Connor Justus could very well end the season where he began it.
The Cartersville High graduate started his current minor league baseball campaign playing for the Mobile BayBears — the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. After a few months, his stellar fielding wasn't enough to overcome some lackluster hitting.
Justus suffered a demotion to Advanced-A Inland Empire. He started hitting the ball well again, slashing .290/.390/.449 across 47 games. It earned the fifth-round pick out of Georgia Tech another stint with Mobile.
Following his promotion earlier this week, Justus has seen his batting numbers drop off significantly with just one hit in six games. Still, he's likely to finish up the year with the BayBears, who wrap up the season on Sept. 3.
Elsewhere in the minors, Anthony Seigler battles through a slump as his rookie season draws to a close and Sam Howard pitches well in a no-decision.
Sam Howard (Albuquerque Isotopes, Colorado Rockies; Cartersville) — Howard started and went 5 2/3 innings last Thursday in a no-decision. He allowed a pair of earned runs on four hits without issuing a walk. He fanned four. The Isotopes eventually lost the home game 4-2 to Sacramento. For the year, Howard has a 3-6 record for Albuquerque in 18 starts and 80 innings pitched. He has a 5.06 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 29 walks. He has also been called up to join the major league affiliate Rockies on two separate occasions during the season. Howard made his lone MLB appearance back on June 10 against Arizona when he pitched one inning of relief and allowed only one hit in a scoreless frame. Albuquerque (59-67) plays at El Paso Tuesday through Thursday before hosting a four-game series with Reno Friday through next Monday.
Connor Justus (Mobile BayBears, L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville) — Justus was promoted back to the Double-A BayBears last Tuesday and has split time playing shortstop and second base while batting sixth in the Mobile order. After hitting .290 with 29 RBI and six homers in 47 games back with Inland Empire, Justus was assigned back to Mobile where he started the season. In six games last week at Biloxi, he was 1-for-17 with three walks, two runs scored and a stolen base. Through 110 games and 381 at bats this year split between Mobile and Inland Empire, Justus has a .228 batting average with 42 RBI and 24 extra-base hits. His defensive numbers have been solid all season with a fielding percentage at .947 in 266 chances and over 600 innings. Mobile (24-30, Southern League second half) is at home through Thursday to play the Mississippi Braves five times, including a Monday night doubleheader. The BayBears then travel to Pensacola for a five-game set beginning Friday.
Anthony Seigler (Pulaski Yankees, N.Y. Yankees organization; Cartersville) — Seigler saw action in three of Pulaski’s six game last week and went 1-for-9 at the plate with a pair of walks and one run scored . His hit came last Monday night in a home game against the Danville Braves. Although the switch-hitting catcher is hitting only .194 over his last 10 games, he carries a .266 batting average through his first 24 minor league games. He has one home run, three doubles, nine RBI and has walked 14 times in a dozen games in each of the Gulf Coast League (Yankees West) and the Appalachian League. Pulaski (29-29) closes out a road series at Bristol Monday night before hosting a four-game set with Princeton Tuesday through Friday. The team will then close out the 2018 season on the road at Bluefield and Elizabethton Saturday through the following Wednesday.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.