Locals In MiLB: 28 Beehive Locals Join Minor League Teams For 2024

Apr 10, 2024, 5:01 PM

BYU Baseball - Miller Park...

Miller Park, home venue for BYU Baseball. (BYU Photo)

(BYU Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – The BYU Cougars’ nine minor leaguers dominate the list of local athletes with a big league debut in the distance as they prepare for the 2024 season.

From Cache to Washington Counties and everywhere between, 28 local athletes litter minor-league baseball rosters at the pro level.

RELATED: Locals In MLB: Former Ute Leading Trio Of Locals In Big Leagues

BYU Cougars (9)

Jackson Cluff | Infielder

Triple-A Rochester Red Wings – (Washington Nationals)

The 27-year-old middle infielder helped turn three double plays while going 0-2 at the plate in his first Triple-A experience.

The 5’11 Cluff played two seasons at BYU (2016 & 2019), appearing in 96 games. He hit .313 as a Cougar, driving in 66 runs and hitting four long balls. Cluff hit .325 and stole 12 bases in his final season in Provo.

The Washington Nationals selected Cluff in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB draft. The versatile infielder had been stuck at Double-A Harrisburg since 2021.

2024 Stats: 1 Game | 0-2 |

2023 Stats: 86 games | .207 BA | 51 Hits | 7 HR | 27 RBI | 54 BB | 85 K

Daniel Schneemann | Infielder/Outfielder

Triple-A Columbus Clippers – (Cleveland Guardians)

After hitting .317 with two homers and eight runs knocked in for the Guardians during the springs, Schneemann was assigned to Triple-A Columbus, where he played 114 games in 2023. The athletic infielder has scored a run in four of seven April games, including hitting a home run against Omaha on April 4.

The lefthanded-hitting Schneemann was drafted by the Cleveland Guardians in the 33rd round of the 2018 MLB draft after three seasons with BYU. The San Diego native hit .288 with 76 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and 21 doubles as a Cougar. His best year came as a sophomore in 2017 when he hit .317 with 13 doubles, two home runs, and 38 runs knocked in while stealing ten bags.

2024 Stats: 8 games | .286 | 6 Hits | HR | 5 RBI | 10 BB | 3 K

2023 Stats: 114 games | .267 | 112 Hits | 13 HR | 30 2B | 60 RBI | 59 BB | 100 K

Justin Sterner | Pitcher

Triple-A Durham Bulls – (Tampa Bay Rays)

Once an undrafted free agent, Sterner appeared in six spring training games, allowing one run in 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts and a save.

Following the spring, Tampa Bay assigned Sterner to Triple-A Durham, where he threw six scoreless innings in three appearances.

Through three years in Provo, the 6’1 righthander went 8-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 games (17 starts). He finished his Cougar career with 103 strikeouts in 100.2 innings, including 71 Ks in 71 innings during the 2019 season when he went 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 6 IP | 7 Ks | 0 BB | 0.500 WHIP

2023 Stats: 6-1 | 5.27 ERA | 54.2 IP | 71 Ks | 21 BB | 1.39 WHIP

Ryan Brady | Pitcher | Park City HS

Double-A Arkansas Naturals – (Kansas City Royals)

Brady made one appearance for the Royals during the spring, surrendering two hits and a run while recording one out. He has made two appearances for the Naturals, giving up four hits and two runs in two innings.

Brady signed as an undrafted free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2022 after going 4-3 in 73.2 innings across three seasons at BYU. The righthander was used sparingly in his first two seasons with the Cougars before throwing 60.1 innings with a 3.73 ERA with a 4-3 record in 2022.

Brady was traded to the Kansas City Royals in a four-prospect swap in December 2023.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 9.00 ERA | 2 IP | 3 Ks | 0 BB | 2.00 WHIP

2023 Stats: 4-4 | 2.69 ERA | 77 IP | 72 Ks | 19 BB | 1.13 WHIP

Austin Deming | Infielder | Snow Canyon HS

High-A Asheville Tourists – (Houston Astros)

Deming, the 2018 Utah Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year, played 35 games as a freshman for the Cougars in 2019. He would play 173 games at BYU, finishing with 28 home runs, 128 RBIs, and a .292 batting average. As a senior, Deming exploded for 19 home runs and 68 RBI, besting his previous career-highs of seven bombs and 33 runs batted in.

The Houston Astros selected Deming in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB draft. In his first taste of professional baseball, he struggled to a .159 batting average in 27 games at High-A Asheville.

2024 Stats:  .250 | RBI | .750 OPS | 4 ABs

2023 Stats: .159 BA | 14 Hits | 3 RBI | 14 BB | 34 K

Andrew Pintar | Utility | Spanish Fork HS

High-A Hillsboro Hops – (Arizona Diamondbacks)

The 6’2 righty is hitting .333 with a double and six walks against only two strikeouts in four games for the Hops.

A second baseman, shortstop, and centerfielder in three seasons (2020-22) with BYU, Pintar hit .298 as a Cougar with nine long balls and 46 RBI. His best statistical season came as a sophomore in 2021, when he finished with nine home runs and 32 RBIs while hitting .333.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected the 6’2 Pintar in the fifth round of the 2022 MLB draft, the highest Cougar draft pick in a decade. He hit .241 in 37 games at High-A Hillsboro last season.

2024 Stats: 4 games | .333 |5 Hits | 2B | RBI | 6 BB | 3 K

2023 High- A Stats: .241 BA | 34 Hits | 2 HR | 14 RBI | 11 BB | 36 K

Cy Nielson | Pitcher | Spanish Fork HS

High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers – (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Nielson has made two appearances out of the Bullpen for Pittsburgh’s High-A Grasshoppers. He went two innings, working around a hit and two walks without giving up a run against Galveston. His second appearance was a scoreless inning with one hit allowed.

Picked in the 40th round of the 2019 MLB draft by the now-Cleveland Guardians, Nielson chose to attend BYU rather than sign a pro contract with Cleveland. In three seasons in Provo, the righthander went 6-6 with a 5.20 ERA in 88.1 innings. In 2022, Nielson appeared in 28 games out of the Cougars bullpen, finishing with a 5.08 ERA in 33.2 innings while striking out 45 and walking seven.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Nielson in the eighth round of the 2022 MLB draft. In 2023, the right-handed reliever threw 46.2 innings across 39 appearances for High-A Hillsboro.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 3 IP | 3 Ks | 2 BB | 1.33 WHIP

2023 Stats: 4-5 | 4.44 ERA | 46.2 IP | 53 K | 21 BB | 1.414 WHIP

Nate Dahle | Pitcher | Bear River HS

High-A Bowling Green Hot Rods – (Tampa Bay Rays)

Dahle tossed a perfect 1.1 innings in his lone appearance of 2024.

The 6’6 right-hander played one season at BYU after starting his collegiate career at the College of Southern Idaho. As a junior in 2022, Dahle put himself on MLB scouts’ radars when he made 25 appearances, finishing with a 2.74 ERA and 2-4 record. The Bear River product struck out 61 batters while walking 11 in his lone season with the Cougars.

The Tampa Bay Rays selected Dahle in the 13th round of the 2022 MLB draft. He finished last season with High-A Bowling Green, throwing 38.1 innings with a 2.82 ERA.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 1.1 IP | 1 K | 0 BB | 0.00 WHIP

2023 High-A Stats: 0-2 | 2.82 ERA | 38.1 IP | 42 Ks | 10 BB | 0.94 WHIP

Cooper McKeehan | Pitcher

High-A Quad Cities River Bandits – (Kansas City Royals)

The lefthanded McKeehan has made two appearances with High-A Quad Cities and given up runs both times. McKeehan had a rough outing on April 9 when he retired just one batter and walked three before giving up four runs.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan native played three seasons at BYU after joining the Cougars in 2020. McKeehan went 2-1 as a junior with a sterling 1.57 ERA in 23 appearances. He went 5-3 as a Cougar, finishing with a 3.56 ERA in 55.2 innings.

McKeehan was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 16th round of the 2022 MLB draft. He finished 2023 at High-A Quad Cities, where he struggled to a 2-2 record and 8.78 ERA in 13.1 innings.

2024 Stats: 0-1 | 33.75 ERA | 1.1 IP | 3 Ks | 3 BB | 3.75 WHIP

2023 Stats: 10-3  | 2.70 ERA | 63.1 IP | 67 K | 22 BB | 1.074 WHIP

Utah Utes (2)

Blake Whiting | Pitcher | Salt Lake Bruins

Single-A Carolina Mudcats – Milwaukee Brewers

The 6’2 righthander pitched around two hits, giving up an unearned run and striking out a batter in his only appearance of 2024.

Listed at 6’2 and 180 pounds, the righthander appeared in 41 games (one start) across two seasons (2022-23) for the Utes. Whiting finished his Utah career with a 6.08 ERA in 63.2 innings while striking out 73 and walking 27 batters.

The Milwaukee Brewers signed Whiting as a free agent following the 2023 MLB draft.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 1 SV | 0.00 ERA | 1 IP | 1 K | 0 BB | 2.00 WHIP

2023 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 3 IP | 5 K | 0.000 WHIP

Zac McCleve | Pitcher

Rookie League – Tampa Bay Ray

McCleve was placed on the 60-day injured list by the Florida Complex League Rays on March 24, 2024.

2024 Stats: N/A

2023 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 3 IP | 5 K | 0.00 WHIP

Utah Valley Wolverines (2)

Casey Anderson | Pitcher

Single-A Visalia Rawhide – (Arizona Diamondbacks)

The righthander opened the 2024 season on the 7-day injured list.

In one season at Utah Valley, the 6’4 Anderson appeared in 15 games (8 starts). He finished 2023 with a 4-1 record and a 3.39 ERA in 69 innings.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Anderson in the 11th round of the 2023 MLB draft. After signing, Anderson threw 8.2 innings at Single-A Visalia, struggling to a 10.38 ERA against professional hitters.

2024 Stats: N/A

2023 Stats: 10.38 ERA | 1-2 | 8.2 IP | 8 K | 7 BB | 2.423 WHIP

Paxton Schultz | Pitcher

Triple-A Buffalo Bisons – (Toronto Blue Jays)

The 6’3 righty is 0-0 with a 6.35 ERA in three appearances (one start) for the Bisons. In his only start, Schultz gave up four hits and an earned run in 2.1 innings against Rochester.

Shultz appeared in 46 games (30 starts) over three seasons (2017-19) for Utah Valley, finishing his career with a 3-17 record and 4.61 ERA in 209 innings. As a junior in 2019, Schultz threw a career-high 99.1 innings in 15 starts. He ended the year with a 4.08 ERA and struck out 207 batters while walking 78.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 6.35 ERA | 5.2 IP | 8 Ks | 2 BB | 1.94 WHIP

2023 Stats: 10.38 ERA | 1-2 | 8.2 IP | 8 K | 7 BB | 2.423 WHIP

Utah Tech Trailblazers (4)

Jayden Murray | Pitcher

Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys – (Houston Astros)

Murray opened his fifth season of minor league baseball on the 7-day injured list.

Across two seasons (2018-19), Murray threw 148 innings for the Trailblazers, finishing his college career with a 13-8 record and 4.38 ERA. The 6’1 righty went 10-3 in 2019 with a 3.78 ERA.

The Tampa Bay Rays selected Murray in the 23rd round of the 2019 MLB draft. Murray reached Triple-A Sugar Land in his second season with the Astros organization.

2024 Stats: N/A

2023 Stats: 8.27 ERA | 2-4 | 41.1 IP | 42 K | 32 BB | 2.177 WHIP

Logan Porter | Catcher

Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers – Kansas City Royals

Porter’s MLB debut came in 2023 when the former Trailblazer hit .194 with a homer and three runs knocked in in 31 September at-bats. The Royals invited Porter back to spring training this year, where he hit .191 (4-21) with an RBI, three walks, and six strikeouts. The 28-year-old was assigned to the Royals Triple-A affiliate Omaha Storm Chasers.

In two seasons at Utah Tech (2017-18), Porter slashed .347/.483/.581 in 104 games. He hit ten home runs and had a career-high 72 RBI as a freshman in 2017.

2024 Stats: 7 games | .333 BA | 8 Hits | 2 HR | 6 RBI | BB | 7 K

2023 Stats: 110 games | .232 BA | 88 Hits | 13 HR | 48 RBI | 60 BB | 113 K

Dylan File | Pitcher

Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles – Arizona Diamondbacks

The righty from Lake Havasu, Arizona, and a lifelong Diamondbacks fan signed with the club during the offseason and was assigned to Double-A Amarillo. He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA for the Sod Poodles this season.

File pitched for the Doosan Bears of the KBO League during the 2023 season. The Bears released him after experiencing elbow problems in June. File gave up nine runs in nine innings with the Bears.

In three seasons with the Trailblazers (2015-17), File went 20-4 with a 3.12 ERA across 245 innings. In 2017, he went 8-2 with two shutouts in 14 starts. He finished the year with a 3.58 ERA and struck out 75 while walking 37.

File was a 21st-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2017 MLB draft.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 4.50 ERA | 4 IP | 3 Ks | BB | 1.25 WHIP

2023 Stats: 0-1 | 8.00 ERA | 9 IP | 2 Ks | 5 BB | 1.67 WHIP

Kaden Hollow | Catcher

ACL – San Diego Padres

Hollow is currently in the Arizona Complex League with the Padres.

In three seasons (2020-22) with Utah Tech, the lefthanded-hitting catcher batted .317 with 18 home runs and 86 RBI. Hollow followed up a First-Team All-WAC performance as a freshman with a better 2022 season. As a sophomore, Hollow hit .327 with 11 doubles, nine homers, and 39 runs knocked in.

Hollow signed with the San Diego Padres as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2022.

2024 Stats: N/A

2023 Stats: 16 games | .314 BA | 11 Hits | HR | 6 RBI | 11 BB | 9 K

Salt Lake Bruins (2)

Joe Barlow | Pitcher | Riverton HS

Charlotte Knights – Chicago White Sox

The start to Barlow’s season has been delayed after shoulder soreness prevented the righthander from throwing a single inning in his first spring training with the White Sox. Following the spring, Barlow was sent to Triple-A Charlotte, where he was placed on the 60-day injured list.

Originally a catcher at Salt Lake Community College, Barlow’s right arm proved too valuable to stay behind the plate, prompting a position change to pitching. The Riverton High School product went 3-3 with a 2.12 ERA in 2016, striking out 51 batters in 46.2 innings to get on the radar of MLB scouts.

The Texas Rangers took Barlow in the 11th round of the 2016 draft. Barlow made his MLB debut in 2021 with the Rangers. He signed with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent after electing free agency following the 2023 season.

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

Eddy Alvarez | Utility

Triple-A Worcester Red Sox – Boston Red Sox

Alvarez went to spring training with Boston, seeing action in 12 games. He finished the spring with four singles, four walks, and a stolen base. The 34-year-old infielder is hitting .222 in 18 at-bats with one homer, four RBI, and a stolen base for the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate.

The 33-year-old former Olympic speed skater is one of three Americans to win a Winter and Summer Olympics medal. In 2014, Alvarez won a silver medal in Sochi’s 5,000-meter speed skating relay. In 2016, Alvarez was the U.S. flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo before winning a silver medal as part of the U.S. baseball team.

Alvarez split 2023 between the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox Triple-A franchises, playing 64 games and hitting .283. Alvarez made his MLB debut for the Miami Marlins on August 5, 2020.

2024 Stats: 6 games | .222 BA | HR | 4 RBI | SB

2023 Stats: .283 BA | 7 HR | 31 RBI | 17 SB

Utah Prep Athletes (9)

Brayden Taylor | SS/3B | Copper Hills HS

High-A Bowling Green Hot Rods – (Tampa Bay Rays)

The lefthanded-hitting Taylor has appeared in three games at High-A this season, hitting .300 in ten at-bats.

Taylor committed to Texas Christian University (TCU) after graduating from Copper Hills High School in 2020. In three years with the Horned Frogs, Taylor turned himself into a first-round pick by launching 48 home runs, including 23 long balls as a junior. Taylor hit .315 for TCU in 184 career games.

The Tampa Bay Rays selected Taylor with the 19th pick of the first round in the 2023 MLB draft. After being drafted, Taylor played 25 minor league games, hitting .242 with five home runs and 15 RBIs.

2024 Stats: 3 games | .300 | 3 Hits | 2B | RBI | 5 BB | 2 K | 3 SB

2023 Stats: .242 BA | 25 games | 5 HR | 15 RBI

Payton Henry | Catcher | Pleasant Grove HS

Triple-A Buffalo Bisons – (Toronto Blue Jays)

Henry has played in six games with the Bisons this year, clubbing one homer and driving in six runs.

In 2023, Henry returned to the organization that drafted him after spending two seasons with the Miami Marlins. Henry appeared in 20 games for the Marlins over two seasons, hitting .143 with one extra-base hit and four RBI.

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Henry out of Pleasant Grove HS in the sixth round of the 2016 MLB draft. Henry made his MLB debut for the Brewers on September 17, 2021.

2024 Stats: 6 games | .227 BA | 5 Hits | HR | 6 RBI | 4 BB | 4 K

2023 Stats: .294 BA | 9 HR | 35 RBI

Seth Corry | Pitcher | Lone Peak HS

High-A Eugene Emeralds – (San Francisco Giants)

Corry walked a batter and struck out one in his only appearance of 2024.

A 6’2 lefthanded reliever, Corry has yet to advance beyond High-A after the San Francisco Giants selected him out of Lone Peak HS in the third round of the 2017 MLB draft.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 1 IP | 1 K | 1 BB | 1.00 WHIP

2023 Stats: 5.03 ERA | 0-2 | 5.03 ERA | 34 IP | 18 K | 8 BB

Joey Dixon | Pitcher | Bingham HS

Rookie Complex League – (Houston Astros)

Dixon remains with the Astros Florida Complex League team to begin the 2024 season.

The former Bingham Miner played for the Stanford Cardinal for three years (2021-23), making 71 appearances (25 starts). He finished his Stanford career with a 4.18 ERA in 183 innings, striking out 150 batters and walking 81.

The Houston Astros selected Dixon in the seventh round of the 2023 MLB draft. After being drafted, Dixon threw one inning for the Astros’ rookie league team in Florida.

2024 Stats: N/A

2023 Stats: 1 IP | 0 Runs | 1 Hit

Ky Bush | Pitcher | Fremont HS

Double-A Birmingham Barons – (Chicago White Sox)

Bush made one appearance in spring for the White Sox, tossing two innings of three-hit ball without allowing a run and striking out two. He was assigned to the Barons but has yet to make his 2024 debut.

The 6’6 lefty experienced enough success at Double-A Rocket City in 2022 to be selected to play in the MLB Futures Game at Dodger Stadium during All-Star weekend. Despite the opportunity, Bush has seen his ERA slowly climb over the past two seasons.

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

The Los Angeles Angels selected Bush out of Fremont High School in the second round of the 2021 MLB draft. Bush was traded to the Chicago White Sox organization at the July trade deadline in 2023. He finished the season at Double-A Birmingham.

2024 Stats: N/A

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

Drew Thorpe | Pitcher | Desert Hills HS

Double-A Birmingham Barons – (Chicago White Sox)

Ranked the No. 58 overall prospect by Baseball America coming into the season, Thorpe has battled through a pair of trades since December, landing with the Chicago White Sox Double-A club.

Thorpe was dealt to the White Sox amid a spring that saw him finish with a 7.45 ERA in 9.2 innings (two starts). The right-hander gave up 13 hits, struck out eight, and walked four before being assigned to the Barons.

RELATED: Drew Thorpe Traded For Second Time In Three Months

Thorpe was stellar in his lone start with Birmingham, throwing five shutout innings while striking out eight to get the win.

The 6’4 righthanded Thorpe has found his name on MLB prospect lists since being drafted by New York in 2022.

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. He split the 2023 season pitching between High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset for the Yankees.

2024 Stats: 1-0 | 0.00 ERA | 5 IP | 8 Ks | BB | 0.60 WHIP

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

Wil Jensen | Pitcher | Cottonwood HS

Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels – (San Francisco Giants)

Jensen has appeared in two games for the Flying Squirrels, giving up three hits and an earned run. In five innings, the former Pepperdine Wave has struck out six and walked three.

The 6’4 righty pitched at Pepperdine for four seasons after graduating from Cottonwood HS. Jensen finished his Pepperdine career with a 10-9 record and a 3.03 ERA across 160.1 innings.

The Oakland Athletics selected Jensen in the 28th round of the 2019 MLB draft. Jensen was 7-0 last season, finishing with a 2.53 ERA in 34 appearances (4 starts) for Double-A Richmond.

2024 Stats: 0-1 | 1.80 ERA | 5 IP | 6 Ks | 3 BB | 1.20 WHIP

2023 Stats: 2.53 ERA | 7-0 | 89 IP | 93 K | 41 BB | 1.303 WHIP

Porter Hodge | Pitcher | Cottonwood HS

Double-A Tennessee Smokies – (Chicago Cubs)

The righty made six appearances for the Cubs’ big league squad in the spring before being sent back to minor league camp. He finished the spring with a 4.50 ERA, giving up three earned runs in six innings while striking out nine.

Hodge was nearly spotless in his lone appearance with the Smokies, striking out four and walking one in two innings of work.

Listed at 6’4 and 230 pounds, the right-handed Hodge was a two-time state champ as a Cottonwood Colt. He played at the varsity level for four seasons, finishing with a 1.50 ERA in 130.2 innings across 30 games.

The Chicago Cubs selected Hodge in the 13th round of the 2019 MLB draft out of Cottonwood HS. Hodge advanced to Double-A Tennessee in 2023, finishing with a 6-7 record and a 5.13 ERA in 80.2 innings.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 2 IP | 4 Ks | 1 BB | 0.50 WHIP

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

Ross Dunn | Pitcher | Cottonwood HS

Single-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels – (Minnesota Twins)

The former Arizona State Sun Devil at the Single-A level, striking out six batters in four innings.

Another Cottonwood Colt makes the list in 6’3 lefthanded pitcher Ross Dunn. Dunn went 6-10 with a 4.29 ERA in three college seasons. He pitched for the Florida State Seminoles (2021-22) before transferring to Arizona State for his junior season.

The Minnesota Twins selected Dunn in the tenth round of the 2023 MLB draft.

2024 Stats: 0-0 | 2.25 ERA | 4 IP | 6 Ks | 3 BB | 1.50 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.

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Locals In MiLB: 28 Beehive Locals Join Minor League Teams For 2024