Nick Goody won't soon forget his 24th birthday.
Just two weeks ago, the former State College of Florida baseball player spent the day earning a promotion to Triple-A in the New York Yankees organization.
The right-hander entered Thursday's action with a 1.59 ERA in four appearances with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League.
"I wasn't expecting that, so it was a pretty awesome birthday gift," Goody said. "It was cool how it all worked out."
Goody morphed from a power starting pitcher who fanned 19 batters during one start at SCF into a closer for LSU.
He stayed true to his LSU commitment, despite the New York Yankees drafting him back in 2011.
After the Yankees selected Goody again in 2012, he produced a strong first year before suffering an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery early in the 2013 season.
A little more than 11 months of rehab came before Goody returned with the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League last year. His 2.35 ERA in 12 games led to a promotion to Double-A Trenton.
This season, he sparkled at Trenton with a 1.73 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. He was lauded with Midseason All Star honors in the Eastern League, and that meant a promotion to Triple-A was imminent.
"You always want to be at the next level," Goody said.
Goody's numbers are so solid SCF head coach Tim Hill II wouldn't be surprised if he gets a September call-up to the big leagues when rosters expand, Hill said in a text.
Armed with three pitches: a four-seam fastball, slider and change-up, Goody is now learning how to approach hitters at the next level in the constant battle to become more consistent.
"At this level, the hitters are a little more patient," Goody said. "They're a little bit better, obviously. So you just have to have that edge to be better than them. Being able to throw three pitches for strikes whenever I want, getting the hitters off-balance, the mental part of the game is huge and just being able to ... slow the game down whenever it starts speeding up on you."
Here's a look at how other area minor leaguers are doing in 2015 (as of games played prior to Thursday night):
The area's highest 2015 draftee, Lindsay has yet to play for the New York Mets' Gulf Coast League rookie team. Lindsay, an outfielder who is recovering from a hamstring injury that cost him most of his senior season at Out-of-Door Academy, is on the GCL Mets roster but has not appeared yet. He tweeted "Soon #GCL" on his Twitter page on Tuesday. Lindsay was drafted in the second round with the 53rd pick by the Mets.
A heralded former Manatee High quarterback who was set to play college football at Mississippi State, Sandberg chose professional baseball and has jumped up a level in each of the past three years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
This season, he's with the low Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League.
Sandberg has produced a .267/.313/.345 slash line (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage) in 86 games.
A 2012 Colorado Rockies draft pick, Prime was selected for his bat rather than the valuable arm that was an integral piece to the Manatee Hurricanes' state semifinal run in 2011.
So far in 2015, Prime's bat hasn't exploded for Modesto of the California League, which plays at the advanced Single-A level. He's hitting .236 and has 11 home runs in 365 at-bats.
Now in his fifth professional season, the former Palmetto High standout is a regular fixture in the Charlotte Stone Crabs lineup. In fact, fans that don't want to make the trek down to Port Charlotte can see Goetzman when the Stone Crabs face the Marauders at McKechnie Field.
But Goetzman, who arrived in the Florida State League last year, hasn't fared well at the Single-A advanced level.
This season, he is hitting .238 with just a .300 slugging percentage. In total, the former Tampa Bay Rays second-round pick is hitting .226 in 384 career at-bats for Charlotte.
The former Southeast shortstop, who graduated high school the same year as Goetzman, opted for the college route with Florida Gulf Coast. He has already progressed to Single-A ball with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. So far in 2015, his first with the West Virginia Power, Suchy has racked up 122 total bases and 46 runs batted in to pair with a .271 batting average in 83 games.
After just three appearances in the Gulf Coast League, the former Lakewood Ranch High and Florida Atlantic University star was promoted to short-season A ball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
McGarry had a shaky second start with the West Virginia Black Bears of the New York-Penn League. McGarry coughed up four earned runs in a five-inning start against the Auburn Doubledays last Sunday.
He also produced a shutout for five innings against the Vermont Lake Monsters in his New York-Penn League debut.
Recent SCF draftees
SCF's most recent middle infielders playing at the short-season Single-A Pioneer League for the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Second baseman Brantley Bell has an on-base plus slugging percentage of .955 and sports a .366 batting average for Billings. Bell has 13 extra-base hits in 23 games.
Shortstop Mitch Piatnik has a .266/.309/.344 slash line at the plate for Billings.
Their former Manatees teammate, Brad Zunica, a former Lakewood Ranch High star, is hitting .237 in 10 games in rookie ball for the Arizona League Padres.
A fourth member of the last season's SCF squad, ace pitcher Taylor Cockrell, just signed with the Atlanta Braves after he was taken in the 23rd round of this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, and has not been assigned to a team yet.
Meanwhile, three alums drafted this year are also finding life at the next level isn't always smooth sailing.
Bradenton's Casey Mulholland, who pitched at IMG Academy, SCF and USF, appeared in one Arizona League game before a promotion to the Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate in the Pioneer League. Mulholland hasn't made any appearances for Ogden since early July and has allowed two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched there.
Conner Hale is struggling to find consistency at the pro level after the Seattle Mariners selected the former SCF and LSU star in the ninth round. He is hitting just .141 for the Everett AquaSox of the Northwest League, which is short-season A ball.
Justin Garcia, who became the single-season home run record holder at Nova Southeastern following his SCF career, also is struggling in his first professional year.
Playing for Houston Astros affiliate, Greenville of the Appalachian League (rookie ball), Garcia has just 11 hits in 81 at-bats. Six of those hits are doubles.