NEW YORK – As Major League Baseball approaches the All-Star Break next week, we take a look at five former Columbia ball players currently playing professionally across the nation.

Dario Pizzano, the 2012 Ivy League Player of the Year and draft pick of the Seattle Mariners that spring, began the year with the High Desert Mavericks, a Class A Advanced team in the California League. Pizzano excelled in 35 games with High Desert, racking up 16 doubles, two triples and a trio of long balls, leading to 21 RBI and a slugging mark of .486. In addition, he scored 33 times and was sporting a .275 batting average when he was promoted to the Jackson Generals of the Double-A Southern League. With Jackson, Pizzano has played in 37 games, slamming five homers, good for 25 RBI.

A 2013 draft pick of the Kansas City Royals, Alex Black has pitched in relief in 16 games this season for the Lexington Legends of the Class A South Atlantic League. In 27.2 innings of work, Black holds a 2-1 record, 5.86 ERA and 23 strikeouts. He also boasts one save for Lexington.

Black’s classmate, Tim Giel is playing for the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League as a relief pitcher. Giel, who signed with the Yankees following the 2013 amateur draft, has pitched seven innings in five appearances, holding a 0-1 record and a 6.43 ERA. He has tallied nine strikeouts thus far.

Another Columbia player earning his early stripes in the New York-Penn League is 2014 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year David Speer. Drafted in the 27th round of the amateur draft in early June by the Cleveland Indians, Speer has made four appearances for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. In seven innings on the hill, Speer has a 3.86 ERA with eight strikeouts.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers Article

For the second straight season, infielder Jon Eisen is on the diamond for the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. After playing in 55 games last summer, posting a .252 batting average and 10 RBI, Eisen has improved his mark at the plate to .281 with 36 hits in 38 games in 2014.