HORNETS IN THE PROS
Mitch Lively (2004-07)
RHP, Fresno Grizzlies (AAA)
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, 16th Round
Mitch Lively will begin his seventh season of professional baseball and fifth in the San Francisco Giants. He will start the year with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.
In his first season with the Grizzlies (2012), Lively appeared in 47 games and finished the year with a 2.99 ERA while holding opponents to a .220 batting average. During spring training, he was called upon in seven games with the big league club where he pitched 8.0 innings and allowed only three runs (3.38 ERA) and six hits (.214 opponent average).
Lively played the 2010 season with both Low Single-A Augusta and Double-A Richmond where he posted a 3.90 ERA in 32.1 innings while tallying a 2-4 record. He recorded 25 strikeouts and three saves.
He began the 2009 season with the San Jose Giants and, after a brief stint in Low-A Augusta, he was called up to Double-A, where Lively posted a 3-0 record with a 0.70 ERA, striking out 18 batters in 25.2 innings, while also recording one save.
Lively was signed mid-season by the San Francisco Giants in 2008. He was called up from the Giants rookie club in Arizona to the Single-A Augusta Greenjackets of the South Atlantic League in August, and posted a 1-0 record with a 1.42 ERA, allowing two earned runs in 10 appearances. Prior to being picked up by the Giants, Lively was the closer for the independent San Angelo Colts of United League Baseball, posting four saves in 11 appearances.
The Susanville, Calif., native was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 16th round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft.
As a junior, Lively was Sacramento State's main closer, totaling eight saves in 25 appearances. His eight saves, four against WAC competiton, ties for fourth in the Hornet single season record book. Lively also made 61 appearances in his three seasons with Sacramento State, a mark that ties for sixth in program history.
He also was a member of the school's football team where he earned honorable mention all-Big Sky honors as a punter.
Gabe Jacobo (2006-08)
1B, Dunedin Blue Jays
Drafted by Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 10th Round
The first of three Hornet players selected in the 2008 draft, Gabe Jacobo began his minor league career with the Orem Owlz of the rookie Pioneer League by hitting a home run in his first at bat.
Orginally drafted as a third baseman, Jacobo has played first since being acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays prior to 2012. In his first season with the Blue Jays organization, he played at three different levels and had success every where he went. Jacobo ended the season at Double-A New Hampshire where batted .330 with two home runs in 25 games.
Jacobo started the 2011 season with the Double-A Texas League Arkansas Travelers after earning a spring training invite with the Angels.
Prior to the 2011 season, Jacobo was rated the No. 17 overall prospect in the Angels organization by Baseball America and selected as the organization's minor league defensive player of the year.
In 2010, Jacobo hit .296 with 82 runs, 22 home runs and 107 RBIs in 133 games with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League in High Single-A.
He was called up to the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League midway through the season, where he played in 2009.
In 2008, he hit .327 for Orem in 36 games, hitting seven home runs and driving in 32 RBI. Jacobo continued his hot hitting in Iowa, hitting .320 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 34 games for Cedar Rapids. His second season in Cedar Rapids in 2009 saw Jacobo hit .257 with 10 home runs and nine triples, while driving in 72 runs in 118 contests.
Jacobo, the 319th overall selection by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, posted a .362 career average in three years in the Green and Gold, including a career-best .379 mark in 2008. The Tulare, Calif. native started 116 career games - including 56 games in 2007 and all 58 of the Hornets’ contests in 2008. He ranks fourth in Hornet history in career home runs with 29, while ranking fourth in career RBI with 111. His career batting average ranks eighth in school history, while he ranks fifth in career hits with 170.
During the 2008 season, Jacobo showed his versatility, starting 31 games in left field, 25 games at first base and two games at designated hitter. His 66 RBI rank as the second best single-season mark in school history, while his 15 home runs rank as the seventh most prolific mark in a season in the Hornet record book. He became just the third Hornet in the Division I era to post three home runs in a single game, after hitting round-trippers in each of his first three at bats at Louisiana Tech on April 3. He posted a .997 fielding percentage on the season, committing just one error, while stealing seven bases in 10 chances.
Jacobo was a preseason Brooks Wallace Watch candidate for National Player of the Year, as well as a preseason all-conference selection by Baseball America. He earned second team all-Western Athletic Conference honors as a utility player, his first career postseason award. Prior to the draft, he was ranked the 175th best draft eligible prospect by Baseball America.
After spending the 2007 summer season with the Anchorage Bucs, Jacobo was named to the Alaska Baseball League all-star team after hitting .286 with a team leading five home runs and 38 RBI while playing third base, the position in which he was drafted. He was ranked the fourth best prospect in the ABL in 2007 by Baseball America.
Tim Wheeler (2007-09)
OF, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Drafted by Colorado Rockies, First Round
Tim Wheeler will start the year in Triple-A for the second consecutive year, playing for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the Colorado Rockies system. Wheeler was one of the more dominant minor league players in 2011, hitting 33 home runs and batting .287 with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. Last season, he broke his hamate bone which affected his power numbers (two HRs) but still managed to hit .303 in 92 games. Wheeler, who was a first-round pick of the Rockies in 2009, is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the team's minors by MLB.com entering 2013.
Tim Wheeler begins his third season of professional baseball with the Tulsa Drillers of the Double-A Texas League. He was named Texas League Player of the Week on May 9 after hitting .524 with five doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs from May 2-8.
Prior to the 2011 season, Wheeler was given a spring training invite to join the big league club in the Cactus League. Wheeler was named the Rockies' top outfield arm by Baseball America.
In 2010, Wheeler hit .249 in 129 games with Modesto. He posted 88 runs, 12 home runs and 63 RBIs in 510 at-bats.
Wheeler was the first of a pair of Hornets selected in the 2009 MLB Draft, after being selected in the first round with the 32nd pick by the Rockies.
Wheeler became the program's highest draft pick is history, as no Hornet had ever been taken prior to round four. He began his professional career with the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Class-A Short-Season Northwest League, where he hit .256 with five homers and 35 RBI in 68 contests, while stealing 10 bases.
Wheeler, a native of Sacramento, became the school’s first two-time first team all-Western Athletic Conference selection in 2009. The centerfielder hit .385 on the season with 18 home runs and 72 runs batted in, setting the school’s single season RBI record in the process. He also broke the school’s all-time RBI mark in just three seasons, boasting 142 in his career. Wheeler hit .457 on the season with runners in scoring position, and .451 with runners on base, while amassing 15 stolen bases and five outfield assists. Wheeler ranked in the top 30 nationally in six categories, with his highest ranking coming in RBI.
For his efforts, Wheeler was named All-American by four different publications, which included second team honors from both Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association. He was the first player to earn All-American honors for the Hornets since Harvey Hargrove earned third team honors in 1997.
A product of El Camino HS, Wheeler was a third team preseason All-American by Baseball America after being named to the Cape Cod League All-Star team in the summer of 2008. He was named team MVP for the Orleans Cardinals in the league after leading his team in hits and leading the league in stolen bases.
As a sophomore in 2008, Wheeler hit .330 with three home runs, 43 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. He tied for the longest hitting streak in the WAC on the season, hitting safely in 20 consecutive games while posting 17 multi-hit games. In 2007 as a freshman, Wheeler hit .310 with six home runs, improving his average to .352 inside of WAC play.
Derrick Chung (2009-12)
IF, Dunedin Blue Jays
Drafted by Toronto Blue Jays, 31st Round
Derrick Chung will play his first full professional season in 2013. Chung was selected in the 31st round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and played a short season with the Vancouver Canadians.
During his time at Sacramento State, Chung made 72 career starts at short before going down with an injury early in his junior year. After recieving a medical redshirt for the 2010 season, Chung was asked to move to catcher due to a lack of depth on the roster and shined in his new role.
He tallied the best season of career in 2012 as a senior. He was second on the team and third in the Western Athletic Conference with a .340 batting average to go with 14 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 31 RBIs and a .401 on-base percentage. He led the team with seven stolen bases in 10 attempts. He was a first team all-WAC selection following the season.
His outstanding senior season was recognized nationally as Chung was named a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, making him one of the top-12 catchers in the NCAA.