Former Crawdads catcher Steve Lerud, a member of the 2005-2006 team, became the 111th former player to receive a big league callup when the Philadelphia Phillies promoted him on Friday.
He was called up when Phillies cather Brian Schneider was placed on the 15-day DL. Lerud is expected to serve as a backup catcher to current starter Eric Kratz.
Lerud was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003 out of Galena High School in Nevada. After spending time with the rookie league Gulf Coast League Pirates in 2003, and at short-season Williamsport (Pa.) in 2004, he joined the Crawdads in 2005.
He was to serve as the backup catcher to first-round pick Neil Walker, but Lerud sustained a wrist injury in April and was lost for the season. Lerud returned to Hickory in 2006, where he caught 97 games that season, which still stands as the second most games caught in a season. He was named to the South Atlantic All-Star Northern Division team that season, in which Lerud hit .239 wtih 28 doubles, 12 homers and 57 RBI. Following that season, Lerud was selected to represent the Pirates in the Hawaii Winter Baseball League.
Lerud went on to play in the Pirates system at High A- Lynchburg (2007-2008) and AA- Altoona (2008-2009). He became a free agent and signed with the Baltimore Orioles for two seasons at AAA- Norfolk and AA- Bowie.
Lerud signed a minor free agent contract with the Phillies for this season, and played this season at AA- Reading. In limited time with the R-Phils, Lerud hit .235 in 35 games.
Lerud's promotion by the numbers:
He is the 111th former player to reach the majors.
He is the 9th player to receive a first-time callup in 2012. (Matt Hague, Robbie Ross, Joe Wieland, Jordy Mercer, Justin Grimm, Todd Redmond, Bryan Morris, Martin Perez).
He is only the third former Crawdads player to play for Philadelphia (Aaron Rowand 2006-2007, Danny Sandoval 2005-2006).
He is the 12th former catcher to hit the majors (Humberto Cota, Ryan Doumit, Chris Heintz, J.R. House, Mark Johnson, Josh Paul, Ronny Paulino, Nerio Rodriguez, Chris Shelton, Chris Tremie, Neil Walker, Rico Washington.)
He is the 3rd native of Nevada to play in Hickory and go on to reach the majors. (Rocky Biddle, Joe Wieland).
He is the 6th out on 17 third round picks to reach the majors (Carlos Castillo, Josh Fogg, John Grabow. Jorder Mercer, Chris Young.
He is the 8th member of the 2005 team to make it to the majors. (Jairo Asencio, Brian Bixler, Matt Capps, David Davidson, Luis Munoz, Ramulo Sanchez, Neil Walker.
He is the 12th member of the 2006 team to make it to the majors. (Asencio, Mike Crotta, Davidson, Jared Hughes, Brent Lillibridge, Brad Lincoln, Luis Munoz, Steve Pearce, Todd Redmond, Romulo Sanchez.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.