Local baseball players who played for local Catholic schools are making their mark in the minor leagues for their respective teams.

Shortstop Royce Lewis from J. Serra High School, the number one choice in the 2017 major league draft, has an overall average of .316 (through Aug. 12) in 102 games with two affiliates of the Minnesota Twins: the Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels (through July 13) and the Class A-Plus Fort Myers Miracle (since July 14), with 12 home runs and 71 runs batted in.

On Aug. 6, Lewis went 4-for-6 with two home runs and 5 RBIs in Fort Myers’ 13-0 win over Lakeland, and is hitting .341 in August with nine multi-hit games in the 27 he has played for Fort Myers since his promotion.

Last year’s No. 2 overall selection, starting pitcher Hunter Greene, from Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, has rebounded from a slow start for the Dayton Dragons (Class A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds), While his overall won-lost record is 3-7 with a 4.48 earned run average, Greene’s ERA in the past month is a fine 1.80 (3.13 since mid-May), plus 89 strikeouts in 68 innings for the year.

Two second round draft choices from 2017, both starting pitchers, are also doing well:

Griffin Canning (Santa Margarita HS and UCLA) has moved up from Class A to the Los Angeles Angels’ top affiliate, Triple-A Salt Lake City in the Pacific Coast League, where he initially struggled, but has posted a solid 3.50 ERA in his last four starts.

Cory Abbott (Loyola Marymount University) is 7-6 with a 2.91 ERA (under 2.00 in the past month) in pitching for the Chicago Cubs’ South Bend and Myrtle Beach Class A affiliates.

Niko Decolati of LMU, the top choice (Round 6) among local Catholic school players from the 2018 MLB draft, is off to a fine start with the Grand Junction Rockies, a Rookie League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. A third baseman at LMU, Decolati is playing outfield for Grand Junction and batting .319 in 48 games with seven home runs and 39 RBIs through Aug. 12.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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