2022 PRO BASEBALL PREVIEW: 17 former local products still active as players in pro baseball
By Richard Walker
Former Gardner-Webb and Belmont Abbey baseball standout Emilio Pagan has a new major league home as the 2022 major league and minor league season gets underway.
Pagan was acquired in trade by the Minnesota Twins from the San Diego Padres.
Entering his sixth season in the major leagues, Pagan has been in pro baseball for 10 years after being a 10th round pick of the Seattle Mariners out of Belmont Abbey in the 2013 draft.
Pagan enters the 2022 season with a 13-10 pitching record and 3.73 ERA in 244 relief appearances for the Mariners (2017), Oakland Athletics (2018), Tampa Bay Rays (2019) and Padres (2020-21).
Pagan is one of 17 Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln county products who were in pro baseball entering the season. Here’s a look at the others:
Jeffrey Springs (South Point 2011 graduate) is on the Tampa Bay Rays roster as a pitcher. A 30th-round pick of the Texas Rangers out of Appalachian State in the 2015 draft, Springs is in his 5th major league season.
Will Wilson (Kings Mountain 2016 graduate) is on the Class AA Eastern League Richmond Flying Squirrels roster in the San Francisco Giants’ organization. A 1st-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels out of N.C. State in 2019, Wilson is in his 4th professional season.
Alec Burleson (East Lincoln 2017 graduate) is on the Class AAA International League Memphis Redbirds roster in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. A 2nd-round pick of the Cardinals out of East Carolina in 2020, Burleson is in his 3rd professional season.
Jake Buchanan (North Gaston 2007 graduate) is currently a free agent. An 8th-round pick of the Houston Astros out of N.C. State in 2010, Buchanan has played 11 years of professional baseball.
Reilly Hovis (Forestview 2012 graduate) is on the roster of the Gastonia Honey Hunters of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. A 9th-round pick of the Florida Marlins out of North Carolina in 2015, Hovis is in his seventh year of professional baseball.
Tyler White (former Gastonia Post 23 Legion, Gastonia Grizzlies player) is on the roster of the Class AAA International Nashville Sounds of the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization. A 33rd-round pick of the Houston Astros out of Western Carolina in 2013, White is in his 10th year of professional baseball.
Garrett Davila (South Point 2015 graduate) was invited to Chicago White Sox training as a non-roster player. A 4th-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2015, Davila is in his 8th year of professional baseball.
Mason Fox (former Gardner-Webb player) is on the roster of the Class A Midwest League Fort Wayne Tin Caps of the San Diego Padres’ organization. A 21st-round pick of the Padres in 2018, Fox is in 4th year of professional baseball.
Christopher Proctor (Burns 2015 graduate) was released by the Detroit Tigers’ organization on March 31. A 13th-round pick of the Detroit Tigers out of Duke in 2018, Proctor has played four years of professional baseball.
Chandler Redmond (former Gardner-Webb player) is on the roster of the Class AA Texas League Springfield Cardinals of the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. A 32nd-round pick of the Cardinals out of Gardner-Webb in 2019, Redmond is in his 4th year of professional baseball.
Blake Brown (North Gaston 2016 graduate) has yet to be placed on a roster by the Philadelphia Phillies. A free agent signee of the Phillies out of UNC Asheville in 2020, Brown has two years of professional baseball experience.
Dylan Smith (Forestview 2015 graduate, former Belmont Abbey player) is a free agent aftrer playing Independent League baseball in 2021.
Jeremy Walker (former Gardner-Webb player) has yet to be placed on a roster by the San Francisco Giants. A 5th-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2016, Walker has four years of professional experience, including one season in the major leagues.
Andrew Jordan (Hunter Huss 2015 graduate) has yet to be placed on a roster by the Cincinnati Reds. A 13th-round pick of the Reds in 2015, Jordan has seven years of professional baseball experience.
Mason Miller (former Gardner-Webb player) has yet to be placed on a roster by the Oakland Athletics. A 3rd-round pick of the Athletics in 2021, Miller is in his 2nd year of professional baseball.
And Kyle Halbohn (former Belmont Abbey player) has been assigned to Piratas de Campeche of the Mexican League. A free agent signee of the New York Yankees in 2016, Halbohn has four years of professional baseball experience.