The chances of one Delaware high school baseball player making it to Major League Baseball (MLB) is .05%. So we ask. What are the chances of three Delaware baseball players from the same small state of Delaware making it and are all on the same team? Well we might not know the answer or the percentage, but it has happened believe it or not.
Colin Peluse Middletown, Zack Gelof of Cape Henlopen, and Billy Sullivan IV of Saint Mark’s are now teammates on the Las Vegas Aviators Triple AAA baseball team. All of them played their high school baseball in Delaware, but now find themselves teammates in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Aviators formerly known as Vegas 51s and Las Vegas Stars, are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics (A’s). The team is located in Summerlin South, Nevada which has become the next step in each of their major league careers
Even though they are on the same team now, each player has had their own journey before becoming an aviator.
After graduating from Middletown Peluse went on to play his college baseball at Wake Forest University. In 2019 Colin was drafted by Oakland A’s in the ninth round No. 284 overall pick in the MLB draft. In 2019
Colin played for Short-A affiliate Vermont. No season in 2020 due to the pandemic, but in 2021 Colin went from High-A to AA Midland. Then in 2022 he was promoted to Triple AAA as he joined the Aviators.
Colin told us “My time with the Aviators has been amazing. Overall the experience has been great and I hope to make the most of it for however long I get to play here.” and as far as the three local guys on the same team he told us “I never thought it would be possible. Growing up in Delaware there weren’t many players drafted or players that even went to play college baseball. I grew up next to Jake Fraley, Chad Kuhl and I went to the same high school. Those were the first guys that I remember really making it and playing on the big stage. The fact that we have 3 players from such a small state ending up at the same time is unreal.”
Gelof graduated from Cape Henlopen 2018 as he was named the Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year and also led Cape to a state championship in that season. Zack was drafted in the 2018 MLB draft as he was selected in the 38th round by the Cleveland Indians, but decided not to sign.
He then decided to attend University of Virginia (UVA) to play his collegiate baseball. In three seasons for UVA, Gelof started every game for the Cavaliers. In the 2021 MLB draft the Oakland A’s selected Zack with the 60th pick overall in the second round.
Gelof moved up quickly throughout the minors going from Rookie ball to Triple AAA in 2021. In 2022 he started the season off in Double AA playing for the Midland RockHounds, but by the end of the season he was back up in Triple AAA with the Aviators.
Zach told us that his time in Vegas so far “has been fun playing with a good group of guys” and as far as the three local guys on the same team he told us “I never really thought of it, but I think it would be even cooler for us to be together in Oakland.”
Sullivan graduated from Saint Mark’s in 2017 when he was named Co-Athlete of the Year. He also pitched the Spartans to a state championship in 2016. In his senior year he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in round 28 the 833rd overall pick but decided to attend the University of Delaware (UD) to play his collegiate baseball.
After three seasons with the Blue Hens, Sullivan signed a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020 when the draft was shortened because of the Covid Pandemic.
In the 2021 season Sullivan spent time in Single A with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws before moving up to Double AA Reading. He spent 2022 in Reading where he was named FirstEnergy R-Phils Pitcher of the Year.
Right before the start of the 2023 MLB season, Sullivan was traded to the Oakland A’s for Cristian Pache. After being traded Billy was sent to Triple A to join the Aviators and his other two hometown teammates.
Billy told us that his time as an Aviator so far “My time here in Vegas has been awesome! Vegas has a beautiful ballpark and great atmosphere so it’s very fun playing here in front of the fans” and as far as the three local guys on the same team he told us “Honestly if you told me before I got into pro ball there would be three Delaware guys on the same team living their dream I wouldn’t believe it at all.”
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