Ten Herd players in minors
HUNTINGTON -- Aaron Blair, a former Marshall Thundering Herd pitcher taken No. 36 by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, joined the Hillsboro (Ore.) Hops of the Class A short-season Northwest League, and is awaiting activation.
Blair, a 21-year-old right-hander, signed with the Diamondbacks for a $1.435 million signing bonus according to Baseball America.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound starter has a 94 mph fastball, a curveball and a changeup.
He was with the Herd from 2011-13 and was an All-Conference USA first team selection this year.
Marshall has nine other former players in the minor leagues. They are:
Dan Straily (2008-09), P, Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League). Spent more than two months this season in the major leagues with the Oakland A's where he was 4-2 with a 5.00 ERA in 12 starts. Sent to Sacramento on June 24. Is 3-0 with an 0.96 ERA with the River Cats.
Isaac Ballou (2010-13), OF, Auburn Doubledays (Class A, New York-Penn League). A 2013 15th round draft pick by the Washington Nationals. Walked and scored June 17 in his first professional plate appearance, a pinch-hit at-bat in a road win over the Batavia Muckdogs. In five games since, Ballou has five singles and five more walks. He's batting .278 while playing mostly left field.
Joe Church (2009-12), P, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Class A, Midwest League). San Diego Padres farmhand made two appearances with the Lake Elsinore Storm (Advanced California League) before his assignment in Fort Wayne, Ind. With the Tincaps he is 1-1 with 11 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.
Mike Mason (2009-12), P, Asheville Tourists (Class A, South Atlantic League). Has a 2-0 record for 18.1 innings and a 2.45 ERA for the Colorado Rockies affiliate.
Thor Meeks (2009-12), C, Hagerstown Suns (Class A, South Atlantic League). Currently on the disabled list for the Washington Nationals farm team.
Greg Williams (2009-11), P, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class A, Carolina League). Undergoing a rehab stint during the 2013 season in the Texas Rangers system. Had Tommy John arm surgery in October 2012.
Arik Sikula (2008-11), P, Lansing Lugnuts (Class A, Midwest League). Has appeared in 24 games for the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate with a 3-0 record, 1.97 ERA and eight saves.
Ian Kadish (2008-11), P, Lansing Lugnuts (Class A, Midwest League). Has a 2-2 record and 3.03 ERA in 25 relief appearances in the Toronto Blue Jays system.
Kevin Shackleford (2008-10), P, Brevard County Manatees (Class A, Florida State League). Milwaukee Brewers prospect is 1-3 with one save and a 5.40 ERA. Has 20 strikeouts in 30.0 innings.
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