While several Rice Baseball alums are producing at the highest level, others are working their way up the ladder. Here’s the latest on the MiLB Owls.
Jon Duplantier was productive at the major league level in 2019 with the Diamondbacks before injuries put his season on pause. He missed the shortened 2020 season and made his first minor league appearance in almost two years on May 14 for the Reno Aces, allowing five runs in two innings.
Duplantier’s teammate, Kevin McCanna, was impressive in the Constellation Energy league last season when the minor leagues were shut down. He signed with the Aces this winter but has yet to make an appearance with the team this season and is currently on the injured list. Fellow Owl Jordan Stephens, a member of the Indians’ AAA affiliate Columbus Clippers is also in the injured list waiting to make his 2021 debut.
At the plate, Tristan Gray began his 2021 season with the Durham Bulls, the Rays’ AAA affiliate. He went 1-for-4 in his first two games.
Glen Otto is two appearances into his season with the Yankees’ AA affiliate, striking out 14 batters across 11.1 innings. He tossed a scoreless six innings in his 2021 debut allowing just two runs. His second outing was a bit rockier. He surrendered 10 hits and seven runs.
Ford Proctor, the Owls’ only other AA player, has appeared in 10 games this season. A member of the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays’ affiliate), Proctor is hitting .111 but fielding at a perfect 1.000 clip.
Rice baseball has even more former players in the Low-A and High-A portions of MLB farm systems. Former second round pick Matt Canterino is off to a tremendous start to his pro career with the Twins’ affiliate Cedar Rapid Kernels. With two starts under his belt thus far, Canterino has a 1.13 ERA allowing five hits while striking out 15 in eight innings.
Canterino’s former teammate Evan Kravetz also made a strong debut, going 6.1 innings across two starts, striking out 10. He has a 1.42 ERA with the Daytona Tortugas, an Indians’ Low-A affiliate. Also representing the Owls on the mound in Single-A is Ricky Salinas. He’s made three appearances this season for the Dayton Dragons, an Indians’ High-A affiliate, and has a 4.32 ERA with 13 punchouts across 8.1 innings.
Dane Myers of the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Tigers’ Low-A affiliate, has yet to make his debut in 2021. Trei Cruz, currently playing with the Tigers’ High-A affiliate West Michigan Whitecaps, has gotten off to a slow start. He’s 1-for-13 to start his pro career.