The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.
Michael Noteware (Glendale Community College, 2011) Gulf Coast Yankees: The one-time Vaqueros standout made his professional debut Monday with the Tampa-based rookie class affiliate of the New York Yankees.
The effort came only 11 days after the Lewis-Clark State athlete signed as a free agent with the Yankees shortly after the conclusion of the Major League Baseball draft.
Noteware entered in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 12-4 home victory over the Gulf Coast Braves and replaced Felix Santiago.
Noteware induced a flyout from Yeudi Grullon to record his first professional out in what ended up being a scoreless inning of work that concluded with a strikeout looking of Kelvin Estevez.
It wasn’t until Thursday that Noteware saw action again.
This time, the 6-foot right-hander tossed two scoreless innings against the host Gulf Coast Astros in a 3-1 defeat.
Noteware allowed two hits, but fanned four in tap-dancing out of two jams.
Noteware replaced starting pitcher Domingo Acevedo before the sixth inning and immediately ran into trouble as the Astros’ Edwin Medina converted a bunt single and advanced to second base due to an error at first.
With a runner in scoring position and no outs, Noteware bounced back by fanning Dexter McCall before picking off Medina at second base.
The pickoff proved vital as the next batter, Hector Roa, singled to left field. Noteware eventually escaped the inning when the following batter grounded out.
Noteware came back for the seventh inning and showed some more escapability as a double and botched fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with no outs.
All Noteware ended up doing was striking out the side to escape the mess and preserve his team’s chance to rally.
Thus far, Noteware’s pitched three innings over two appearances with three hits allowed, no walks and four strikeouts.
Joe De Pinto (St. Francis High, 2007) Birmingham Barons outfielder: De Pinto’s battle for playing time ended with his release on June 18 from the White Sox organization.
De Pinto, a multiple-time All-Area player at St. Francis before moving on to USC in college, played in just 15 of the team’s 70 games prior to his release. He was drafted in 2011 in the 21st round by Chicago, the parent organization of the double-A Barons.
His final stats were a .160 average with eight hits in 50 at-bats. He had four runs, one run batted in, two doubles, a home run and four stolen bases. Consequently, he hit safely in the last four games he played with Birmingham, going five for 16.
Fernando Valenzuela Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) Leones de Yucatan first baseman: The former Golden Knight and Glendale Community College player is clinging to stay above the .300 mark while working through a slump.
Valenzuela, the son of Los Angeles Dodgers great Fernando Valenzuela, is two for 16 over his last five games.
For the season, he is hitting .301 (69 for 229) through 63 games heading into Friday’s Mexican League game against Laguna. Yucatan is 26-41 and in last place in the eight-team Mexican League South heading into Friday.
Valenzuela’s average is third-best on the team and accompanies 20 runs, 11 doubles, seven home runs (second on the team), 36 RBI (second on the team). He’s also drawn 20 walks.