The road to the major leagues ran through Wenatchee for the newest Arizona Diamondback. Former AppleSox player Cole Gillespie has joined the Diamondbacks after being called up from the Triple-A Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League. Gillespie joins current Colorado Rockies starter Jason Hammel and Clay Mortensen as the third former AppleSox player to reach the major leagues.
Gillespie has made an immediate impact for the Diamondbacks. He hit a double in his first big league at-bat as a pinch hitter off of the 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner and 2009 runner-up Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“It’s neat to see a guy reach his dreams.” said AppleSox Head Coach Ed Knaggs. “When he came to Wenatchee he just finished his freshman year at Oregon State and didn’t see a lot of playing time there. He was an emerging star when he was with us who went on to have a lot of success for the Beavers. He was a great kid and a hard worker who just went about his business every day.”
Gillespie, a member of the 2004 AppleSox, capped off a successful collegiate career at Oregon State by being named the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year. He was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the third round of the 2006 MLB Draft and was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009.
During the 2004 season, he appeared in 33 games for the AppleSox and was named First Team all-league after leading the team in batting average, home runs, runs, and RBIs. He still holds the team record for most runs in a season with 36.