From the CPL
In 2011, the Coastal Plain League featured eight former players that debuted in Major League Baseball. On Wednesday, April 25, the CPL saw its first alum of the 2012 season debut in J.J. Hoover of the Cincinnati Reds.
The 6-3, 230-pound Hoover, who played for the Wilson Tobs in 2007, pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief for the Reds in their 4-2 win over San Francisco. He gave up a leadoff walk, but retired the next batter, and then got Giants pitcher Barry Zito to hit into a double play.
Interestingly enough, Hoover got the call up to join the Reds after another CPL major league alum, Bill Bray, had been put on the 15-day disabled list. Bray, a former Asheboro Copperhead pitcher, debuted back in 2006 with the Washington Nationals. With his debut, Hoover is now the 49th former CPL alum to turn major leaguer, and the seventh former Tobs alum to do so.
Taken in the 10th round of the 2008 Major League Draft out of Calhoun Community College, Hoover started his professional career in Danville. In 2009, he started out in Single-A Rome before being promoted to Advanced-A Myrtle Beach. In 2010, Hoover went 11-6 with 3.26 ERA for the Pelicans before joining Double-A Mississippi later that year. With the Mississippi Braves between 2010 and 2011, he went 5-6 with 120 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings. Later in 2011, he was promoted again to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he went 1-1 with a save and 3.37 ERA.
To start the 2012 season off, Hoover found himself traded from Atlanta to Cincinnati for third baseman Juan Francisco. Before being called up to join the big league club, Hoover had a 2.00 ERA with four saves through eight games with the Louisville Bats. In nine innings pitched, he walked only six, while racking up 17 strikeouts.
During the 2007 summer, Hoover made 20 appearances in relief, finishing with a 4.87 ERA and 1-3 record. He also earned two saves. In 40 2/3 innings of work, Hoover walked 11 and struck out an impressive 54.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 16th season in 2012, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 930 alumni drafted and 49 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at http://www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at http://www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as cpleague).