Both Dutchtown alum Cole Stapler and St. Amant alum Blayne Enlow are currently competing in the Midwest League of Class A, one year after being drafted into MLB. Both have flashed tremendous potential in their first month of action.

Shades of Ascension Parish are spread throughout the baseball world.

High-school players from the area are currently competing in American Legion and other summer-league competition. Parish natives that have gone on to play college ball had their seasons come to close just last week.

But Ascension baseball players are not just represented on the high-school and college levels. This summer, there are two young men from the parish trying to work their way up to a Major League Baseball debut.

Both Dutchtown alum Cole Stapler and St. Amant alum Blayne Enlow are currently competing in the Midwest League of Class A, one year after being drafted into MLB. Both have flashed tremendous potential in their first month of action.

Stapler, a physically-imposing hurler at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, is a former District 5-5A MVP and All-State player for the Griffins. In his senior year, he actually pitched a perfect game.

He was drafted by the Marlins in the 35th round the summer after graduating, but he decided to honor his commitment to Nicholls State.

Stapler had a successful career with the Colonels, finishing with a record of 15-14. During his senior year, he went 7-6 with a 3.44 ERA and 85 strikeouts. He made the All-Southland Conference second team.

Last summer, he was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft.

Stapler had a terrific run in last summer’s rookie league. He started five games, and though he went just 1-2, he bolstered an ERA of just 2.83. In 35 innings of work, he struck out 41 batters and surrendered just seven walks.

This summer, he is playing for the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League.

Stapler got the season off to a great start, but an injury sidetracked him late.

In his first four games, Stapler pitched at least five innings in each contest and only gave up 15 total hits and four earned runs.

His best outing was on April 28, when he pitched six innings against the Burlington Bees. He held the Bees to just two hits and no runs.

Unfortunately for Stapler, he struggled through an injury in his last outing on May 8. In that game, he gave up 10 hits and five runs. He hasn’t played since.

Overall this season, he is 1-2 with a 3.13 ERA. In a shade over 31 innings, he has struck out 32 batters and walked just nine.

Enlow was drafted by the Minnesota Twins straight out of high school, following a run of two straight District 5-5A MVP awards. After the Twins took him with the first pick of the third round, Enlow decided to sign, rather than go to LSU.

He didn’t see a lot of action in last summer’s rookie league, but when he was on the mound, he flourished.

In his 20 innings of work in the Gulf Coast League, he went a perfect 3-0 with an exceptional 1.33 ERA. He struck out 19 batters and only walked four.

This summer, Enlow has been playing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League.

Like Stapler, he has had to work his way through an injury. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list in late April due to a lower-back strain.

Overall, he has played well since coming back from the injury. His best outing came on May 24, when he pitched six innings against Stapler’s Cougars squad. Enlow surrendered just one hit.

That performance was the capper on an incredibly productive four-game stretch in which he pitched more than 15 innings and gave up a total of 16 hits and just four runs.

Overall, Enlow has gone 0-2 this season with a 4.46 ERA. He has pitched a shade over 34 innings with 25 strikeouts.