Joe Gatto, a 26-year-old right-handed pitcher in the Texas Rangers organization, is one step away from the majors.
Gatto, a 2014 St. Augustine Prep graduate from Hammonton, was assigned to the Round Rock Express, a Triple-A West team in the Rangers organization, on Tuesday, one day after Gatto turned 26.
Through Thursday, Gatto has not appeared in a game for the Express. He began the year with the double-A Frisco RoughRiders, and his last appearance was last Sunday.
Gatto made 11 appearances for the RoughRiders, going 1-1 with a 0.98 ERA in 18 1/3 innings. He struck out 25, allowed 13 hits and walked four.
Gatto was selected in the second round of the 2014 draft by the Angels and became a free agent last Nov. 2. On Dec. 3, he signed with the Rangers.
In 133 career minor-league appearances (86 starts) through Thursday, Gatto had a 4.65 ERA in 466 2/3 innings with 391 strikeouts.
Updates on 12 other area players, with stats through Thursday:
Triple ARHP Cody Stashak (Oakcrest), playing for the St. Paul Saints, a Triple-A West team in the Minnesota Twins organization, was placed on the 10-day injured list June 8 with a back injury. It’s been an up-and-down year for Stashak, who is in his second minor-league stint of the season. He’s pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings with three strikeouts with St. Paul. With the Twins, he has a 6.89 ERA in 15 appearances. He allowed 12 runs on 16 hits and 10 walks in 15 2/3 innings, striking out 26.
The 27-year-old from Mays Landing was selected in the 13th round of the 2015 draft.
RHP Brett Kennedy (Atlantic City) is playing for the El Paso Chihuahuas, a Triple-A West team in the San Diego Padres organization. The 26-year-old from Brigantine was selected in the 11th round of the 2015 draft by the Padres.
This year, he was placed on the seven-day injured list June 7. He had made six starts this season and was 1-3 with an 11.00 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 18 innings. In his major-league career, he was 32-23 with a 3.70 ERA in 89 games, including 86 starts. He’d struck out 414 in 421 1/3 innings.
CF Matt Szczur (Lower Cape May Regional) is playing for the Memphis Redbirds, a Triple-A East team in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The 31-year-old from Cape May was selected in the fifth round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago Cubs.
Szczur played parts of five seasons in the majors, most recently with the 2018 Padres. He was a member of the Cubs’ World Series team in 2016. In 363 career major-league games, he’s hit .231 (136 for 589) with 31 doubles, three triples, 12 homers, 61 RBIs and 80 runs.
Through 26 games this season for the Redbirds, Szczur was hitting .188 (16 for 85) with a double, a triple, five homers, seven runs and 10 RBIs.
Double ALT Struble (Hammonton), is playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Double-A East team in the New York Mets organization. He was assigned from Triple-A Syracuse Mets to Brooklyn on June 8. The 24-year-old from Hammonton was selected in the 29th round of the 2019 draft by the Mets.
With three minor-league teams this season, Struble was hitting .256 (10 for 39) with three RBIs, four runs scored and four stolen bases in 16 games. For his career, he was hitting .242 (22 for 91) with two doubles, eight RBIs and eight stolen bases.
RHP Denny Brady (Buena Regional) is playing for the Rocket City Trash Pandas, a Double-A South team in the Los Angeles Angels organization. The 24-year-old from Vineland was selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft by the Angels.
Through five starts, Brady was 0-1 with a 7.04 ERA and 23 strikeouts. He’d made 48 minor-league career appearances (28 starts) with a 4.39 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 160 innings.
LHP Zach Warren (St. Augustine) is playing for the Reading Fightin Phils, a Double-A East team in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. The 25-year-old from Vineland was selected in the 14th round of the 2017 draft by the Phillies.
He had made 14 appearances this season with a 2.74 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 18 innings. In 109 career minor-league appearances, he had a 2.74 ERA with 247 strikeouts in 167 2/3 innings.
Single A (high)RHP Mike Adams (Holy Spirit) is playing for the Jersey Shore Blue Claws, a High-A East team in the Phillies organization. The 26-year-old from Egg Harbor Township was signed by the Phillies in January after he impressed scouts with his 98 mph fastball during a tryout.
Through 12 appearances for the BlueClaws, he was 1-1 with a 9.35 ERA in 8 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts.
LHP Jay Groome (Barnegat) is playing for the Greenville Drive, a High-A East team in the Boston Red Sox organization. The 22-year-old from Barnegat was drafted with the 12th overall pick by the Red Sox in 2016.
Through eight starts this year, Groome was 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA and had struck out 41 in 29 1/3 innings. In 28 career minor-league games, he was 3-13 with a 5.38 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings.
3B Buddy Kennedy (Millville) is playing for the Hillsboro Hops, a High-A West team in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. The 22-year-old from Millville was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft by the Diamondbacks.
Kennedy was on a seven-game hitting streak through Thursday, bringing his batting average up to .303 (30 for 99). He has hit five doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs in 27 games this season. In 235 minor-league games, he was batting .285 (253 for 888) with 15 homers and 119 RBIs.
Single A (low)RHP Sean Mooney (Ocean City) is playing for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, a Low-A Southeast team in the Twins’ organization. The 23-year-old from Somers Point was selected in the 12th round of the 2019 draft by the Twins.
Mooney was 0-1 with a 0.56 ERA in six games, including five starts, this year. He’d allowed just three runs, one earned, on eight hits and nine walks with 26 strikeouts in 16 innings. He had not allowed an earned run since giving up a solo homer in his pro debut May 6.
Rookie LeagueLHP Daniel Nunan (Ocean City) is with the AZL Angels, an Arizona League affiliate of Los Angeles. The 21-year-old from Egg Harbor Township was selected in the 12th round of the 2018 draft. The Angels’ season begins June 28.
LHP Jake McKenna (Ocean City) is with the GCL Phillies, a Gulf Coast League affiliate of Philadelphia. The 19-year-old from Cape May Court House signed a minor-league deal last June. The Phillies’ season begins June 28.
Contact John Russo: 609-272-7184 JRusso@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPress_Russo