04/09/2015 9:42 AM
The DuPage County Hounds have proven their success in making college baseball players better year after year. We continue to see former Hounds either drafted by Major League Baseball or tearing it up on the field for their university.
From the Hounds first team in 2012, two players went on to play professionally in the Freedom League. Outfielder Gary Mayberry and infielder Jordan Rogers both played for the Prescott Federals in Arizona. Mayberry boosted a .373 batting average with 9 home runs in his first season with the club. Rogers hit .268 as the everyday third baseman for the Federals. He is currently playing professionally in France and had a short stint with the French national team.
The 2012 season also had catchers Charley Gould and Paul DeJong. Gould is projected to be drafted after this season out of William and Mary University, after winning an All-Conference award last season and at one point having the highest batting average for the #1 ranked offensive team in the country. Through six games this season, the Lake Forest, Illinois native leads William and Mary University with a .476 (10-for-21) batting average, a double, two home runs, and 11 RBI and was conference player of the week for March 2nd.
In 2012 and 2013, The Hounds had Paul DeJong who has also started out hot this spring. This Illinois State University Redbird is hitting .351 with four home runs in nine games this season. After being drafted in the 38th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014 and tying the single-season home run record (20) last summer in the top ranked Northwoods Collegiate League, DeJong could be a top round draft choice this season.
The 2014 Hounds watched Tomas Michelson make one appearance before accepting a contract from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In his first season of professional baseball Michelson threw 25.1 innings with 23 strikeouts and only six walks. If his strikeout to walk ratio continues to flourish, you could see this RHP move up quickly in the Rays organization.
Other former DuPage County Hounds to keep an eye on include Mitch Gasbarro (SS) and Jake Johansmeier (RHP) who play integral roles for Eastern Illinois University. Drew LaComb a switch-hitting utility player helped Mesa Community College win the 2014 NJCAA Division II World Series last season. He is currently playing shortstop for Division II Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Pat Cashman enters his first year at Southeastern Louisiana after transferring from Heartland (IL) Community College. This spring for the Lions he has thrown 12 innings with 13 strikeouts.
Manager Sean Osborne and his take on former players’ success: “We are very happy to see our former players be successful after moving on. We know this trend will continue because of the way we approach the season. We ingrain the idea of hard work and discipline; most summer teams take the opposite approach. I would like to think that the lessons they learn from our coaching staff helps prepare them for their future in baseball and whatever else life throws at them.”