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2003 JETHAWKS PLAYER BIOS.

Byline: Gideon Rubin Staff Writer

PITCHERS

Name: Scott Barber

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 207

Hometown: Belton, S.C.

His story: A sixth-round draft pick from University of South Carolina in 2000 (when he was a Baseball America second-team All-American), Barber returns to Lancaster after a breakthrough year in 2002, in which he went 7-3 with a 4.25 ERA. After early-season struggles, he emerged as one of the team's most dominant pitchers by midseason, highlighted by a stretch of 30 2/3 innings in which he allowed two runs and one walk and struck out 20. He eventually earned a spot in the starting rotation and will be the team's fifth starter to start the season.

Name: Billy Biggs

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-0

Weight: 198

Hometown: Scott Depot, W.V.

His story: A 40th round draft selection from West Virginia, Biggs was impressive in his first year of pro ball last season, which included a stint at Lancaster. After starting the season at short-season Yakima (Wash.), where he was 1-2 with a 2.42 ERA and had eight saves in 20 appearances, Biggs was 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in eight appearances as a JetHawk. His collegiate career was highlighted by a nine-inning no-hitter (against Buffalo) his junior year.

Name: Jason Bulger

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-4

Weight: 212

Hometown: Snellville, Ga.

His story: A first-round draft selection in 2001 (22nd overall) out of Valdosta (Ga.) State, Baseball America called Bulger a ``bust,'' but a shoulder injury early last season contributed to a poor showing at Single-A South Bend (Ind.), where he went 4-9 with a 4.94 ERA, including a stretch in which he went 0-9 in with five no-decisions. A converted third baseman in college, Bulger lacks polish but has impressed the parent Arizona Diamondbacks with a powerful arm and great instincts.

Name: Jonathan Castellanos

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-0

Weight: 216

Hometown: Nuevo Leon, Mexico

His story: Originally signed as a nondrafted free agent out of Mexican League as an 18-year-old in 2000, Castellanos progressed nicely after losing his spot in the starting rotation at South Bend, going 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA in eight relief appearances. He was 3-10 with a 4.58 ERA as a starter. Castellanos, who's starting his fifth year in pro ball, will be pitching in high-A for the first time in his career.

Name: Lance Cormier

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-1

Weight: 192

Hometown: Lafayette, La.

His story: A fourth-round draft pick in 2002 from the University of Alabama, Cormier, who's slated to be the JetHawks' opening-day starter, has impressed the Diamondbacks with his poise and mound presence as much as with his stuff. After a shaky outing in his professional debut at Yakima, in which he allowed four runs (three earned) in one inning, he took three weeks off for his wedding and honeymoon and came back strong, going 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA at South Bend. Cormier's ability to keep his fastball down in the strike zone should make him a nice fit at hitter-friendly Lancaster.

Name: Joey Cramblitt

Age: 24

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 227

Hometown: Meridian, Miss.

His story: One of the California League's most effective relievers last season, Cramblitt returns to Lancaster for what will be at least a portion of his fourth year in A-ball. A split-finger fastball specialist, he was 3-7 with a 3.92 ERA (the staff's lowest ERA for pitchers with at least 80 innings). Also a scholar of note, Cramblitt went to a specialized high school (Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science) that had no sports teams. He earned an academic scholarship to Ole Miss, where he eventually made the school's academic Hall of Fame. He turned down a scholarship to attend law school at Ole Miss to sign with the Diamondbacks.

Name: Matt Henrie

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Height: 6-3

Weight: 200

Hometown: Jupiter, Fla.

His story: A seventh-round pick from Clemson in 2002, Henrie began his professional career in Lancaster last season but was used sparingly as a reliever after a full season of collegiate ball, which included a trip to the College World Series. Henrie appeared in 16 games as a JetHawk and was 0-1 with a 3.91 ERA. Henrie, who'll be the JetHawks' No. 2 starter, is a hard thrower with a plus curveball (above average by big-league standards), according to pitching coach Mel Stottleymyre Jr.

Name: Pete Sikaras

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

Hometown: Niles, Ill.

His story: A 13th-round draft pick in 2000 from the University of St. Francis (Ill.), Sikaras, who spent part of the 2001 season in Lancaster, is coming off a breakthrough year at South Bend, in which he went 2-4 with a 1.95 ERA in 37 appearances (all in relief) and allowed just five earned runs in his last 40 innings the last three months of the season. Sikaras is starting his fourth year of pro ball that's included stints at Double-A El Paso (Texas) and Triple-A Tucson (Ariz.). He's a strong candidate to be the JetHawks' closer.

Name: Doug Slaten

Age: 23

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 6-5

Weight: 191

Hometown: Venice

His story: A 17th-round draft pick in 2000 from Pierce College, Slaten is starting his third consecutive season as a JetHawk. He overachieved in 2001 at Lancaster, going 9-8 with a 4.79 ERA in his first full year of pro ball, highlighted by a strong finish, in which he won four consecutive starts over the final months and allowed six earned runs over 28 1/3 innings. He stumbled last season, though, going 1-6 with a 9.00 ERA before being sent to South Bend, where he had a 4.40 ERA with no decisions in seven appearances.

Name: Francisco Trejo

Age: 23

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 5-11

Weight: 150

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

His story: A free-agent signee as a 17-year-old in 1997, Trejo has been brilliant at times, but arm problems have contributed to an inconsistent career. A deceptively hard-thrower considering his slight frame - he's been clocked as high as 96 mph - Trejo was 4-10 with a 6.91 ERA last season in 28 appearances, including 14 starts. Trejo labored at the end of the season with an elbow strain that affected his command. He allowed 68 walks in 86 innings last season, 10 more than he surrendered in his previous three seasons combined in 162 1/3 innings.

Name: Justin Wechsler

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 239

Hometown: Pendleton, Ind.

His story: A fourth-round draft selection from Ball State (Ind.), Wechsler moves to the bullpen after spending his first two years as a professional almost exclusively as a starter (all but one of his 36 career appearances was in relief). He was 7-12 with a 4.01 ERA at South Bend last season, but a blister on his index finger put him on the disabled list briefly and contributed to a rough stretch, in which he was 0-6 with an 8.70 ERA in seven starts midway through the season. He'll be used mostly in long relief and as a spot starter.

Name: Carlton Wells

Age: 23

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 6-2

Weight: 212

Hometown: Tampa, Fla.

His story: A 43rd-round draft pick in 2000 out of Hillsborough (Fla.) Junior College, Wells spent most of the spring in Double-A camp, narrowly missing out on making the team. One of the JetHawks' most consistent pitchers last season, Wells went 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA in 37 appearances, including three starts. He's finished each of his three seasons of pro ball with an ERA below 4.00. He was 6-2 with a 3.50 ERA at rookie-level Missoula (Mont.) in 2000 and went 4-4 with a 2.89 ERA at South Bend in 2001. Pitching to left-handers is his ticket to the big leagues, but his change-up is nearly as effective against right-handers.

CATCHERS

Name: Mike DiRosa

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 191

Hometown: Miami, Fla.

His story: A 16th-round draft pick from the University of Miami, DiRosa played on national championship teams in 1999 and 2001. He didn't play in the 1999 College World Series but batted .333 and had two RBI in the 2001 series. DiRosa had a productive year in his first season of pro ball in 2001 at Yakima, where he batted .307 (39 for 127), but he struggled at South Bend last season, batting .220 (45 for 205) with four homers and 21 RBI.

Name: Chris Snyder

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 220

Hometown: Houston

His story: A second-round draft selection in 2002 out of the University of Houston, Snyder made an immediate impact at Lancaster just weeks after being drafted, hitting safely in 11 of his first 15 games and batting .258 (56 for 217) with nine homers and 44 RBI for the season.

INFIELDERS

Name: Erick Macha

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-1

Weight: 176

Hometown: Victoria, Tex.

His story: A 12th-round draft selection out of Texas Christian University in 2001, Macha (pronounced Ma-ha) spent all of last season in Lancaster, where he played four positions (shortstop, second base, third base and left field) and emerged as a key role player in the second half, batting .389 (14 for 36) from June 30 to Aug. 23. He struggled defensively last season, committing 23 errors in 64 games, but won back his utility job with a strong showing this spring.

Name: Kyle Nichols

Age: 25

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 223

Hometown: Southport, Fla.

His story: Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2001, Nichols comes to Lancaster with two productive years of pro ball under his belt. He batted .245 (111 for 453) with 12 homers and 72 RBI at South Bend last season and hit .278 (79 for 284) with 12 homers and 51 RBI at Yakima the previous year. A solid defensive first baseman, Nichols has combined for just 16 errors in his first two seasons.

Name: Dan Richar

Age: 18

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 165

Hometown: La Romana, Dominican Republic

His story: Formerly known as Joandry Berroa (he had to change his name due to visa violations regarding an age discrepancy), Richar showed remarkable athleticism at shortstop last season at Lancaster despite committing 26 errors in 85 games.

Name: Mayobanex Santana

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 183

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

His story: Originally signed by the Chicago White Sox as a 17-year-old free agent in 1999, Santana signed with the Diamondbacks last season and batted .307 (62 for 202) with three homers and 35 RBI at Missoula, where he was a Pioneer League All-Star honorable mention.

Name: Sergio Santos

Age: 19

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-3

Weight: 190

Hometown: Hacienda Heights

His story: A first-round draft pick in 2002 (27th overall) out of Mater Dei High of Santa Ana, Santos showed why the Diamondbacks believe he has such a high ceiling. In his professional debut last season at Missoula, he batted .272 (55 for 202) with nine homers and 37 RBI. He struggled defensively, committing 28 errors in 54 games, and Diamondbacks farm director Tommy Jones said he could ultimately be moved to first or third base. Nevertheless, Jones said the organization will allow him to develop at his own pace, noting that Derek Jeter committed more than 50 errors when he was in A-ball.

Name: Jeff Stanek

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Height: 6-3

Weight: 200

Hometown: Lockport, Ill.

His story: A 20th-round draft selection out of the University of Southern Illinois in 2002, Stanek, who'll be Lancaster's starting first baseman, might just be starting his first full year of pro ball, but he's a remarkably polished hitter for his experience level, hitting coach Damon Mashore said. Stanek batted .306 (71 for 232) with nine homers and 51 RBI at Missoula last season.

Name: Dan Uggla

Age: 23

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 194

Hometown: Columbia, Tenn.

His story: A collegiate standout, Uggla was an 11th-round draft selection out of the University of Memphis in 2001, when he was tabbed a collegiate All-American by Baseball America, Baseball Weekly and Collegiate Baseball, and was a Dick Howser Trophy Player of the Year Award semifinalist. He was a Northwest League all-star second baseman in 2001 at Yakima, where he batted .277 (77 for 278) with five homers and 40 RBI. However, struggled last season in stints at Lancaster, where he batted .228 (42 for 184)and South Bend, where he batted .199 (34 for 171). He's now being developed as a third baseman and will start at his new position in Lancaster.

OUTFIELDERS

Name: Jay Garthwaite

Age: 22

Throws: Right

Bats: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 205

Hometown: Edmonds, Wash.

His story: A 14th-round draft selection out of the University of Washingtonin 2002, Garthwaite batted .364 (4 for 11) with one homer and three RBI in a brief stint at Lancaster at the end of the season. Among the team's most significant power threats, Garthwaite hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in an NCAA Regional playoff game against Rice last season.

Name: Jaime Jones

Age: 26

Throws: Right

Bats: Left

Height: 6-3

Weight: 190

Hometown: Temecula

His story: A first-round draft selection by the Florida Marlins in 1995,Jones is attempting a comeback after being out of baseball for nearly two years. A sequence of injuries contributed to a career that's been admittedly frustrating for him. Jones was a Baseball America High School All-American in 1994 and 1995, and a USA Today Baseball Weekly All-American in 1995. If he has a breakthrough year, JetHawks fans could witness the minor league's feel-good story of the year.

Name: Josh Kroeger

Age: 20

Throws: Left

Bats: Left

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

Hometown: San Diego

His story: A fourth-round selection out of Scripps Ranch High of San Diego in 2000, Kroeger remains one of the Diamondbacks' most highly regarded prospects despite an unproductive season in Lancaster in 2002, when he batted .235 (117 for 497) with seven homers and 58 RBI. A Rawlings third-team High School All-American in 2000, Kroeger is a standout all-around athlete, and the Diamondbacks believe he has tremendous power potential even though he's hit just 14 career homers in 1,011 career at-bats over a three-year career.

Name: Marland Williams

Age: 21

Throws: Right

Bats: Right (being developed as a switch-hitter)

Height: 5-9

Weight: 175

Hometown: Williston, Fla.

His story: The organization's fastest base runner according to Baseball America, Williams, a 36th-round draft pick in 2001 out of North Florida Community College (Madison, Fla.), didn't sign with the Diamondbacks until last season. A third-team junior college All-American last season, Williams stole 51 bases in 58 attempts last season in his first year of pro ball at Yakima.

CAPTION(S):

25 photos

Photo:

(1) Scott Barber

(2) Billy Biggs

(3) Jason Bulger

(4) Jonathan Castellanos

(5) Lance Cormier

(6) Joey Cramblitt

(7) Matt Henrie

(8) Pete Sikaras

(9) Doug Slaten

(10) Francisco Trejo

(11) Justin Wechsler

(12) Carlton Wells

(13) Mike DiRosa

(14) Chris Snyder

(15) Erick Macha

(16) Kyle Nichols

(17) Dan Richar

(18) Mayobanex Santana

(19) Jeff Stanek

(20) Sergio Santos

(21) Dan Uggla

(22) Jay Garthwaite

(23) Jaime Jones

(24) Josh Kroeger

(25) Marland Williams
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Article Details
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 3, 2003
Words:2597
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