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Around the Minors: Several District 9 and District 10 Alums off to Strong Starts

Cole Peterson, playing for Lakeland in 2019. Photo courtesy

After a year hiatus, the minor league baseball season is back in full swing in 2021.

There are several District 9 and District 10 alums who are making an impact throughout all levels of the minors.

Below is a quick look at how they are faring so far this season.

Cole Peterson (Johnsonburg, Class AAA Toledo, Detroit Tigers): The 25-year old shortstop is slashing .241/.323/.386 for the Tigers’ top affiliate in 83 at-bats. In his most recent game against Louisville on Sunday, he was 1-for-2 with a double, walk and two RBIs. Known for his glove, he has a .987 fielding percentage this season and has committed just one error.

Chris Vallimont (Mercyhurst Prep, Class AA Wichita, Minnesota Twins): The 24-year old Vallimont has made six appearances, all starts for Wichita this season, putting up some impressive strikeout numbers in the process. In 23 ⅓ innings pitched, he has 39 strikeouts to go along with his 4.56 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.

John Matthews (Punxsutawney, Low-Class A Down East, Texas Rangers): Playing for the Rangers’ Low-Class A affiliate, Matthews has put up strong numbers so far this season. Pitching out of the bullpen, he has compiled a 2.19 ERA in eight appearances. In 12 ⅓ innings pitched he has allowed just six hits walking three and striking out 10. His WHIP is also an impressive 0.73.

Isaac Mattson (Harbor Creek, Class AAA Norfolk, Baltimore Orioles): Mattson made his major league debut for the Orioles earlier this season, giving up one run in ⅔ of an inning in his only appearance before being sent back to Norfolk. With the Tides this season, he has allowed seven runs in 7 ⅓ innings with seven strikeouts and 15 hits allowed.

JJ Bleday (Titusville, Class AA Pensacola, Miami Marlins): The No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Bleday spent his freshman season at Titusville before transferring to Florida. It’s been a bit of a struggle so far this season for Bleday, as he is slashing .201/.314/..373 in 134 at-bats. He has picked up the pace significantly in June, however, slashing .306/.370/.612 with four home runs and nine RBIs.

Ryan Sloniger (Punxsutawney, Low-Class A Dunedin, Toronto Blue Jays): Playing for the Blue Jays’ low-Class A affiliate the former Punxsy star is slashing .141/.321./.281. The catcher has slugged a pair of home runs and hits three doubles in 64 at-bats.

NOTE: Joe Beimel, the 44-year old St. Marys native, agreed to a minor-league deal with the San Diego Padres last week. He will report to their Class AA San Antonio.

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