at A


Tanner Mendonca was the 500th overall pick in the 2013 draft, selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round. He became a reliever in the White Sox organization in 2014 and had 41 strikeouts and a .208 opposing batting average in 21.1 innings pitched in Rookie ball to earn a promotion to Full Season A. He opened his professional career in 2013 as a starting pitcher for the Elizabethtown Twins in the Rookie Appalachian League. He threw three scoreless innings while allowing only two hits in his first pro start.

A right-handed pitcher from Visalia, Calif., Mendonca made 30 starts in his tenure with the Hornets. In 2013, the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, was 2-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 72.0 innings of work. He led the team in starts in 2012 and was second in 2011. He earned a WAC Pitcher of the Week award as a sophomore.

Mendonca left Sacramento State ranked sixth in program history with 227.1 career innings pitched.


Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins (Sacramento State 2012-14)
1B, Clearwater Threshers (A-Adv.) - 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 


Rhys Hoskins opened his professional career with the 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 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, Savannah Sand Gnats (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 


Alex Palsha, a 27th round draft pick of the New York Mets in 2014, had a brilliant first pro season, recording 11 saves in 12 opportunities with a 1.04 ERA. He began the year with the GCL Mets but was promoted to the Kingston Mets at the end of the season. In 2015 he became the closer for the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones.

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, Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A-Short) - Organization: Cleveland Indians
Drafted by Cleveland Indians, 7th Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio

Nathan 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. 

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, Williamsport Crosscutters (A-Short) - Organization: Philadelphia Phillies
Drafted by Philadelphia Phillies, 22nd Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @Graveman24

After three record-breaking seasons at Sacramento State Sutter McLoughlin was selected with the 654th overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 22nd round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

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, Boise Hawks (A-Short) - Organization: Colorado Rockies
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, 25th Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @burchamlite

Four-year Hornet starter Scotty Burcham was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 25th round (pick 737) of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Burcham finished his collegiate career second in program history with 235 career hits, topped only by teammate Nathan Lukes. A four-year starter, 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, Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie) - Organization: St. Louis Cardinals
Drafted by St. Louis Cardinals, 26th Round, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @BrennanLeitao

Brennan 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.

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.


Ty Nichols (Sacramento State 2012-15)
RHP, GCL Rays (Rookie) - Organization: Tampa Bay Rays
Signed as Free Agent by Tampa Bay Rays, 2015

MiLB Page | Sacramento State Bio | @abiliTY017

Ty Nichols signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Rays shortly after the 2015 MLB Draft, becoming the fifth Hornet to sign a pro contract after the 2015 season.

As a senior Nichols put together arguably the greatest single season pitching performance not only in program history but also in WAC history. He was 6-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his senior season, shattering the single-season program record for ERA (min. 50 innings pitched) and ranking fifth in all of NCAA Div. I in ERA.

In his career Nichols threw 222.2 innings, ninth most in program history. He was 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA in an injury-shortened junior season in which he led the Hornets to a 1-0 shutout at No. 21 Texas A&M. A five-year Hornet who redshirted as a freshman, Nichols totaled 14 career wins with 139 strikeouts to just 77 walks.

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