Former Vaq still on tear

GLENDALE — The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.

Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) Leones de Yucatan designated hitter: Headed into Saturday night's tilt with Minatitlan, Valenzuela, Jr. and Leones de Yucatan had just six games remaining and were out of the playoff race.

However, the former Glendale Community College and St. Francis standout is on track for his greatest professional season.

Valenzuela, Jr., who earned his first selection as a Mexican League All-Star this season, entered Saturday's action with a .357 average (117 for 328) that put him in a tie for eighth in the league.

Along with his average, which is four points higher than his previous season-best for his career in the Mexican League, which began in 2007, Valenzuela has scored 37 runs, driven in 54 and posted 23 doubles, eight home runs, 27 walks, a .506 slugging percentage and a .411 on-base percentage through 93 games.

Yucatan, entering Saturday, was 41-58, and in dead last in the Mexican League's Norte Division standings. Including Saturday's game, Yucatan had six games remaining.

Billy Spottiswood (Glendale Community College, 2005) Mobile BayBears relief pitcher: Spottiswood incurred a rough patch recently, allowing single runs in consecutive appearances before allowing four runs and six hits in two innings of work on July 8.

He's since turned the corner, though, making five appearances and turning in six innings of work and giving up just one earned run. His latest appearance came on Thursday against Birmingham, as he threw two innings and struck out four, while allowing no runs, just one hit and no walks in the BayBears' 9-3 victory.

For the season, Spottiswood, heading into Saturday action, sports a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.33 earned-run average. Over 51 1/3 innings, he's struck out 41 batters and walked 17.

Mobile, a double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is dominating the Southern League North standings with a 21-7 record through Friday and a seven-game lead.

Ryan Sherriff (Glendale Community College, 2011) Johnson City Cardinals pitcher: The left-hander has found appearances hard to come by so far, having made just five and alternated relief appearances and starts.

In two starts, he went 10 innings and gave up five runs combined. In three relief appearances, he's thrown 6 2/3 innings and given up three runs combined.

Sherriff's last appearances saw him throw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball on Monday against Princeton. He allowed two hits and a pair of walks, while striking out two.

On the season, the former Vaqueros standout and Glendale Angeleno is 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA with 12 strikeouts to five walks in 16 2/3 innings pitched for the Cardinals' rookie league team.

Through Friday, Johnson City was 20-11 and in first place in the Appalachian League West.

Dustin Emmons (Crescenta valley High, 2007) Kingsport Mets pitcher: The former News-Press Male Athlete of the Year was off to a stellar professional start, allowing just one run in his first five appearances over nine innings.

He's run into a rough patch with the New York Mets' rookie league squad, though, as he's given up eight runs over his last four appearances and 10 2/3 innings.

Emmons' last appearance came Friday, as he allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in an inning of work against Johnson City.

For the season, Kingsport was 13-18 heading into another tilt with Johnson City on Saturday and in fourth place in the Appalachian League East. Emmons, meanwhile is 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA over nine appearances and 19 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts to three walks.

Trevor Bell (Crescenta Valley High, 2005) Salt Lake Bees pitcher: Bell, the former first-round pick, was optioned to triple-A Salt Lake on Friday to make room on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim roster for Fernando Rodney.

Bell leaves the Angels with a 1-1 record this season over 15 appearances and 25 innings with a 3.24 ERA. He struck out 13 batters to 10 walks and had a .300 opposing batting average. The Angels had called upon Bell just twice in July, as he pitched two scoreless innings on July 1 against the Dodgers and 2 2/3 innings, giving up one run, on July 17 against Oakland.

Bell was scheduled to make a start with the Bees on Saturday night against Tacoma. He began the year with Salt Lake and had a 1-2 record and a 6.19 ERA over three games and two starts with Salt Lake. He struck out 11 and walked two in 16 innings pitched before being called up.

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