Jayhawks in the Pros #1

April 7, 2011

Jayhawks in MLB:

– Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny is opening his seventh big league season with the Washington Nationals after being traded from the Chicago Cubs during the offseason. Gorzelanny, who played at KU in 2002, went 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 23 starts for the Cubs last season.

Jayhawks in AAA:

– Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski is looking to get back to the major leagues, but will open the 2011 season in Triple-A with the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs of the International League. Zagurski, who played at KU from 2004-05, went 2-3 in Triple-A last season with a 3.27 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings. He also pitched in eight games for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2010 season.

Jayhawks in AA:

– Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall had a solid season in 2010 and was promoted to Double-A in the New York Yankees’ organization to open this season. Hall, who played at KU from 2008-09, is with the Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League. The former Jayhawk went 11-7 with a sparkling 2.89 ERA in 24 starts last season for the Tampa Yankees last year in Single-A.

– Right-handed relief pitcher Paul Smyth was promoted in September in the Oakland Athletics’ organization to Double-A Midland. Smyth, who played at KU from 2006-2009, finished last season with the Single-A Stockton Ports at 3-6 with a 3.01 ERA in 58 relief appearances. Smyth walked 21 and struck out 94 in 77.2 innings.

– Right-handed infielder Erik Morrison is looking to continue his way up the Texas Rangers’ organizational ladder this season as he opens the 2011 season in Double-A with the Frisco Roughriders of the Texas League. Morrison, who played at KU from 2005-2008, played in 83 games last season in Single-A with Bakersfield in the Texas League while hitting 14 doubles, 13 home runs, and 45 RBIs with a batting average of .242.

Jayhawks in A:

– Right-handed infielder Robby Price will open the 2011 season in Single-A with the Bowling Green Hot Rods – an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays – in the Midwest League. Price, who played at KU from 2007-2010, played in 57 games last season with Hudson Valley of the Tampa Bay organization and finished with a batting average of .294 with 17 doubles, and 23 RBIs.

– Right-handed outfielder Brian Heere, who played at KU from 2007-2010, is opening the 2011 season in Single-A with the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League. In his first professional season last year, Heere played in 66 games and posted 52 hits with a batting average of .255 with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the Cleveland Indians’ organization.

– Infielder Tony Thompson will open the 2011 season in Single-A with the Burlington Bees – an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics in the Midwest League. In his first season in professional baseball, Thompson played for the Vancouver Canadians where he played in 62 games and collected 11 doubles, 3 home runs and 21 RBIs. Thompson finished the year with a .246 batting average.

– Infielder David Narodowski will open the 2011 season in Single-A with the South Bend Silverhawks – an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks – in the Midwest League. Last season, Narodowski saw action in 88 games for South Bend and posted a .223 batting average. Narodowski, who played at Vernon College before transferring to KU in 2009, looks to continue his run in professional baseball this season in Single-A.

– Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik, who played at KU in 2009-2010, is opening the 2011 season in Single-A with the Hagerstown Suns – an affiliate of the Washington Nationals – in the Atlantic League after previously being with Vermont Lake last season. Selik pitched in 15 games last year and went 1-0 with a 2.54 ERA and 32 strikeouts.

– Left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz will open the year in Single-A for the Clinton LumberKings – an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners – in the Midwest League. Czyz, who played at KU from 2006-08, went 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 13 starts for Clinton last season and struck out 57 in 74 1/3 innings.

Jayhawks in Extended Spring Training

– Brett Bochy (San Francisco) and Travis Blankenship (Houston) are both with major league organizations, but will start the 2011 season in extended spring training due to injuries. Both will likely be assigned to a minor league team later this month. Bochy missed the entire 2010 pro season after being drafted in June, while Blankenship posted a 2-1 record and a 2.35 ERA in 24 appearances in his first professional season.