Top 10 of 2013 – #4: Four alumni promoted to MLB

MG_EJ_MS_DW_MW_jmywk7bg_c5w9htu6The 2013 season is over, but there were plenty of memorable moments. Over the next two weeks, we will count down the Top 10 moments of the Dash era’s fifth season.

Previous Top 10 Moments:
#10: Dash clinch winning record
#9: Comeback in Delaware
#8: 17 runs in six innings
#7: Buckner sets RBIs record
#6: Attendance record on July 4
#5: Beck, Blough toss gems

Moment #4 – September 3
Four alumni promoted to big leagues

At times, cheering for a Minor League Baseball team can be frustrating. Many players advance to a higher level once they become fan favorites due to their production. However, this fandom frustration goes away whenever one of this temporary favorites jump to the highest level.

The 2013 season was a great one for Dash alumni. In early July, Josh Phegley became the 13th Dash alum to play in Major League Baseball, and he began the pipeline from Winston to the bigs. Andre Rienzo followed suit later that month.

In August, Charlie Leesman made his debut as a spot starter, while Jake Petricka joined the White Sox bullpen for the first time.

However, with respect to these four men and their incredible accomplishments, the biggest day in terms of big league promotions came the day after the Dash concluded their 2013 season. It’s one thing to see four alumni climb to baseball’s grandest stage during the course of the season. It’s much different to hear four former players moving to the big leagues on one day, which is something the White Sox strongly hinted a few days before the official transactions.

Because of Chicago’s rare rough season, the front office aimed to get some young players a taste of the Majors. Miguel Gonzalez, Erik Johnson, Marcus Semien and Daniel Webb benefited from this opportunity with a month of big league experience.

All four players flashed the potential that Winston-Salem fans witnessed over the last few years. Here are their numbers after earning promotions:

- Gonzalez: .222 (2-for-9) in 5 games
- Johnson: 3-2, 3.25 ERA, 27.2 IP, 18 K in 5 starts
- Semien: .261 (18-for-69), 2 HR, 7 RBI in 21 games
- Webb: 0-0, 3.18 ERA, 11.1 IP, 10 K in 9 appearances

The Winston-to-Chicago pipeline had never been busier than it was in 2013, and never was that fact more evident than immediately after the regular season came to an end in the minors. Four men who suited up for the Dash in either 2012 or 2013 were big leaguers. It does not get much better than that.

Only three more moments remain in our Dash Top 10. What will number three be? Find out tomorrow.

- Brian

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