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The Latest for @CookmanBaseball Professional Players

Courtesy:           Release: 07/07/2014

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - It has been an exciting start to the 2014 season in the professional ranks for former Bethune-Cookman baseball players, with five Wildcats seeing action across the nation.

Grabbing the most headlines for the professional Wildcats, former catcher Peter O’Brien has been tearing up pitchers with the long ball this season. O’Brien is making a name for himself, moving to Double-A Trenton Thunder after opening the season at the High-A Tampa Yankees. On the campaign, the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida native is touting a league-leading 15 home runs (10 at Tampa), in addition to seven doubles (nine at Tampa).

Playing first base and catcher for the Thunder, O’Brien was recently selected for the MLB Futures Game, the minor league All-Star game which pits American minor league players against a world team of foreign and Puerto Rican players.

Having played third and first, in addition to serving as catcher and designated hitter in the Yankees organization, writers at The New York Times have made numerous mentions to the third-year player as a possible long-term replacement for Alex Rodriguez. He was previously named an Arizona Fall League Rising Star (2013), Organization All-Star (2013) and South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star (2013).

The first MLB Draft pick under current B-CU head coach Jason Beverlin, right-handed pitcher Rayan Gonzalez has proven solid on the mound for the High-A Modesto Nuts of the California League. Through 31 games in 2014, Gonzalez is sporting a 4-3 record with a 3.47 ERA, striking out 37 batters in 36 innings pitched.

Now in his third year in the Rockies Organization, Gonzalez logged a 2.68 ERA and 2-3 record last season with the Asheville Tourists.

The latest pair of professional alumni, 2014 draftees John Sever and Montana Durapau, have opened their careers on a hot run early this summer in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. In four games closing for Rookie affiliate Bristol Pirates, Sever holds a 0.00 ERA with one save and a .167 opposing batting average. In five games for the Short Season-A Jamestown Jammers, Durapau has a 0-0 record and 1.88 ERA, earning starts in the past two outings.

The longest-tenured of Bethune-Cookman’s active professionals, Hiram Burgos, is currently on the seven-day disabled list for the Nashville Sounds, Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, making his last appearance on April 22 versus the Omaha Storm Chasers. Last season, the fifth-year right-hander was called up mid-season and played in six games for the Brewers parent club, logging a 1-2 record in 29 innings pitched.

Through the Player Winter League this year, Burgos was named the PWL Pitcher of the Year and a Post-Season All-Star. In 2012, Burgos was named a Brewers Organization All-Star and was also the PWL Rookie of the Year in 2010.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feeds, @CookmanBaseball or @BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at BCUathletics.

To join the conversation on social media, be sure to tag your B-CU-related posts with the official hashtag of B-CU Athletics, #HailWildcats.

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