LWU LANCERS IN THE PROS: INTO THE HEART OF SUMMER

As the baseball season hits its stride, a group of Lancers are currently on Minor League Baseball rosters as they continue to live out their baseball dreams. Former Longwood standouts Mark Montgomery, Michael Osinski, Kyri Washington, and Aaron Myers carry on the legacy of 14 Lancer alums who have made it to professional affiliated baseball. Throughout the summer biweekly updates in the “Lancers in the Pros” series will track the progress of Montgomery, Osinski, Washington, and Myers as they represent the Blue & White in affiliated pro ball.

Osinski, the 31st round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft, has made significant strides in barely a full year of professional baseball. Beginning his career in rookie ball with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox on June 26, 2017, Osinski has already zipped through a pair of promotions. Osinski began the 2018 season with the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League, the full-season Class A affiliate of the Red Sox.

After slashing .259/.326/.358 with 11 extra-base hits in 44 games in 2017, Osinski is hitting .295 with a .372 on-base percentage and a .395 slugging percentage in 36 games with Greenville in 2018. Osinski has picked up a pair of home runs and five doubles in his first full season of professional baseball and has already surpassed his RBI total of 14 from 2017 with 22 in 2018.

The 22-year-old third baseman was slowed by injury earlier this season as Osinski missed nearly a month with injury, sitting from April 26 until returning to the lineup May 18. Osinski was hitting .310 when he was put on the shelf, but is heading back in the right direction with a five-game hitting streak entering June 14. Osinski is hitting .361 (13-for-36) in his last 10 games with six RBI and one home run, the homer coming in the first game of a doubleheader June 13.

Osinski’s hot bat and quick advancement has the second-year pro just one level below his former teammate and a fourth-year professional in the Red Sox organization in Washington, who is currently with the Salem Red Sox. Washington, a 23-year-old outfielder and 23rd round pick by the Red Sox in 2015, has made his mark in the organization as a promising slugger. Washington earned his way to Spring Training with the Red Sox this season, cranking out a grand slam over JetBlue Park at Fenway South’s replica Green Monster for the first Red Sox home run in the exhibition season. Washington has made a pair of appearances with the Red Sox in Spring Training, also playing alongside the Big League guys in 2017.

Going into 2017 Washington was listed as one of Boston’s top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, but injury held Washington to just 18 games in his first season with Class A Advanced Salem. Washington managed four extra-base hits in his limited playing time in 2017, but got off to an explosive start in 2018 in his return from injury.

In 25 games Washington has six doubles and four home runs, smashing a trio of bombs with five RBI in a 3-for-5 game on May 4 at Potomac, which was a part of a 10-game hitting streak that ran from April 26 to May 6. Unfortunately for Washington after an 0-for-4 day at home against Winston-Salem on May 7, he was placed on the 7-day disabled list, where he’s remained for the past month.

Injury has also hampered the progress towards the bigs for Montgomery, who was off to a solid start in his first season in the Detroit system. Pitching with Triple-A Toledo, Montgomery continued to lower his career 2.34 ERA with a 1.98 ERA in 2018, striking out 17 batters in 13.2 innings before being placed on the 7-day disabled list May 29. Montgomery has not made his return from the DL as of Thursday afternoon.

The 27-year-old and 11th round pick of the New York Yankees in 2011, Montgomery is on his third organization after signing a minor league contract with St. Louis in 2017 and joining the Tigers organization in 2018. The hard-throwing right-handed relief pitcher, Montgomery has pitched as a part of runs to the Triple-A National Championship each of the past two seasons, earning a ring with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the Yankees system in 2016.

Longwood’s other standout pitcher, the man who broke Montgomery’s record for saves in a season by a Lancer, Myers has made 50 appearances in his three seasons as a professional with a 2.62 ERA and 117 career strikeouts in 103.0 innings. Myers began his career in Milwaukee’s organization after signing as a free agent in 2015 and was traded to the Orioles system in 2017, but was released by the organization in January. Myers has not signed with an affiliated club as of June 14.

Osinski, Washington, Montgomery, and Myers each showed great promise in their time at Longwood and continue to thrive as they conquer professional baseball. The quartet of Lancers in the professional ranks continue to represent their alma mater on the stage of professional baseball as they chase their ambitions toward the Major Leagues.

STORY CONTRIBUTED BY:

Darius Thigpen

Longwood University

Assistant Director of Athletic Communications for New Media

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