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Big-time aspirations for North Suncoast ballplayers

Former Pasco High star Dominic Brown's name was tossed around in trade talks as a key piece of a potential blockbuster trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto insisted that Brown — considered the Phillies' top minor-league prospect — be part of the deal. The Phillies turned elsewhere, seeing Brown's long-term potential. Here's a glance at some recent North Suncoast prospects and what has become of them.

Bronson Arroyo, Hernando

Position: P

Drafted: Third round (1995) by Pittsburgh Pirates

What happened: Arroyo was one of the latest major-leaguers to come clean about performance-enhancing drugs, telling the Boston Herald on Friday that he used them in 2003. Currently, he is with the Reds after playing for the Pirates and the Red Sox. Arguably his best season was with the Reds in 2006 when he pitched 2402/3 innings with 184 strikeouts for a 14-11 record as an All-Star selection. In 10 seasons, he has a career ERA of 4.39 and is 51 strikeouts from reaching 1,000.

Tyler Clippard, Mitchell

Position: P

Drafted: Ninth round (2003) by New York Yankees

What happened: Clippard burst onto the national scene in 2007, making his major-league debut at Shea Stadium on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball against the rival New York Mets with a 6-2 victory. He pitched six innings, struck out six and allowed just three hits. Clippard was traded to the Washington Nationals and has since taken a bullpen role.

Dee Brown, Hernando

Position: OF

Drafted: 10th round (2005) by Washington Nationals

What happened: After being granted a release from the Nationals' farm system, Brown currently plays for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in Canada. Brown bounced around the Nationals' farm system and reached Double A Harrisburg (Penn.) in 2007.

Jeff Baisley, Land O'Lakes

Position: 3B

Drafted: 12th round (2005) by Oakland A's

What happened: Playing for Oakland's Triple A affiliate in Sacramento, Calif., Baisley is batting .229 with 26 RBIs, 14 doubles and five home runs. He earned a September callup last year and played in 14 games, batting .256 with five doubles, an RBI and a run scored.

Brad Baisley, Land O'Lakes

Position: P

Drafted: Second round (1998) by Philadelphia Phillies

What happened: Reached Philadelphia's Double A affiliate in Reading, Penn., before a shoulder injury ended his career. He has since returned to the area.

Dominic Brown, Pasco

Position: OF

Drafted: 20th round (2006) by Philadelphia Phillies

What happened: Brown has been identified as a top prospect by the Phillies and plays for the Clearwater Threshers (Single A). Before breaking his thumb, Brown was believed to be in line for a promotion to Double-A Reading. Brown is batting .308 with 72 hits, 44 RBIs and 11 home runs.

Patrick Schuster, Mitchell

Position: P

Drafted: 13th round (2009) by Arizona Diamondbacks

What happened: Schuster became a national phenomenon as a Mitchell senior after he threw a state-record four consecutive no-hitters. Schuster signed with the University of Florida and is enrolled in classes, but has until Aug. 18 to sign with Arizona. Otherwise, he would play for the Gators and return to a later draft pool.

Izzy Gould can be reached at izzygould@gmail.com or (813) 421-3886.

Big-time aspirations for North Suncoast ballplayers 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 8:25pm]
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