Former Washington State baseball pitchers Ian Hamilton and Damon Jones have been named to 60-man summer camp player pools for the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively.
They join former Cougars Adam Conley (2009-11) and Nick Tanielu (2013-14), who are suiting up with the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros.
Hamilton, a right-handed reliever, played for the Cougars from 2014-16. He was taken by Chicago in the 11th round, and has since appeared for eight different teams, including 10 games with the big-league club in 2018 — he went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in eight innings, fanning five and allowing four runs.
Hamilton impressed at spring training this year, going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, 46 punch-outs, three holds and a save in 44 innings.
He tossed a shaky 16 1/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte last season before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury. In four minor-league seasons, he’s 8-11 with a 3.24 ERA in 172 1/3 innings. He’s fanned 185 against 147 hits and 50 walks.
At Wazzu, the Vancouver, Wash., product was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection, a second-team All-American in 2016 and a freshman All-American pick. He went 5-16, but registered a 3.60 ERA, struck out 123 against 60 walks, and set the school record in single-season saves with 15 as a freshman. Hamilton was a top-100 pro prospect, according to Baseball America.
Jones, a 6-foot-5 starting southpaw from Twin Falls, was snatched up after his junior year by Philadelphia in the 18th round of the 2017 draft. In two years, he made the climb to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, splitting his time last season between Triple-A, Double-A and Advanced-A levels.
He’s 17-13 in three years in the minors, and boasts a 3.34 ERA in 253 2/3 frames, with 313 strikeouts against 202 hits and 129 walks. He strikes out 11 batters per nine innings.
Jones pitched three innings of no-hit ball in two games at spring training.
As a Coug, Jones started 22 of 33 games he appeared in, going 5-5 with a 4.87 ERA and striking out 68. The College of Southern Idaho transfer picked off a Pac-12-best six runners as a junior, and only permitted four runs in his final eight games in Pullman.
Conley, having pitched five big-league seasons in Miami, is the most experienced of the bunch. He’s logged a 25-30 record and a .455 ERA in 174 games (56 starts). Conley has struck out 358 batters against 172 walks.
The 6-3 southpaw from Redmond, Wash. — who was drafted by the Marlins in the second round in 2011 — went 12-12 with a 3.88 ERA in 70 games (25 starts) across three years in Pullman, and was All-Pac-10 in 2010. He recorded 13 saves and punched out 156 against 60 walks.
The Cougars qualified for the NCAA postseason in back-to-back years (2009, ’10) during his time at Wazzu.
Tanielu, a 14th-round pick to Houston in 2014, played in 127 games last season for Triple-A Round Rock as an infielder, batting .295 with a .360 on-base percentage in 503 plate appearances. He was one of the Express’ most productive hitters, driving home 84 runs. Tanielu tallied 39 doubles and 19 dingers.
In his six seasons of developmental play, Tanielu has bounced around to nearly every level. He’s played 568 games since his days at WSU, and his batting average has consistently floated near .300. He hit .190 in the spring.
Spring training is set to restart Wednesday, and the regular season July 24 — teams will trim their rosters down to 30 by then, with up to three on practice squads that must include one catcher.