As you may recall, former Huskie Jake Hermsen became the first NIU baseball player drafted by a Major League Baseball club since 2008 on June 6th. Since then, Hermsen has made five appearances and starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie League affiliate, Ogden Raptors.
The New London, Wis., native currently owns an 0-2 record and has pitched 24.1 innings this season. However, his record on the mound is not what's turning heads thus far into his Minor League Baseball career.
In his five starts, Hermsen has only allowed 22 hits, 14 strikeouts, six walks and has only surrendered 10 runs, six of which have been earned. He is second on the team in earned run average (2.22) amongst pitchers with two or more starts (leader has 0.82 in 11 IP) and owns an impressive walks and hits per inning (WHIP) average of 1.15.
Hermsen was drafted in the 28th round by the Dodgers (866th overall) this season, becoming the first Huskie drafted since Bobby Stevens (Baltimore Oriorles, 16th round) and Trevor Feeney (Detroit Tigers, 31st round) were drafted in the 2008 MLB Draft.
Which leads to a perfect segway into the second half of this Huskies Happening.
Stevens, who appeared in NIU games from 2006-08, made his Rookie League debut in 2008 after being drafted and worked his way up through the Orioles farm system, beginning the 2012 season in Triple-A Norfolk, where he played in three games.
After being released by the Baltimore High-A club Fredrick Keys, he was signed by the Lynchburg Hillcats in the same league (Carolina) and has made 14 appearances this season for the team. At the plate he is batting .167 with a home run and five RBI, however, he is batting a combined .246 with his four combined teams during the 2012 season. In his 12 games in the outfield, he has eight putouts and three assists in 12 chances (1 error, .917 fielding percentage).