Friday, May 25 , 2018, 10:47 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
Baseball

Former Westmont Athletes Wrap Up Season in Minor Leagues

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Westmont Baseball alumni are finding success at the next level. The Warriors have produced nine players over the past four years that have signed professional baseball contracts – the most recent being 2017 graduate Daniel Butler.

Head coach Robert Ruiz said, “It has been a remarkable journey over the past few years being able to see so many of our players get to move on to the professional level. I truly see this as a testament to our players’ work-ethic, drive, determination, and resiliency. These opportunities have been earned, not given.”

Butler was no stranger to success at Westmont. At the end of his career he found himself to be the winningest pitcher in Westmont baseball history – with a career record of 29-5. Butler’s 2.62 career ERA is 10th best all-time. Butler signed as an undrafted free-agent with the Washington Nationals this summer.

Ruiz said this of Butler, “Daniel proved to be one of the most consistent, reliable competitors we have ever had the privilege of coaching. His competitive resilience allowed him to earn his place as the all-time wins leader in our program. It is hard to put into words how much of an impact that type of attitude can have on a team. His contributions were extraordinary and his presence will be significantly missed.”

Butler started his professional career in rookie ball, playing in the Gulf Coast League with the GCL Nationals. There he had a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings pitched. Butler was then promoted to Single-A Short Season with the Auburn Doubledays. There Butler was reunited with former teammate and Warrior alumnus Michael Rishwain.

Between the two levels, Butler finished with a record of 1-1 with one save. He had a 2.35 ERA through 15 1/3 innings pitched and 11 strikeouts to one walk.

Ruiz said, “We were very hopeful that Daniel would get this opportunity and couldn't be more excited for him. He has been through a lot as a player and it sort of feels like this validates all the time and effort he put into being his absolute best for Westmont. His humility, character, and internal drive should serve him well in his professional baseball career. It comes as no surprise to us that he is already off to such a great start.”

Rishwain was a 2016 Westmont graduate who began the season in extended spring training before being promoted to the Doubledays. There he posted a 5.11 ERA over 16 appearances and 37 innings pitched. Rishwain finished with 25 strikeouts on the year.

Fellow 2016 graduates, Sam Sheehan and Jarret Costa, are currently in the Oakland A’s organization.

Costa spent time in single-A Short Season ball with the Vermont Lake Monsters. There he appeared in 42 games – splitting time between Catcher and First Base. He finished with a .180 batting average. Costa also had two homeruns on the season, with 12 RBI’s.

Sheehan found himself with Oakland’s Single-A affiliate, the Beloit Snappers. He appeared in 29 games this season and posted an impressive 2.21 ERA. Opponents hit a low .181 against him and he finished the year with 54 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings pitched. Sheehan lead the team going a perfect six for six in save opportunities.

2015 graduates, Hector Lujan and Andrew Vasquez, are playing in the Minnesota Twins organization.

Lujan spent all season with the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels. He appeared in 42 games and posted a miniscule 1.33 ERA through 54 innings pitched. In the process, he struck out 54 batters while only walking eight. Opponents hit .215 against him on the year. He converted 17 of his 19 save opportunities and finished with a 3-1 record.

Vasquez started the year in Cedar Rapids with Lujan. He was then promoted to High-A where he played with the Fort Myers Miracle. Vasquez started the year going 30 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run. He finished his time with the Kernels with a 1.61 ERA. Vasquez continued his success after his promotion. While in Fort Myers he posted a 1.51 ERA. He finished the year with 85 strikeouts between the two teams. Opponents hit .222 against him. Vasquez has also been invited to the prestigious Arizona Fall League where he will be playing with the Surprise Saguaros this fall.

“I am incredibly grateful and excited for our alumni who have represented our program so well in the early stages of their professional careers. As a small college program, we recognize that the success these alumni continue to have directly impacts our recruiting and program development,” said Ruiz.

“We are grateful for who they are and what they have contributed and continue to contribute to Westmont Baseball. Their hard work and dedication over time has made it much easier for an aspiring Warrior to have confidence in knowing that Westmont College is a place where you can obtain a Christian education at the highest level and have a chance to realistically pursue professional baseball.”

Other than Vasquez, who is continuing his season this fall, the rest of the players have entered in to their offseason. They will report to spring training next year at the beginning of March where they will continue their pursuit up the ranks of professional baseball.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >