2013 Hillsboro Hops – Where Are They Now?
2013 Hillsboro Hops – ever wonder where the players you followed ended up? Do you know which ones ended up as a police officer or an airline pilot? How many are still active chasing their dream no matter where it led them?
The following alumni are from the complete 2013 Hillsboro Hops roster. A few have little to no information after their baseball careers. If you know of any up-to-date information, please contact me and I will include it in future revisions.
2013 Hillsboro Hops Alumni
Justin Bianco (OF)-released 3/12/2014 by the Missoula Osprey
Justin spent five days and played in three games with the Hops before transferring down to the Missoula Osprey. Today, he is the head instructor for the Bianco Training Center which is the home of the Bianco School of Baseball.
Brian Billigen (OF)-released 10/3/2013 by the Hillsboro Hops
Brian had a two year pro career spending the second year all with the Hops where he took part in 56 games. He is currently a SCFS Real Estate Account Analyst for Crown Castle in Pennsylvania.
Aaron Blair (P)-currently with the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF)
Blair was drafted by the Diamondbacks and spent three seasons in the organization before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks on 12/9/2015 in the Dansby Swanson trade. Atlanta released him on 5/31/2018. The Diamondbacks signed him as a free agent on 2/12/2020 and assigned him to the Jackson Generals. The Generals released Blair on 5/22 the following month. Aaron caught on with the West Virginia Power on 5/28/2021. The Power plays in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball which is a “partner league” of MLB. On 7/23/2021, San Francisco selected Aaron’s contract and he is now assigned to their farm team, the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels.
JR Bradley (P)-elected free agency 11/6/2017 while assigned to Jackson Generals
JR spent part of his fourth pro season with the Hops, spending his entire pro career with the Diamondbacks organization. He injured the labrum in his throwing shoulder in 2015. He stayed with the organization through 2017 working his shoulder through rehab. You can read about that time in his interview with the West Virginia Gazette. He is still listed as a free agent.
Alex Byo (P) released 10/22/2014 by the Kane County Cougars
Played for the Hops in 2013 and 2014. Since March/2019, has been the Director of Development at the LSU Foundation.
Yoimer Camacho (P) listed as active
The Hops released Yoimer back on 1/30/2014. A year later, he joined the Tigres de Aragua (Aragua Tigers) from the Leones del Caracas (Caracas Lions). Both are teams in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. He is still playing for Caracas as of the 2020-21 season (winter league). He has also played for the T&A San Marino of the Italian Baseball League (2016), Panama (2019) and the Rouen Huskies of the French Division 1 (2020).
Cesar Carrasco (3B) released 4/23/2016 by the Tri-City ValleyCats
Cesar was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Houston Astros for LHP Alex Sogard on 7/7/2014. If you have current information on this player, please contact the author of this article.
Alexander Carreras (LHP) Assigned to the Class A Batavia Muckdogs on 7/13/2014
Originally released by the Hops on 7/6/2013, the Miami Marlins signed him as a free agent in January of the following year. Last record is of being assigned to the Muckdogs. Currently listed as a free agent even though he is currently working for MLB as a pitching coach. Lives in Miami, Florida with his wife, Dayana.
William Castillo (SS) released 7/31/2013 by the Hillsboro Hops
Spent 48 days in a Hops uniform. No further information after release
Denver Chavez (2B) released 3/12/2014 by the Hillsboro Hops
Denver came to the Hops late in the 2013 season and was released before the 2014 season could start.
Ryan Doran (P) released 3/16/2016 by the Visalia Rawhide.
One day after being released, Ryan was assigned to the Minor Leagues. No further Word
Ben Eckels (P) released 6/4/2015 by the Hillsboro Hops
As of 2017, played a “short stint in the independent baseball league(s)”. Now back home (Davis, California) working with the coach of his high school and coached a U13 traveling baseball team. Played in the Northern California PGA (NCPGA) golf tournament in 2017.
Zachary Esquerra (RF) released 10/22/2014 by the Hillsboro Hops.
Blake Forslund (P) released 10/3/2013 by the Hillsboro Hops
Recently became Account Manager at McKesson Corporation in Virginia. Married with a son.
2013 Hillsboro Hops Alumni
Ryan Gebhardt (SS) 8/10/2015 by the Class A Kane County Cougars
Ten days after being released by Kane County, Ryan signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent and was immediately assigned to the High-A Rome Braves. Released 3/26/2017 by the Atlanta Braves. On 7/1/2019, Ryan became newest member of the White Lines Sports Performance Facility in Monroe, LA.
Ross Gerdeman (P) voluntarily retired 3/29/2014 from the Hillsboro Hops
Earned Master’s Degree in accounting at Bowling Green University. Became an Experienced Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers (2016-2020). Recently became a Finance/Accounting Analyst with Welltower, Inc. (Dec. 2020-present)
Daniel Gibson (P) Assigned 2/26/2021 to the Lexington Legends
Currently playing for the Lexington Legends of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (“partner league” with MLB). Released 4/30/2019 by the AA Jackson Generals of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Signed 5/22/2019 with High Point Rockers (Independent) as a free agent Traded 6/21/2019 to AAA Sugar Land Skeeters (HOU) for player to be named later. Assigned 2/26/2021 to the Lexington Legends (Independent). Most recent: activated 7/13/2021 from 7-day injured list.
Yosbel Gutierrez (C) released 10/22/2014 by the Missoula Osprey
Jose Jose (P) placed on reserve list 9/28/2021 by the Gastonia Honey Hunters
Currently plays for the Gastonia (NC) Honey Hunters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (“partner league” with MLB)
Ryan Kinsella (1B) voluntary retired list on 6/10/2014
Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance while at Elon College. After retiring from professional baseball, Ryan started working for UBS Wealth Management as a financial advisor. He is currently working for SunTrust since February, 2020 as a vice-president/Brokerage Digital Client Experience Lead in Charlotte, North Carolina.
John Leonard (SS) released 3/18/2014 by the Hillsboro Hops
Is currently Head Instructor at Bianco School of Baseball which is owned and operated by fellow 2013 Hops teammate Justin Bianco (see above)
Ty Linton (OF) released 10/3/2013 by the Hillsboro Hops
Spent four years as coach/instructor for the Showcase Baseball Academy (2014-2018). Became General Manager/Operations manager (2018-present) for Tangerine Carting in Wilmington, North Carolina. Became co-owner in March, 2021.
Will Locante (P) assigned 3/8/2017 to Mexico
Listed as active with the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas (SD) as of 2017. Became a flight instructor (3/2016-12/2017) for Harmony Air in Nashville, TN. while pursuing a baseball career with the San Diego Padres. Airline Pilot for PSA Airlines (12/2017-11/2020) and is currently a pilot for Flexjet, Inc.
2013 Hillsboro Hops Alumni
Jose Martinez (P) released 8/17/2017 by the Kane County Cougars
Baseball career was cut short by an injury. That didn’t stop Jose from picking a new career. Jose is now a police officer for Maricopa County (AZ). Click on the link for a great inspirational video interview with Jose.
Wagner Mateo (P) released 7/29/2014 from the Missoula Osprey
Randy McCurry (P) released 4/4/2017 by the AA Tennessee Smokies (ChiC)
Is currently an agent for the Midwest Land Group. Married, he lives in Caddo, Oklahoma. Passion is big game hunting.
Grant Nelson (C) released 10/22/2014 by the Kane County Cougars
While attending Saint Louis University, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies. Finished the 2014 season playing for the Low A South Bend Cubs (ChiC). After baseball, Grant became a buyer for Anheuser-Busch 2015-16 (greater St. Louis area), 2017-18 as Enterprise Sales Development Representative (2017) and Account Executive (2017-18) in the Bay area. Grant is currently working at TripActions (2019-present) as Enterprise Account Executive, also in the Bay area.
Daniel Palka (OF) assigned 5/3/2021 to the AAA Rochester Redwings (WAS)
Daniel has played for the Diamondbacks/Twins/White Sox and now Nationals organizations. Made his major league debut on 4/25/2018 playing for the White Sox. Known as a power hitter, Daniel has hit 29 home runs in 60 major league games.
Jordan Parr (OF) released 3/26/2015 by the Hillsboro Hops
After baseball, Jordan earned his certification in insurance and finance. Worked for AXA Advisors in Chillicothe, Ohio. In 2017, he joined Wells Fargo as an investment advisor. Married, he and his wife live in the Peoria, Illinois area.
Josh Parr (SS) retired 4/27/2014
Yogey Perez-Ramos (LF) released 3/18/2014 by the South Bend Silver Hawks
Austin Platt (P) released 10/22/2014 by the Hillsboro Hops
Went into coaching as a high school coach and a pitching coach.
Jonathan Pulley (P) released 1/21/2015 by the AZL Dbacks
Reported to be living in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Taylor Ratliff (CF) released 12/17/2014 by the Hillsboro Hops
George Roberts (1B) released 6/4/2014 by the Visalia Rawhide
After baseball, worked with his brother Rick at E.R.A. Baseball School. Joined the coaching staff at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown before the 2016 season. Is still listed on the coaching staff in 2021. Married with a daughter.
2013 Hillsboro Hops Alumni
Kyle Schepel (P) elected free agency 11/6/2017
After the Diamondbacks, played for the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals organizations. After the Nationals, signed with the Sioux Fall Canaries of the American Association (partner League of MLB). Elected free agency in 2019. Is currently the Regional Manager at Planet Fitness in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Jimmie Sherfy (P) placed(8/1/2021) on the 60-day injured list for right elbow inflammation
After being released (8/19/2020) by the Diamondbacks organization, signed (2/6/2021) as a free agent by the San Francisco Giants to a minor league contract. Designated for assignment by the Giants on 7/6/2021 and claimed off waivers 7/13/2021 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Is still with the Dodgers organization.
Braden Shipley (P) released 8/7/2021 by the Aceros del Norte (Mexican League)
Braden elected free agency 11/4/2019 and signed 1/13/2020 to a minor league contract by the Kansas City Royals. Released 8/31/2020 by the Royals and signed 2/20/2021 by the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent. Released 7/7/2021 by the Louisville Bats (Reds) and signed 7/21/2021 as a free agent by the Acereros del Norte. Earned Bachelor of Science through University of Phoenix, 2019-2020. Married as of 2016.
Johnny Shuttlesworth (P) released 3/17/2016 by the Visalia Rawhide
Patrick Smith (P) released 3/24/2014 by the Hillsboro Hops
After baseball, joined (6/2015-present) Dick’s Sporting Goods. Currently a Sales Lead.
Elvin Soto (C) released 5/22/2017 by the Grand Junction Rockies
Chase Stevens (P) released 10/3/2013 by the Hillsboro Hops
After baseball, he immediately became a Roofing Consultant for Coryell Roofing and Construction (2014-16), then a Commercial Roofing Consultant for Global Roofing Company (2016-17). He is currently Director of Operations for Restoration Coatings, LLC (2017-present)
Karl Triana (P) elected free agency 11/6/2017
Released 7/11/2013 from the Missoula Osprey. The native Columbian was assigned to Columbia in 2016. In addition, played for the Gary SouthShore RailCats (Independent) and pitched a no hitter. Also, he played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic in 2017 for Columbia. Signed 4/5/2017 by the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent to a minor league contract. Left the Orioles organization when he elected to become a free agent in 2017. Last played for the Quebec Nationales in 2017.
Blayne Weller (P) active
Assigned 12/2/2015 to the Mobile BayBears. Salt Lake Bees claimed 12/10/2105 Blayne off waivers. Assigned 2/27/2017 to Los Angeles. Still listed as active. Wedding scheduled for 10/10/2020 in Lompoc, CA. The couple is expecting 1/11/2022.
Meanwhile, if you have any information to add to this list, please let me know. Until then, look for 2014 out later this off-season. However, don’t forget my season wrap-ups. For instance, Home Run Heroes is out and ready to read.