Former Irish standout Trey Mancini was named the Topps/MILB Player of the Year for the New York-Penn League in the summer of 2013.

Irish Update From Around Professional Baseball

Dec. 3, 2013

In looking around the professional baseball ranks, it would be hard to miss some of the impressive 2013 performances by former University of Notre Dame standouts. Four players competed at the Major League level while 11 others were busy cutting their teeth in the minors between Class A and AA.

At the MLB level, 2011 NL saves leader John Axford (2002-03) started the season with the Milwaukee Brewers only to be traded to the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals Aug. 30. Axford was definitely the benefactor of the trade, as he became the 18th player in Notre Dame history to play in a World Series, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing no hits and one walk while striking out five.

Elsewhere, Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija (2004-06) finished second in the NL in games started (33), fourth in strikeouts (214) and fifth in innings pitched (213.2) while also earning Co-NL Pitcher of the Week honors Aug. 26 after going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA.

Also pitching for the Irish in the majors in 2013 were New York Yankees starter David Phelps (2006-08) and Colorado Rockies reliever Jeff Manship (2005-06).

Among position players, former Irish standout A.J. Pollock (2007-09) roamed center field for the Arizona Diamondbacks as he played in 137 games and produced 119 hits, eight home runs, 38 RBI, 28 doubles and 64 runs scored. Pollock finished 15th in the NL with five triples.

In three games this season Pollock went toe-to-toe with a fellow Domer. Samardzija faced off against Pollock four times, three times June 1 and once July 24. In the earlier contest, Pollock opened with a single before striking out on three pitches and flying out in two pitches later in the game. The one at-bat in the second encounter saw Pollock pop a single into center field after six pitches. Axford and Pollock only did battle once, with Axford inducing a fly out on two pitches July 12.

In the minors, 2013 Irish standouts and newly drafted rookies Trey Mancini (2011-13) and Eric Jagielo (2011-13) starred for their respective squads in the New York-Penn League.

Playing for the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Baltimore Orioles), Mancini led the squad to a division title and appearance in the playoffs by setting team records in average (.328) and hits (84). In the NYP league, the Winter Haven, Fla., native finished second in average and hits and tied for third in runs (43), sixth in doubles (18) and 10th in RBI (35). For his efforts, Mancini was named a league all-star, the team MVP and the Topps/MILB Player of the Year for the New York-Penn League.

Jagielo, meanwhile, turned in quite a season of his own as he was named an all-star for the Staten Island Yankees (New York Yankees) after finishing third in the league in OPS (.827) and seventh in OBP (.376) and slugging (.451). Jagielo was also named the NYP Player of the Week Aug. 19 after hitting a walk off homer against the Tri-City ValleyCats.

Elsewhere in the minors, 2013 captain Charlie Markson turned in a solid season for the Helena Brewers as he hit .288 with 51 hits, 21 RBI and 35 runs scored to help lead the Brewers to within one victory of a Pioneer League Championship.

Other news and notes from all 14 of Notre Dame’s pro players are below.

2013 MLB Players

#34 John Axford – RHP – St. Louis Cardinals

Player Page

  • Played in World Series for St. Louis Cardinals – Pitched 2.1 innings, allowing no hits and one walk while striking out five
  • 4th in NL in appearances (75)
  • 13th in NL in holds (19)
  • Went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 12 appearances in June

2013 Season Stats

7-7, 4.02 ERA, 75 G, 0 GS, 0 CG 0 SHO, 0 SV, 7 SVO, 65.0 IP, 73 H, 32 R, 29 ER, 10 HR, 2 HB, 26 BB, 3 IBB, 65 SO, .285 AVG, 1.52 WHIP, 1.12 GO/AO

#50 – Jeff Manship – RHP – Colorado Rockies

Player Page

2013 Season Stats

0-5, 7.04 ERA, 11 G, 4 GS, 0 SV, 0 SVO, 30.2 IP, 37 H, 25 R, 24 ER, 6 HR, 12 BB, 18 SO, .298 AVG, 1.60 WHIP

#41 David Phelps – RHP – New York Yankees

Player Page

  • Started 11 games in May and June, going 4-4 with a 4.98 ERA
  • Picked up win after going 6.0 innings and allowing only an infield single and four walks while striking out seven against Cleveland (June 4)
  • Gave up a run and struck out eight in seven innings to earn win over Toronto (May 18)

2013 Season Stats

6-5, 4.98 ERA, 22 G, 12 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1 SVO, 86.2 IP, 88 H, 48 ER, 8 HR, 5 HB, 35 BB, 1 IBB, 79 SO, .265 AVG, 1.42 WHIP, 0.98 GO/AO

#11 A.J. Pollock – CF – Arizona Diamondbacks

Player Page

  • 15th in NL in triples (5)
  • Started off 2013 season with 21 hits, nine doubles, three homers and 10 RBI in April
  • Closed season by producing 25 hits and nine walks while hitting .352 in September

2013 Season Stats

137 GP, 443 AB, 64 R, 119 H, 28 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 33 BB, 82 SO, 12 SB, 3 CS, .269 AVG, .322 OBP, .409 SLG, .730 OPS

#29 – Jeff Samardzija – RHP – Chicago Cubs

Player Page

  • NL Player of the Week – 8/26/13
  • 2nd in NL in games started (33)
  • 4th in NL in strikeouts (214)
  • 4th in NL in shutouts (1)
  • 5th in NL in innings pitched (213.2)
  • 5th in NL in complete games (2)

2013 Season Stats

8-13, 4.34 ERA, 33 G, 33 GS, 2 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 0 SVO, 213.2 IP, 210 H, 109 R, 103 ER, 25 HR, 8 HB, 78 BB, 3 IBB, 214 SO, .255 AVG, 1.35 WHIP, 1.30 GO/AO

2013 Minor League Players

Brian Dupra

#16/RHP/Potomac Nationals/A Advanced/Carolina League/Nationals

2013 Stats

Joe Hudson

#18/C/Dayton Dragons/A/Midwest League/Reds

2013 Stats

Will Hudgins (Retired Following Season)

#36/RHP/Auburn Doubledays/A Short-Season/New York-Penn League/Nationals

2013 Stats

Cole Johnson

#20/RHP/New Britain Rock Cats/AA/Eastern League/Twins

2013 Stats

Eric Jagielo

#14/3B/Staten Island Yankees/A Short-Season/New York-Penn League/Yankees

2013 Stats

Trey Mancini

#51/1B/Aberdeen IronBirds/A Short-Season/New York-Penn League/Orioles

2013 Stats

Video – Record-Setting Hit

Charlie Markson

#8/OF/Helena Brewers/Rookie/Pioneer League/Brewers

2013 Stats

Steve Sabatino

#29/LHP/Peoria Chiefs/A/Midwest League/Cardinals

2013 Stats

Matt Scioscia

#30/DH/Burlington Bees/A/Midwest League/Angels

2013 Stats

Dan Slania

#40/RHP/Salem-Keizer Volcanoes/A Short-Season/Northwest League/Giants

2013 Stats

Joe Spano

#21/LHP/Vancouver Canadians/A Short-Season/Northwest League/Blue Jays

2013 Stats

— Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director