Kansas baseball has 13 players playing in the professional ranks
Aug. 3, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Throughout the course of the summer, kuathletics.com will check in with the 13 former Jayhawks who are playing in the ranks of professional baseball. Pitcher Colton Murray highlights this week’s edition as the hard-throwing right-hander has not allowed a run and collected two saves since being promoted to Advanced Single-A in the Philadelphia Phillies’ organization.
Jayhawks in MLB
Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny is enjoying a productive season for the first-place Washington Nationals. Gorzelanny, who pitched at KU in 2002, has pitched in 30 games for the Nats this season and has a 3-2 record with a 3.42 ERA in 50 innings pitched. Gorzelanny picked up his third victory of the season on July 23, tossing 1 1/3 of scoreless relief against the New York Mets. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2003 MLB Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski has pitched the entire season in the major leagues this year for the surging Arizona Diamondbacks. Zagurski, who pitched at KU from 2004-05, has been a left-handed specialist for the Diamondbacks this season. He has posted a 4.62 ERA in 28 appearances out of the Arizona bullpen with 13 walks and 24 strikeouts. Over the last month, Zagurski has been lights out, posting a 2.16 ERA in his last 10 appearances with six strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 12th round of the 2005 MLB Draft.
Jayhawks in AAA
Left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman has pitched the last month in Triple-A after a month-long stint in the major leagues. Freeman, who pitched at KU in 2008, is performing well with the Memphis Redbirds, a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate. In 19 appearances in Memphis, Freeman is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. The southpaw has pitched in 34 minor league games this season between Double-A and Triple-A and posted a microscopic 1.85 ERA. He picked up his second win with Memphis on July 27 against Nashville, pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Freeman was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 32nd round of the 2008 MLB Draft.
Jayhawks in AA
Right-handed pitcher Brett Bochy is enjoying a very productive season in Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Bochy, who pitched at KU from 2008-10, is 6-3 with a flashy 1.74 ERA and 14 saves in 36 appearances this season. Bochy has allowed just nine runs and has posted 60 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs in 10 1/3 innings during the month of July, picking up four saves. Bochy was originally drafted by the Giants in the 20th round of the 2010 MLB Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall was placed on the seven-day disabled list earlier this week with a toe injury after his start on July 29 against Harrisburg. Hall, who pitched at KU from 2008-09, is with the Trenton Thunder, an affiliate of the New York Yankees. He has enjoyed a sparkling season for the Eastern League East Division leaders, posting an 8-7 record with a 3.39 ERA in 22 starts with 83 strikeouts in 135 1/3 innings. Hall recorded his seventh quality start since June 9 last Sunday, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in a 3-2 Trenton victory. Over his last 10 starts, Hall is 3-2 with a 2.76 ERA. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 25th round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Infielder Erik Morrison is in the midst of a strong season in Double-A for the Birmingham Barons, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Morrison, who played at KU from 2005-08, is batting .280 with three homers and 25 RBIs in 59 games for the Barons. Morrison also has 11 doubles and 31 runs scored while playing second base for most of the season. He had a torrid June, batting .333 during the month with a pair of doubles and eight RBIs, but has cooled off recently. Morrison was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 48th round of the 2008 MLB Draft.
Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg at the beginning of July. However, Selik, who pitched at KU from 2009-10, was placed on the disabled list after his first appearance and is still trying to work his way back. He pitched in 18 games for the Washington Nationals’ Single-A affiliate, Potomac, at the beginning of the year, posting a 2-1 record and a 3.68 ERA with eight saves. The third-year pro had an amazing 34 strikeouts and just three walks in 22 innings while with Potomac. Selik was drafted by the Nationals in the 22nd round of the 2010 MLB Draft.
LHP Tom Gorzelanny is having a good second half for the first-place Washington Nationals. Photo courtsey of Washington Nationals.
Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth is looking to get back on track during the second half of the season for the Midland Rockhounds, an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Smyth, who pitched at KU from 2006-09, is in his second full season with Midland and has a 2-1 record with a 5.21 ERA in 36 relief appearances. He has recorded 36 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings on the mound. Smyth was drafted by the A’s in the 35th round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Jayhawks in A
Shortstop Brandon Macias is having a solid year in his first season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Macias, who played at KU from 2010-11, is batting .277 with 26 doubles, six homers and has scored 64 runs in 99 games. Macias has hit safely in each of his last five games and also had a stellar June, which he batted .310 with seven doubles, two homers and 20 RBIs. Macias signed as a free agent with the Brewers’ organization after the 2011 season.
Right-handed pitcher Colton Murray was promoted to Clearwater, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Advanced Single-A affiliate, in July. Murray, who pitched at KU from 2009-11, has pitched in 10 games for the Clearwater Threshers and has yet to allow a run and posted two saves. He has accumulated 17 strikeouts and just two walks in 12 1/3 innings, which includes matching a season high with three K’s against St. Lucie Thursday night. Murray was originally a 13th-round draft pick by the Phillies in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Infielder Robby Price is in his first year with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Advanced Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Price, who played at KU from 2007-10, is batting .252 in 87 games with 12 doubles, three homers and 38 runs scored for the Stone Crabs. He enjoyed a productive month of July, batting .278 with four doubles and a homer. Price was originally a 13th-round draft pick by the Rays in the 2010 MLB Draft.
Infielder Tony Thompson has bounced back from a rough start and is surging with the Stockton Ports, the Advanced Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Thompson, who played at KU from 2008-10, is batting .270 with 18 doubles, six homers and 31 RBIs in 69 games. Thompson hit just .242 during the month of June, but rebounded with a .293 average in July, belting two homers and collecting 10 RBIs in 11 games. Thompson was originally a sixth-round pick by the A’s during the 2010 MLB Draft.
Right-handed pitcher T.J. Walz has put up sparkling numbers on the mound for the Stockton Ports, an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Walz, who pitched at KU from 2008-11, is 6-6 this season with a 3.02 ERA in 83 1/3 innings. Walz has been a utility pitcher for the Ports, making eight starts and pitching in 21 games out of the bullpen. In his last 10 relief appearances, Walz has gone 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA, collecting 17 strikeouts in his last 18 innings. He was originally selected by the A’s in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.