RIVERSIDE --- California Baptist University currently has four players making moves on minor league rosters, with recently drafted Zach Esquerra playing alongside Patrick Smith in the Northwest League, 2011 graduate Sharif Othman earning a promotion to Double-A Jacksonville and Jon Bengard pitching for the Bristol White Sox.
Othman, who was taken in the 32nd round by the Miami Marlins, was hitting .205 with three doubles, two homers and seven RBI before earning the promotion to the Jacksonville Suns in the Double-A Southern League. The 6-0 catcher was 1 for 4 in his opening two games with the Suns this week.
Esquerra, a 24th round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks, is currently playing for the Single-A Hillsboro Hops, earning Northwest League All-Star honors in his first professional season. Esquerra is second in the league with five home runs and fourth with 26 RBI. The former NCAA Division II Player of the Year is hitting .276 and has eight doubles and three triples through 41 games with the Hops.
Smith, a free-agent signee with the Diamondbacks and Hops teammate of Esquerra, started his career in Rookie-A ball with the Missoula Osprey before being moved to Single-A Hillsboro prior to the 2013 season. Smith has made 17 appearances for the Hops, posting a 3.81 ERA, 24 strikeouts and a 1.69 WHIP through 26.0 innings pitched.
The second of CBU’s two 2013 draft selections, Bengard has made 14 appearances for Rookie-League Bristol since being drafted by the White Sox in the 30th round. The 6-4 right-hander has a 4.67 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and one save on the season.