Nine NYCBL alums open the season on MLB rosters

Hudson (Hornell '96)is the MLB leader among active players with 207 career wins. (Photo by Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports)
Hudson (Hornell ’96)is the MLB leader among active players with 207 career wins. (Photo by Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports)

Compiled by Paul Gotham (NYCBL Director of Communications and Media)

The New York Collegiate Baseball League has been sending players to the pros since 1978, and this year is no different. Nine former NYCBL diamond men are playing the game at the highest level: Rajai Davis, Mike Fiers, Tim Hudson, Darin Mastroianni, John McDonald, Jason MotteHunter Pence  , Stefen Romero and Caleb Thielbar all have spots on Major League Baseball rosters.

Hudson (Hornell ’96) and McDonald (Cohocton ’93) share the distinction of the longest current MLB careers among NYCBL alums.  Both debuting in 1999.

The Oakland A’s chose Hudson in the sixth round of the 1997 MLB draft. Hudson moved up to the big club on June 8th, 1999. Hudson pitched six seasons with Oakland before signing with the Atlanta Braves for the 2005 campaign. The Columbus, GA native signed with the San Francisco Giants this past off-season. Hudson has won 207 major league games which ranks at the top among active players. He has fanned 1,907 batters while walking 846 in 2,829 career innings. The 16-year veteran has allowed 2,634 hits for a WHIP of 1.23 (14th among active players).

McDonald debuted with the Cleveland Indians on July 4th 1999. The Lyme, CT native has worn nine different uniforms during his Major League career. Known for his defense McDonald topped the American League shortstops in 2007 with a Range Factor/9 innings of 4.98. That same year his defensive WAR (2.7) ranked second.

Pence (Schenectady ’02), a 2009 and 2011 All-Star, ranked fourth in the National League with 27 home runs in 2013. Playing 162 games for the San Francisco Giants Pence also led all right fielders in Range Factor and Defensive Games. Pence started in right field for the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

Davis (Hornell ’00) signed with Detroit in the off-season. Chosen by Pittsburgh in the 38th round of the 2001 draft, Davis moved up to the big club on August 14th 2006. During his nine-year career in the “Bigs” Davis has played with five different clubs. His 271 stolen bases rank 15th among active players. Three times the New London, CT native has finished second in bags swiped. In 2010 Davis finished with a career-high 50 thefts.

Thielbar (Little Falls ’07) made his first MLB appearance on May 20th 2013. He tossed a pair of shutout innings in relief for the Minnesota Twins. After spending four-plus seasons in the minors, Thielbar appeared in 49 games for the Twins in ’13 going 3-2 with an ERA of 1.76 in 46 innings of work.

Mastroianni (Saratoga/Oneonta ’06) recently got the call-up:


Toronto tabbed the Bedford, NY native in the 16th round of the 2007 draft. Mastroianni moved up to the Blue Jays on August 24th, 2011. He missed most of 2013 recovering from an ankle injury. The University of Southern Indiana alum has 53 hits and 23 stolen bases in 108 career major league games.

Motte (Rome ’01) starts the season on the disabled list. The right-hander went 5-2 with nine saves in 78 appearances for the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Motte made 12 post-season appearances with the victors. Continuing his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Motte threw a simulated game in Spring Training and is on track to return to the big club this season.

Fiers (Saratoga/Oneonta ’08) also starts the season recovering from injury and personal loss. The Deerfield Beach, FL native suffered a broken pitching arm from a line drive early last season. He also lost his mother in the same year at the age of 54. Milwaukee selected the Nova Southeastern alum in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft. Fiers has 10 wins in 36 career appearances. He starts 2014 with the Nashville Sounds of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

Romero (Glens Falls ’08) also was just called up. The 12th-round pick of the 2010 draft got his first major league hit on April 2nd of this season.

On the Doorstep

Fifteen NYCBL alums open 2014 on Triple-A rosters.

International League: Eric Beaulac (Amsterdam ’06,’07),  Brett Carroll (Hornell ’02), Tim Crabbe (Geneva ’08), Logan Darnell (Amsterdam ’08), Jeremy Kehrt (Geneva ’07), J.D. Martinez (Saratoga/Oneonta ’08), Josh Kinney (Hornell ’98), Mark Lamm (Saratoga/Oneonta ’07)

Pacific Coast League: Andrew Carraway (Saratoga/Oneonta ’06), Zach Lutz (Hornell ’07), Miles Mikolas (Saratoga/Oneonta ’08), Rob Scahill (Allegany County ’06), Michael Schwimer (Saratoga/Oneonta ’05), Justin Souza (Hornell ’04) and Patrick Urckfitz (Webster ’08)

Click here for a complete list of NYCBL alums playing minor league baseball.

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