ValleyCats player leaves after just one game for MLB opportunity


TROY – A Tri-City ValleyCats employee came to outfielder Jakob Goldfarb with a nameplate for his locker on Wednesday afternoon.

Not that he needed it any longer.

“(The employee said) ‘Oh, I guess you can hold on to this if you want,’” Goldfarb recalled with a smile. “I’ll take my hat and a couple of shirts I got and get out of here.”

Maybe the shortest stint in ValleyCats history ended on Wednesday when Goldfarb’s contract was sold to the Arizona Diamondbacks after he played just one game for Tri-City, a 7-6, 10-inning loss to the New Jersey Jackals on Tuesday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Goldfarb went 1 for 3 in that game with a sacrifice fly and threw out a runner at third from left field in the first inning.

He was penciled into Wednesday’s lineup and had just taken batting practice when ValleyCats manager Pete Incaviglia found Goldfarb in the parking lot to tell him the Diamondbacks were buying his contract from Tri-City.

Goldfarb was only out of affiliated ball for about a week. The Pittsburgh Pirates released him from Single-A Brandenton (Fla.) on June 7 and the ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League signed him Tuesday.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Goldfarb, raised in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Excited to go the hometown team and affiliated ball is where it’s at. I still believe I’m a big-leaguer and I’m getting that opportunity to play day in and day out for a big-league organization and prove myself, but it feels pretty surreal right now.”

He becomes the second player to leave the ValleyCats this season for an MLB organization, following pitcher Patrick Murphy (Marlins).

Goldfarb, who also plays catcher, said Wednesday he was still waiting to find out where the Diamondbacks would assign him in their minor-league system. He took batting practice in the indoor cage during Tri-City’s 15-5 loss to New Jersey as he waited to get his flight information.

“I really like a lot of the things about him,” Incaviglia said. “I saw him for one day, you know. I liked his approach. I liked the way he fit in. I really liked his diversity. He could catch, play left, play first. To me, he was a really good find for us, but he’s a really good find for the Diamondbacks now, so I’m happy for him.”

Goldfarb, who played at the University of Oregon,  said there was prolonged interest from the Diamondbacks, who scouted him last year when he played for the Ogden (Utah) Raptors of the independent Pioneer League.

He played in the White Sox organization in 2019 after Chicago drafted him out of Oregon in the 24th round. Goldfarb has hit .207 with a .706 OPS in 39 games in affiliated ball.

He was looking forward to playing for the ValleyCats because he played in high school with Tri-City second baseman Brantley Bell, in Ogden with Tri-City shortstop Pavin Parks and in college with Tri-City pitcher Brac Warren.

“Some of my friends were like, ‘Congrats, but I’m sad I’m not going to play with you,’” Goldfarb said. “Just got a bunch of congrats from guys I don’t really know too well. It’s a good feeling. It just seemed like a good group of guys in the clubhouse and maybe scuffling a little bit lately, based on what I’ve heard, but is ounds like they’re going to be just fine and hit a groove here soon.”



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