Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Former Notre Dame Players Begin Professional Baseball Careers

July 16, 1999

Three members of Notre Dame’s 1999 baseball team — junior infielder Brant Ust (Redmond, Wash.), junior lefthander Tim Kalita (Oak Park, Ill.) and Jeff Wagner (Louisville, Ky.) — are among the 14 former Irish players who are active in professional baseball during the summer of 1999. Ust and Kalita — who were selected in the sixth and seventh round, respectively, of the Major League draft — both signed with the Detroit Tigers organization, thus bypassing their final season of eligibility with the Irish (both will return to campus for the fall semester and are close to completing their degree requirements). Wagner was a 21st-round selection of the Anaheim Angels. Here’s an All-Star break update of former Notre Dame players in professional baseball (a statistical chart follows on p. 2):

Mike Amrhein (1B … Daytona Cubs … A … Florida State League)
Hitting .251 while playing first base with Daytona, with 32 RBI, six home runs, 18 doubles and 21 walks … had solid 1998 season playing with the Cubs single-A team in Rockford (.317, 87 RBI, 9 HR, 34 2B, 30 BB)
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J.J. Brock (2B …El Paso Diablos … AA … Texas League)
Began the 1999 season in a familiar place, as second baseman for the South Bend Silverhawks, before earning promotion to AA … hitting .208 in 53 ABs with El Paso.

Craig Counsell (2B … Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers)
One of the heroes from Florida’s 1997 World Series champion team, Counsel was traded to the Dodgers on June 15 … he is hitting a combined .180 for the 1999 Major League season (in 89 ABs)
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Allen Greene (OF … Greensboro Bats … A … South-Atlantic League)
Enjoyed a solid first half of the 1999 season, as the fifth-leading hitter on the Bats (.269)
… also currently ranks second on team with 11 home runs and third with 51 RBI, plus 13 doubles and 18 walks … played with the Oneonta Yankees in 1998, hitting .252 with 39 RBI, two home runs, 11 doubles and 26 walks (Oneonta currently is a Detroit Tigers affiliate)
… drafted as a junior in 1998, in 10th round by the Yankees … is close to completing his undergraduate requirements, after returning to Notre Dame for the 1998 fall semester.

Tim Kalita (LHP … West Michigan Whitecaps … A … Midwest League)
Signed with Tigers organization shortly after being selected in seventh round of the 1999 Major League draft … quickly promoted to AA after impressive showing with the single-A Oneonta Tigers … made three appearances in Oneonta, allowing no runs, three hits and five walks while posting 15 strikeouts in 12.1 innings … won his first start with West Michigan, at home vs. South Bend (6-2)
… allowed two first-inning runs in that game before tossing five shutout innings (his game totals included six hits, two walks and four Ks)
… expected to return to Notre Dame for 1999 fall semester while working towards completion of his undergraduate requirements.

Dan Leatherman (1B … Quad City River Bandits … A … Midwest League)
Earned a spot on the River Bandits after a solid showing at the Minnesota Twins tryout camp (Quad City previously was a Houston Astros affiliate, with former Irish pitcher Brad Lidge playing for the Bandits in 1998)
… named to the Midwest League All-Star team, after hitting .262 during the first half of the 1999 season (with 26 RBI, 36 runs, two home runs, 11 doubles and 25 walks)
… played semi-pro baseball in 1998, after graduating from Notre Dame.

Brad Lidge (RHP … Kissimmee Cobras … A … Florida State League)
Delayed the start of his 1999 season due to injury … has tossed six games with the Cobras, losing both of his decisions while posting a 3.38 ERA, with 13 hits, 11 walks and 19 strikeouts in 21.1 innings … began his pro career in 1998 with the Quad City River Bandits (former single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros)
, posting a 3.27 ERA, 0-1 record and six Ks in four starts … drafted by the Astros as a junior in 1998 with the 17th pick of the first round … has neared completion of undergraduate requirements, after returning to Notre Dame for the 1998 fall semester.

Bob Lisanti (C … Iowa Cubs … AAA … International League)
Lisanti served as the bullpen catch for Iowa during the first half of the 1999 season before being put on the disabled list in early July … his limited stats included hitting .154 in 26 at-bats, with three runs scored … played single-A ball in 1998 with Rockford and Daytona

Chris Michalak (LHP … Tucson Sidewinders … AAA … Pacific Coast League)
Former Notre Dame pitcher (1990-93)
who has spent time with various professional organizations … has made 33 appearances with the Sidewinders, while posting a 4.96 ERA, 2-0 record, two saves and 42 strikeouts in 49 innings … earned a late-season promotion to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998, making five relief appearances.

Christian Parker (RHP … Harrisburg Senators … AA … Eastern League)
Entered the All-Star break with a 4.72 ERA, 4-3 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 55.1 innings … also played for the Senators in 1998 … selected as a sophomore in the 1996 draft by the Montreal Expos (fourth round)
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Scott Sollmann (OF … Huntsville Stars … AA … Southern League)
Promoted to AA after impressive showing with single-A Stockton Ports of the California League … hit .349 with the Ports, plus 61 runs scored, 33 RBI, 10 doubles, five triples, 32 stolen bases (in 45 att.)
and a .462 on-base pct. … hitting .182 with the Stars in 22 at-bats, with two runs scored, four walks and three steals … traded to the Milwaukee Brewers organization after spending previous two years as a member of the Detroit Tigers system … his 1998 stats with the single-A Lakeland Tigers included a .252 batting avg., 81 runs, 62 walks and 59 stolen bases … drafted as a junior in 1996, in 7th round by the Tigers … returned to Notre Dame for 1996 fall semester, allowing him to complete his degree requirements and graduate with his class in May of 1997

Rowan Richards (OF … Tulsa Drillers … AA … Texas League)
Has not played in 1999, due to a injury … currently on the disabled list with the Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League, the AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers … reportedly could miss the remainder of the season due to his injury … played during the 1998 season with single-A Charlotte and Tulsa … selected by the Rangers in the 1996 draft.

Brant Ust (3B … Oneonta Tigers … R … New York/Penn League)
Signed with Tigers organization shortly after being selected in sixth round of the 1999 Major League draft … his .301 batting average ranks second on the current Oneonta roster while his 17 RBI lead the current roster … also has totaled seven doubles, two home runs and eight walks … expected to return to Notre Dame for 1999 fall semester while working towards completion of his undergraduate requirements.

Jeff Wagner (DH … Butte Copper Kings … R … Pioneer League)
Played one week with Butte before reaggravating a foot injury that sidelined him for much of Notre Dame’s ’99 season … reportedly could miss remainder of season … hit .382 in 34 at-bats with Butte, plus two home runs, four doubles and 10 RBI.

                          AVG  AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR  RBI  BB  SO  SBMike Amrhein, 1BDaytona Cubs (A)           .251  283  31  71  18   1    6   32   21  48  1        J.J. Brock, 2BSouth Bend Silverhawks(A)  .221  172  19  38   8   3    1   13   12  27  2El Paso Diablos (AA)       .208   53   6  11   0   2    0    4    1  10        Craig Counsell, 2BFla. Marlins/L.A. Dodgers  .180   89   8  16   1   0    0    4    5  13    Allen Greene, OFGreensboro Bats (A)        .269  286  49  77  13   1   11    51  18  76  6    Dan Leatherman, 1BQuad City River Bandits(A) .262  233  36  61  11   0    2    26  25  27  2    Bob Lisanti, C Iowa Cubs (AAA)            .154   26   3   4   0   0    0    0    0   0  3        Scott Sollmann, OF Stockton Ports (A)         .349  249  61  87  10   5    0    33  52  38 32Huntsville Stars (AA)      .182   22   2   4   0   0    0    0    4   3  3    Rowan Richards, OF Has not played due to a knee injury (on DL for AA Tulsa Drillers)     Brant Ust, 3B Oneonta Yankees (R)        .301   93   8   28  7   0    2    17   8  20  2        Jeff Wagner, DH  (suffered season-ending foot injury on June 23)Butte Copper Kings (R)     .382   34   7   13  4   0    2    10   0   5  0
ERA W-L SV GP GS IP H BB SOTim Kalita, LHPOneonta Yankees (R) 0.00 0-0 0 3 0 12.1 3 5 15 W. Michigan Whitecaps (A) 3.00 1-0 0 1 1 6.0 6 2 4 Brad Lidge, RHP Kissimmee Cobras (A) 3.38 0-2 0 6 0 21.1 13 11 19 Chris Michalak, LHPTucson Sidewinders (AAA) 4.96 2-0 2 33 0 49.0 48 19 42
Christian Parker, RHPHarrisburg Senators (AA) 4.72 4-3 0 18 0 55.1 59 25 26