Former Santa Clara Stars Working Towards the Dream

July 1, 2005

  • Minor League Baseball Website
  • SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Although the Santa Clara season ended nearly six weeks ago, Bronco baseball is still being represented on diamonds across the country. From the sunny skies of California to the humid mid-Atlantic states of the New York-Penn League and a few leagues in between, eleven former Santa Clara baseball standouts continue to chase the dream of playing in the major leagues.

    Here are a few updates of former SCU players in the minors:

    Joey Gomes (2000-02)

    An eighth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Gomes is batting .274 for the Visalia Oaks of the Single-A long-season California League with six homers and 37 runs batted in as of June 30.

    Pat Peavey (1999-2002)

    Beginning 2005 with the Salem Avalanche of the Carolina League, Peavey was promoted to the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Double-A Texas League in mid-May. After a month-long stint with the Hooks, Peavey returned to the Avalanche, where he is batting .225 with a home run and 13 RBIs.

    Jim Wallace (2000-03)

    With the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League season just underway, Wallace has made one start at catcher for the GCL Mets, going 1-for-3 with a single.

    A.J. LaBarbera (2000-04)

    After a 2004 campaign in which he batted .299 with 16 stolen bases and a .380 on-base percentage with San Jose (A), LaBarbera began 2005 with the Norwich Navigators of the Double-A Eastern League. Currently the Navigators' everyday second baseman, LaBarbera is batting .248 with 35 RBIs, nine stolen bases and twelve doubles.

    Chad Fillinger (2001-04)

    Fillinger, selected in the 16th round of the 2004 draft by the Seattle Mariners, began the 2005 campaign with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Single-A Midwest League. After posting a 2-3 record with a 2.70 ERA in 23 appearances, Fillinger was promoted to the California League's Inland Empire 66ers on June 22.

    Will Thompson (2003-04)

    Off to a scorching start in Northwest League play is former All-WCC honorable mention first baseman Will Thompson ('04). Playing first base for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Thompson sits in the league's top four in batting average (.361; 4th), hits (13; T-2nd), doubles (4; 1st) and walks (6; T-3rd).

    Kellan McConnell (2003-05) & Thomas Van Buskirk (2002-05)

    In the Single-A short-season Northwest League, McConnell and Van Buskirk have found themselves teammates again, this time with the Spokane Indians. Both hurlers have gotten off to a fine start as McConnell has posted wins in each of his two relief appearances, and Van Buskirk has struck out four in five innings of work over three games.

    Patrick Overholt (2003-05)

    Selected in the 22nd round by the Philadelphia Phillies, Overholt has begun his professional career with the Batavia Muckdogs of the Single-A short-season New York-Penn League. In three appearances he has posted a 1.29 ERA and 11 strikeouts in seven innings pitched.

    Michael Thompson (2003-05)

    Also beginning his pro career in the New York-Penn League, Thompson landed the starting job at third base for the Tri-City (NY) ValleyCats. In the first week of the season, he has a double to go with three runs batted in.

    Anthony Rea (2001-05)

    The ace of Santa Clara's staff in 2005, Rea signed a free-agent deal with the Oakland Athletics just after the 2005 Draft. Assigned the AZL A's of the Rookie-level Arizona League, Rea earned his first win on June 29, striking out four and allowing only one hit in four solid innings of relief. Over his two appearances, Rea has struck out five in seven-and-one-thirds innings pitched.