The minor league baseball season ended earlier this month, and there were two former Union County standouts who were active for the 2021 season.
Josh Roeder, a former Porter Ridge High pitcher, played in his seventh season in the minors in 2021. Roeder spent the first part of his season with Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, a binational team that split its home games between Mexico and Laredo, Texas. In 16 appearances (14 starts) for the Tecolotes, Roeder was 5-2 with a 4.30 ERA across 73.1 innings.
After eventually being released by Dos Laredos, Roeder signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, a team in the Independent League. In four starts for the Blue Crabs, Roeder was 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched.
Pitcher Brennan Malone, who also played at Porter Ridge, was a first-round selection of the Diamondbacks in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Malone played briefly as a rookie, going 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA and eight strikeouts against five walks back in 2019. The right-hander missed a large chunk of time this season while dealing with an arm injury, but he ultimately returned in early August after missing nearly three months.
For the season, Malone was 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 14.0 innings while striking out 16 and walking 10. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week called Malone the "biggest disappointment" in the Pirates' minor league system.
The Post-Gazette said that Malone's season "wasn't terrible, but it was certainly less than expected out of someone who was a consensus top-10 prospect earlier this year."
According to MLB.com, Malone is the No. 21 ranked prospect in the Pirates' minor league system. The right-hander was ranked in the top 10 before this season but has seen his value slide after an up-and-down 2021.