cougars in the pros

Several former Cougars continue playing in the pro ranks.

Former BYU third baseman Brandon Taylor signed last summer with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was assigned to the Great Lakes Loons (single A) farm team in Michigan.

Taylor, a shortstop, signed after his junior year at BYU with the Chicago Cubs as a 17th-round draft. The Orem native also played last summer with the St. George Roadrunners in Utah, where he batted .409 in 31 games with 52 hits and 14 homers for the Roadrunners. Taylor had been pitching for the Cubs organization.

Leon Johnson switched from an outfielder to a pitcher in his second season out of BYU, logging two July appearances with the AZL Cubs in Arizona.

Former Cougar J. D. Stambaugh had 18 appearances with a 2-5 record, one save and a 5.77 ERA with the Quad City River Bandits. Most of his work came after he transferred from GCL Cardinals to Quad Cities in July.

Former BYU All-American Wally Joyner resigned as the hitting coach last September with the San Diego Padres. He had been their hitting coach since 2007. Previously, he served as a special assistant to Padres’ General Manager Kevin Towers. Between 2003 and 2007, he also acted as a roving minor league instructor and spring training instructor.

The Oakland A’s agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Matt Carson, a former BYU freshman All-American. Carson was a non-roster invitee to the A’s major league spring training camp.

Carson joined the A’s after spending his entire minor league career in the New York Yankees’ organization. The right-handed hitting outfielder batted .295 with 10 triples and 15 homeruns in 111 games for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2008. Carson is a career .255 hitter in 720 minor league games. He was a fifth round pick of the Yankees out of BYU in 2002. Carson played this past winter in the Dominican Winter League.

current pro players
Player TEam
Stetson Banks AZL Dodgers Rookie League (Los Angeles Dodgers 22nd round)
Matt Carson Sacramento Rivercats Triple A (Oakland, 5th round draft by the N.Y. Yankees)
Stephen Parker Stockton Ports Single A (Oakland A’s 5th round)
Jeremy Toole Augusta Greenjackets Single A (San Francisco Giants 10th round)
Kent Walton Kane County Cougars, Single A (Oakland A’s, 23rd round)

KEVIN TOWERSNew York Yankees special assignment scout - 2010

Kevin Towers, a former pitcher at BYU, was the Executive Vice President/General Manager of the San Diego Padres.

He was a first-round draft choice of the Padres in 1982 and pitched in the San Diego farm system for seven seasons. He became a Padres scout in 1989, and the Director of Scouting in 1993.

Towers, 46, served as a player, coach and scout in the Padres organization on the road to being named the seventh General Manager in club history on November 17, 1995. He was promoted to Executive Vice President/General Manager in March of 2000, becoming San Diego’s longest-tenured GM at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

In his 12 seasons as General Manager, the Padres have reached the postseason four times, including the franchise’s first back-to-back NL West Championships in 2005 and 2006. The club also won the NL West title in 1996 and captured the franchise’s second NL Championship in 1998. Since Towers’ first season as General Manager in 1996, the Padres are 1,033-1,074.

Brigham Young University – Athletic Creative Services © 2009