O'FALLON, Mo. -- With just a few short weeks until Major League rosters expand with September call-ups, several former River City Rascals players could be in the mix to achieve their ultimate goal of reaching the big leagues. Former Rascals pitchers Hector Hernandez, Austin Warner and Ben Bracewell are all currently in AAA, while former outfielder Jimmy Kerrigan is in AA, having spent time in AAA this season as well.
Hernandez, who pitched in O'Fallon during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, was signed by the Cleveland Indians this past offseason. After putting up tremendous numbers for the (A+) Lynchburg Hillcats, the native Puerto Rican was called-up to the (AAA) Columbus Clippers on August 2nd. He has made two appearances with the Clippers, and struck out 50 hitters with only 15 walks over 44 2/3 innings with the Hillcats, making four starts and 14 total appearances.
Warner pitched parts of the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Rascals, before being signed by the St. Louis Cardinals organization in June of 2017. He has been with the (AAA) Memphis Redbirds since late June, after starting the season with the (AA) Springfield Cardinals. In eight starts with the Redbirds, the lefty has 43 strikeouts over 43 innings with 21 walks. He made 14 starts with Springfield, striking out 88 over 82 1/3 innings with only 25 walks.
Bracewell only made four starts for the Rascals, in 2014, but has slowly worked his way to the top of the Oakland Athletics system after being picked up by them early that season. He has spent the last three seasons going back-and-forth between the (AA) Midland RockHounds and two AAA affiliates--the Nashville Sounds in 2017-18 and Las Vegas Aviators this season. After making the transition to the bullpen this year, he has struck out 60 hitters over 63 innings with Las Vegas, making 36 appearances, including a start. He has also registerd a 3.37 ERA.
Kerrigan played 62 games for the Rascals in 2017 before being signed by the Minnesota Twins in July of that season. Currently with the (AA) Pensacola Blue Wahoos, in 20 games with the (AAA) Rochester Red Wings this year he hit .260 with six homers and 13 RBIs. He has hit seven home runs and driven in 26 runs over 60 games with Pensacola.
The Rascals have had four players reach baseball's highest level in their 21-year history--pitchers Josh Kinney, Joe Thatcher and Brandon Cunniff, as well as outfielder Justin Christian.