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Four ex-Knights Shine in Big Leagues Including 31-Year Old Rookie Bobby Scales of the Cubs.

October 4, 2009

Tommy Hanson of Atlanta Leads Braves to Best Record Since 2005

Four ex-Knights Shine in Big Leagues Including 31-Year Old Rookie Bobby Scales of the Cubs.

Four ex-Knights made their Major League debuts this summer including 1997 Knights' batting champion Bobby Scales (pictured) of the Chicago Cubs.

Scales started the season in the minors with the AAA Iowa Cubs, his 11th minor league campaign.

The University of Michigan alum debuted in the bigs with Chicago on May 5th vs. 2008 NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum of San Francisco.

Bobby played in 51 games starting 8 at third base, 7 at second base and 15 in the outfield while hitting .242 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs and 15 RBI.

Three more ex-Knights would debut in June and July. 2005 West Coast League Pitcher of the Year Tommy Hanson of Atlanta made his first big league start at Turner Field on June 7th vs. Milwaukee while Bud Norris debuted in relief for Houston at Wrigley Field on July 29th and Marc Rzepczynski made his first major league start for the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on July 1st.

Riverside CC's Tommy Hanson, Atlanta's 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, went 11-4 over 21 starts and struckout 116 over 127 2/3 innings pitched while posting a 2.89 ERA.

Hanson was key to Atlanta's late playoff push as the Braves finished 86-76, its best mark since 2005.

Tommy's numbers have the pundits talking about the righty from Redlands, California as a legitimate National League Rookie of the Year candidate.

Cal Poly's Bud Norris, Hanson's 2005 summer teammate, made 11 appearances and 10 starts for the Astros going 6-3 while posting a 4.53 ERA and striking out 54 over 55 2/3 innings pitched.

Norris started the season with Round Rock where he earned the right to start for the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in the AAA All-Star Game held at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon on July 15th, which was a homecoming of sorts for the right-hander from Marin, California. Norris went 7-1 with a 1.09 ERA and 75 strikeouts (over 66 innings pitched) with the Knights when they were located in the Portland metro area.

Bud's minor league performance earned him 2009 PCL Pitcher of the Year honors.

UC Riverside's Marc Rzepczynski, who was the Knights' ace in 2006 (6-0, 2.25), posted a 3.67 ERA over 11 starts and went 2-4 while striking out 60 over 61 1/3 innings pitched. The Blue Jays are very high on Zep and shut him down in early September after he reached his allotted total innings for the season.

Six former Knights have now appeared in the Major Leagues. Mike Thurman of Oregon State pitched for the Montreal Expos and New York Yankees and Chris Stewart of Riverside CC has caught for the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

Thurman, who pitched for the Knights in 1992, is retired and scouts for the Yankees. Stewart, who earned league MVP honors for the Knights in 2001, played the entire 2009 season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees AAA affiliate.

Watch Video Highlights of Scales, Hanson, Norris and Rzepczynski.

Bobby Scales, Chicago Cubs

Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves

Bud Norris, Houston Astros

Marc Rzepczynski, Toronto Blue Jays