In the River Cats’ 11 seasons, hundreds of players have called Sacramento home, winning championships at the Minor League level while aspiring to break into the Majors.
Jeff Baisley, Salt Lake Bees (River Cats, 2008-10)
Jeff Baisley was part of a 2008 team that was the last team standing in the Pacific Coast League. Three years late Baisley can be found in the same league putting up numbers that are better than he has ever had.
In Sacramento Baisley played 228 games hitting .271(226-for-833) with 60 doubles, two triples, 24 home runs, 115 runs and 114 RBI. This year Baisley boasts a .308 average, with 14 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 50 runs and 55 RBI. His play has gained the attention it deserves as he is sixth overall in the all-star balloting while leading all PCL third baseman in total votes.
Corey Wimberly, Indianapolis Indians (River Cats, 2010)
Wimberly quickly became a fan favorite for Sacramento last season with his pre-game front flip and lighting speed on the field. The 5-foot-8 170 lb. giant left his mark in the River Cats record book and an imprint on the minds of River Cats fans last season.
Last year Wimberly crushed the steal record that was set by Eric Patterson in 2009. Last season the speedy Wimberly stole 13 more bases finishing the season with 56, moving into second all-time in River Cats history. Wimberly also ranks fourth in total runs over one season (97), fifth in triples (7) and seventh in total games (135).
Following the season Wimberly was traded to Pittsburgh for 23-year-old right-hander Ryan Kelly who never pitched a game in the A’s system. Wimberly has played in 32 games for the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate) hitting .225 with two doubles, two triples, 10 runs, eight RBI and seven steals.
Josh Outman, Oakland A’s (River Cats, 2008 & 2011)
Josh Outman was the opening day starter for the Sacramento River Cats this season but has found himself in Oakland for the first time since 2009 when he went down with an elbow injury. That elbow injury in 2009 lead to Tommy John surgery that took him out for the rest of 2009 and all of 2010. Before his elbow injury in 2009 Outman posted a 4-1 record with a 3.48 ERA in his rookie season.
Outman appeared in just five games for Sacramento in 2008 but returned to Sacramento on his long road back to the show this past Spring having a 1-0 record while sustaining a 1.76 ERA. Outman showed River Cats’ fans that the two years prior was no fluke and he made it back to where he was before the injury.
The combination of his play in Sacramento and injuries to the Oakland rotation opened up and avenue that allowed him to make the move last month. The 26-year-old lefty has had even better numbers since he made his most recent jump to the majors. In six games in green and gold Outman has recorded a 3-1 record with a 2.86 ERA. With the way he’s been pitching it might be a while until we see him in Sacramento again.
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies (River Cats, 2008)
Our Andre Ethier of this week is Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. It’s easy to look back and say we should have done this or done that, but Cargo was as average as they come for Sacramento. In 2008 Gonzalez played in 46 games hitting .283 (49-for-173) with nine doubles, four homers, 23 runs and 28 RBI. Numbers that have turned into MVP candidate worthy numbers 1200 miles away in Colorado.
Gonzalez didn’t start the year how he would have liked coming off a year in which he won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Cargo, who was third in MVP voting last season has began to turn things around this year after making the switch from the No. 3 spot in the lineup to No. 1 position. Gonzalez had turned his average from .254 to .281 in that period.
Since June 7 Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .370 (27-for-73) with seven doubles, two homers, nine RBI, 12 runs, four walks and three stolen bases.