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Getting to CHS Field

From Position Player to Pitcher, Saints Sign Former Fifth Round Draft Pick Jeff Malm

ST. PAUL, MN July 13, 2017

After six seasons as a position player in the Tampa Bay Rays organization Jeff Malm signed with the Angels organization and was converted into a pitcher and continued that path with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  The left-hander showed incredible improvement from year one to year two.  The St. Paul Saints signed Malm in hopes that his third season as a pitcher will be his best yet.

 

          The 26-year-old Malm began 2016 in the Dodgers organization at High-A Rancho Cucamonga and was impressive in just his second full season on the mound.  With the Quakes Malm went 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA and three saves in 22 relief appearances.  In a league known for offense, Malm tossed 28.2 innings while walking seven and striking out 40 as opponents hit .270 against him.  He did not give up a run in 15 of his 22 relief appearances and did not allow an earned run over his final nine appearances (12.1 IP) with the Quakes from June 18-July 19.  His incredible numbers got him promoted to Double-A Tulsa on July 21 and he was equally as impressive going 1-1 with a 2.79 ERA and one save in 17 relief appearances.  In 19.1 innings pitched he walked six and struck out 17 while opponents hit .257 against him.  He did not allow a run in 14 of 17 appearances including 10 in a row (11.2 IP) from August 5-September 2.  He had a 1.50 ERA before giving up three runs in 1.1 innings of relief in his last appearance of the season.

 

          In 2015 Malm signed as a free agent with the Angels and they converted him into a pitcher, an area he excelled at while in high school with powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.  In his first season as a pitcher at Low-A Orem, Malm went 5-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 15 games (six starts).  In 53.0 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 42 while opponents hit .315 against him.  As a reliever he was 4-0 with a 4.33 ERA in nine appearances.

 

          Malm was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft by the Rays out of Bishop Gorman High School as a position player.  In his third season Malm became an All-Star at Low-A Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League.  He hit .257 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI in 73 games.  In 249 at bats he scored 36 runs, had 15 doubles, a .382 on base percentage and .462 slugging percentage.  He led the league in home runs, home runs/at bat ratio (1/20.75), fielding percentage among first baseman (.993), games at first base (70) and double plays at first base (68), second in games played and tied for second in RBI.  He was named Batter of the Week for the week of July 4-11, a week in which he had four home runs and 10 RBI.  He had a season high 12-game hitting streak from June 25-July 6 and reached base safely in 18 straight games from June 23-July 11.

 

          Malm repeated his All-Star performance in 2012 at Single-A Bowling Green (Midwest League) where he hit .263 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI in 128 games.  In 464 at bats he scored 67 runs, smashed 36 doubles, three triples, a .356 on base percentage and a .438 slugging percentage.  He finished tied for second in the league in doubles and fourth in extra base hits (52).  He hit two grand slams, on July 1 and September 1.  Malm reached base safely in 29 consecutive games from July 27-August 28.  He helped guide the Hot Rods into the playoffs.

 

          In 2013 at High-A Charlotte Malm once again reached double-digit home runs in a very tough pitchers league, the Florida State League.  He hit .239 with a career high 14 home runs and 57 RBI.  In 422 at bats he scored the second most runs in his career, 51, along with the second most doubles in his career, 22, while posting a .308 on base percentage and a .391 slugging percentage.  He helped guide the Stone Crabs to the Florida State League Championship Series and was 4-18 with a double and two RBI in the playoffs.  Malm’s 14 game hitting streak from July 3-19 was the longest of his career.

 

          Malm’s final year as a position player came in 2014 at Double-A Montgomery where he hit .258 with five home runs and 38 RBI in 96 games.

 

          At Bishop Gorman High, Malm (2006-09) was teammates with Bryce Harper (2007-10) and won four straight 4A State Championships.  During his senior season Malm hit .564 with 17 home runs and 69 RBI.  On the mound he was 11-1 with a 1.50 ERA and set the single-season school record for strikeouts in a game with 15, as the Gaels went 40-4.  He was ranked as the top high school first baseman and the 59th overall prospect by Baseball America in 2009.  He was also the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year and the Review-Journal’s State Player of the Year.  He finished his Bishop Gorman career tied for the most career hits, with 277, tying Darren Deadmond (1985-88) of Odin High, and tied for fourth with 255 RBI.

 

          The accolades didn’t start during Malm’s senior season as he was the Gatorade Nevada State Player of the Year as a junior while winning numerous All-State and All-American Honors.  He was also First-Team All-State as a sophomore.

 

          Malm played on the 18-U National Team during his junior and senior seasons and won the Silver Medal as a junior and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

 

          In 2008 Malm’s American Legion team won the American Legion World Series and he was named the World Series MVP.

 

          In a separate move the Saints placed left-handed pitcher Caleb Thielbar on the disabled list.

         

          The Saints roster stands at 22, one shy of the league maximum of 23, with 11 pitchers and 11 position players.  The Saints have two players on the disabled list and one on the inactive list.