Locals In MLB: Following Nine Former Beehive State Stars In Big League Camps

Feb 26, 2024, 2:38 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm

spring training sloan park...

MESA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 20: The Chicago Cubs run on the agility field during a spring training workout at Sloan Park on February 20, 2024 in Mesa, Arizona.

SALT LAKE CITY – Spring training is a new beginning. A proving ground for young players looking to catch the eye of a big-league coach or scout in hopes of finding their name on the Opening Day roster.

A quick look across the Beehive state, and you’ll find nine players in Major League camps that hope to earn a coveted 26-man roster spot on Opening Day.

RELATED: Seven Cougars, Six Utes Headline Utahns In Pro Baseball

BYU Cougars

Michael Rucker | Pitcher

MLB – Philadelphia Phillies

Rucker spent the past three seasons pitching out of the Chicago Cubs bullpen but was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after being designated for assignment by the Cubs during the offseason.

Rucker has yet to make his Phillies Spring Training debut. The first-year Phillies pitcher did have a chance to participate in live BP against Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber.

RELATED: Former BYU Hurler Traded To Phillies

2023 Stats: 2-1 | 4.91 ERA | 40.1 IP | 40 Ks | 19 BB | 1.438 WHIP

Career Stats: 3 Yrs | 96 appearances | 5-2 | 4.91 ERA | 123.1 IP | 120 Ks | 50 BB | 1.39 WHIP

Utah Utes (3)

Porter Hodge | Pitcher | Cottonwood HS

Double-A Tennessee – (Chicago Cubs)

He made his first spring appearance, closing out the Cubs’ 8-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. Hodge allowed one hit and one walk and struck out one in one inning of work.


Hodge was added to Chicago’s 40-man roster during the offseason.

2023 Stats: 6-7 | 5.13 ERA | 80.2 IP | 103 K | 49 BB | 1.401 WHIP

Oliver Dunn | 2B

Double-A – (Milwaukee Brewers)

Dunn opened spring training by hitting an RBI triple against the San Diego Padres. He is 1-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in two games this spring.

2023 Stats: .271 BA | 113 Hits | 21 HR | 78 RBI | 16 SB | 139 K | 82 BB

Tanner Banks | Pitcher | Salt Lake Bruins/Riverton HS

MLB – (Chicago White Sox)

The Chicago White Sox selected the 6’1 lefthander in the 18th round of the 2014 draft. Banks made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2022. Banks is still waiting to make his 2024 spring training debut.

Career Stats: 2 Yrs | 67 Games | 3-4 | 3.79 ERA | 114 IP | 51 K | 34 BB | 1.23 WHIP

Other Utah Colleges (2)

Logan Porter | Catcher | Utah Tech Trailblazers

MLB – Kansas City Royals

Porter is a non-roster invitee in Major League camp with the Royals this spring. He has yet to appear in a spring training game.

2023 Stats: 11 games | .194 BA | 6 hits | HR | 3 RBI

Joe Barlow | Pitcher | Salt Lake Bruins/Riverton HS

MLB – Chicago White Sox

Barlow signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent following the 2023 season. He made his first appearance of the spring in the White Sox 8-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday, February 23. He walked one batter in one inning of work.

2023 Stats: 1-1 | 4.66 ERA | 9.2 IP | 6Ks | 1.55 WHIP

Career Stats: 3 Yrs | 79 Games | 4-4 | 3.05 ERA | 73.2 IP | 61 K | 27 BB | 1.0 WHIP

Utah Prep Athletes (3)

Ky Bush | Pitcher | Fremont HS

Double-A Birmingham – (Chicago White Sox)

Bush was traded to the Chicago White Sox organization at the July trade deadline in 2023, finishing the season at Double-A Birmingham. The left-hander is in camp as a non-roster invitee but has yet to make his 2024 spring debut.

RELATED: Former Fremont Pitcher Takes Center Stage At MLB Futures Game

2023 Stats: 6.91 ERA | 4-8 | 17 games | 71.2 IP | 78 K | 37 BB | 1.647 WHIP

Payton Henry | Catcher | Pleasant Grove HS

Triple-A Buffalo – (Toronto Blue Jays)

The right-handed hitting Henry is in major league camp with the Blue Jays as a non-roster invitee. He is 2-2 this spring with a run scored and an RBI in his lone appearance.

2023 Stats: .294 BA | 9 HR | 35 RBI

Drew Thorpe | Pitcher | Desert Hills HS

TBD – (San Diego Padres)

A 2023 second-round pick of the New York Yankees, Thorpe was one of five players sent to the San Diego Padres in a trade return for star outfielder Juan Soto.

Thorpe is in major league camp with the Padres as a non-roster invitee. He made his Padres debut against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, February 25, striking out one in one inning work.

2023 Stats: 2.52 ERA | 14-2 | 139.1 IP | 182 K | 38 BB | 0.983 WHIP

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

KSL Sports coverage of Locals in MLB can be found here.

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Locals In MLB: Following Nine Former Beehive State Stars In Big League Camps