[Note: Want your photos and/or write-ups from Orange youth or recreational sports in featured on Orange Patch? ]
Curt Casali of New Canaan is putting together an outstanding year playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps, the single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers of the Midwest League. belted three home runs in his last ten games and now has eight for the season. Overall, the 10th round pick of the Tigers in the 2011 MLB draft is hitting .288 with 25 RBI's. He's only struck out 18 times this year while recording an on-base percentage of .402.
Casali's teammate at Vanderbilt, Jason Esposito, is still trying to find his stroke and consistency in the South Atlantic League. graduate and second-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles is hitting .233 with three home runs and 27 RBI's playing for the Del Marve Shorebirds. Esposito, who originally hails from Bethany, plays third base. Check out his stats on the Shorebirds website.
Dan Paolini of has been rock solid playing for the Clinton Lumberkings, the Seattle Mariners single-A affiliate in the Midwest League. The gritty second baseman has raised his average to .260, belting three home runs while driving in 23.
Mike Olt of is having one of the best offensive seasons among players in all of the minor-league levels. Playing for the Frisco Roughriders, the Texas Rangers' AA affiliate in the Texas League, Olt has 20 home runs and 58 RBI's, both are tops in the league. He's also hitting a robust .312.
Matt Barnes of Bethel continues to dominate hitters in his first season of professional baseball. On June 14, The 2012 first-round pick of the shut down Carolina over five innings, giving up just one run on two hits while striking out nine. For the season, the hard throwing right-hander is 7-1 with a 0.99 ERA. More impressive is the fact that he's struck out 95 hitters while walking just 12. Opponents are batting just .176 against Barnes this season.