Former West Virginia University baseball players Jedd Gyorko and Tyler Kuhn are only a step below the major leagues as their respective 2012 professional baseball seasons move toward June.
The 23-year-old Gyorko was recently promoted by the San Diego Padres from the Class AA San Antonio to Class AAA Tucson.
Gyorko has played both second base and third base this spring. He batted .262 (34-for-149) in San Antonio before being elevated to Tucson where he was batting .300 on 9-for-30.
The 5-foot-11, 195 infielder might be helped by the recent release San Diego gave second baseman Orlando Hudson. Gyorko has raised his number of walks this season and cut down on his strikeout rate which was already very low.
Another former WVU infielder, Tyler Kuhn, has played all season with the Class AAA Charlotte team in the Chicago White Sox organization. Kuhn has played second base, third base, and left field and has been used as a designated hitter at times.
Kuhn has been playing in the minors since 2008 and is now 25 years old. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder was batting .237 (36-for-152) and had two homers.
Grant Buckner is another former WVU player now performing in the minor leagues. Buckner is also in the White Sox organization. He is at Kannapolis in the Class A South Atlantic League. Now 24, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has played third base, first base, and been the designated hitter at times for Kannapolis.
Buckner was hitting .276 (29-for-105) and had a home run.
One of the former Mountaineers playing minor league baseball in 2011 was catcher Tobias Streich. Streich played for Beloit in the Class A Midwest League last season. When Streich batted only .212 (46-for-217) in 2011 he was released after the season closed.
David Carpenter, the 26-year-old reliever now playing for the Houston Astros, has been in 14 games for the Astros. Carpenter has pitched only 15.2 innings. He has allowed 21 hits and 10 walks while fanning 14. Carpenter’s earned run average is 4.02.
He has been with the Astros all season. Carpenter was brought to the majors during the 2011 season and was with Houston when the year ended.