With the first month of the professional season in the books and the Duke baseball team on fire, the Blue Zone takes a look at some former Blue Devils making it big:
Marcus Stroman, P, Chicago Cubs
Former Duke ace Marcus Stroman has continued his impressive start to the year for the Cubs, sporting a 2.29 ERA up to this point in the season. However, Stroman had by far his worst performance of the year April 23, allowing five runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in five innings. Despite the struggles, there was a major bright spot for the right-hander that day, as Stroman reached 1,000 strikeouts for his career. Last Friday, Stroman was back to his top form, as he went 6.1 innings while allowing just two runs against the Miami Marlins. Stroman, who turned 32 Monday, is slated to start again Wednesday against the Washington Nationals.
Bryce Jarvis, P, Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate)
Bryce Jarvis has enjoyed a nice start to his third year in professional baseball. The right-hander began the year on the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double-A affiliate, but proved that his talent was enough to promote him to the next level. Jarvis sported a 3.86 ERA in Amarillo, even earning Texas League Pitcher of the Week for April 17-23. In his first two starts in Triple-A Reno, the former Duke standout has been impressive, throwing ten innings while only allowing two runs. If Jarvis keeps up that level of play, a call-up to the Diamondbacks could be in his future.
Matt Mervis, 1B/3B, Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs' Triple-A affiliate)
Matt Mervis has been steady for Iowa all year long, and this trend continued in their most recent five-game series against the Louisville Bats. In the series, Mervis had seven hits and crossed the plate seven times, while also adding six RBIs. On the year, the former Blue Devil slugger is batting .296 with a .987 OPS to go along with six homers and 27 RBIs, strengthening his case to become a full-time Chicago Cub soon.
Joey Loperfido, OF, Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros’ Double-A affiliate)
Joey Loperfido has been nothing short of spectacular so far this season in Houston’s minor league system. The former Duke stud began the year in High-A, where he hit .265 with an .827 OPS. Loperfido was called up to the Astros Double-A affiliate April 20, and he has exploded since then. Through eight games in Corpus Christi, Loperfido is hitting .438 with an 1.412 OPS and four home runs, already far surpassing his total in High-A. While it is only his second year in the pros, Loperfido is threatening for another call-up if his torrid stretch continues.
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