Running down the places Brandon Hynick has played, you might start visualizing Johnny Cash's song "I've Been Everywhere."
Casper, Tri-City, Modesto, Tulsa, Colorado Springs, Charlotte, Birmingham, Carolina, Louisville. In the seven seasons since being taken in the eighth round of the 2006 Draft, Hynick has become a well-traveled man.
This season he's landed with Double-A Arkansas, his 10th Minor League club, and once more he's trying to work his way through a new organization. So far, it appears to be going pretty well.
The 28-year-old had probably his best outing of the year Tuesday, surrendering just one run on two hits without issuing a walk while striking out two in seven innings to lead Arkansas past Northwest Arkansas, 3-2.
Hynick (5-3) has been a model of consistency for the Travelers this year, throwing at least six innings in six of nine starts (and going at least five in eight of nine) while allowing more than three runs in only one of those outings. Six of his starts have yielded one-run efforts.
"Fastball command has just been working," he said. "[Tonight] I was doing pretty well locating the ball in and out, made some good pitches when I needed to. Later in the game, I threw my changeup to keep them off balance a little bit. Just throwing strikes, locating my pitches."
This season is Hynick's third turn in the Texas League. He'd previously been there twice with Tulsa, last year and in 2008. With the Drillers last season, he went 7-3 with a 2.11 ERA, striking out 51 and walking 18, in 81 innings.
Last year he returned to the Colorado organization, where he had originally been drafted, after stints in the White Sox and Reds systems. He said this season he's thankful to be getting another chance from another team to prove himself, this time from the Angels.
"I'm just happy to get another opportunity, I really enjoyed [Los Angeles'] Spring Training, they ran it very well. The people in charge know what they're doing," he noted. "I really enjoyed working with the pitching coaches, the coordinators, really everybody in the organization."
After all these years and all the different teams he's played for, Hynick is used to the process of change and mostly just interested in pitching as well as he can.
"At first [all the movement] was tough. Now it's just one of those things, you have to go with the flow," he said. "The first couple years of my career I stayed in the same spot all season. So when you're first getting moved around it's tough, tough on my family. But they're all used to it now too, they're going with the flow as I do."
With a 3.14 ERA and 35 strikeouts to just 12 walks in 57 1/3 innings, the pitching part seems to be working for now.
On Tuesday, a trio of top-10 Angels prospects accounted for the Travelers offense. Kaleb Cowart (No. 1), C.J. Cron (3) and Randal Grichuk (7) plated the team's runs.
Fourth-ranked Royals prospect Orlando Calixte doubled twice and Felipe Paulino did not figure into the decision despite holding Arkansas scoreless over five innings. The rehabbing Kansas City righty allowed two hits and two walks while striking out six.