Jayhawks in the Pros

April 14, 2011

Jayhawks in MLB:

– Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny took a loss in his first start of the season for the Washington Nationals on April 9 against the New York Mets. Gorzelanny, who pitched at KU in 2002, went 5 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He is in his first season with the Nats after spending time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs in his six-year Major League career.

Jayhawks in AAA:

– Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski is off to a good start for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Zagurski, who pitched at KU from 2004-05, is 1-0 in two appearances this season and hasn’t allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings. The left-handed reliever earned his first victory of the year against Syracuse, retiring all four men he faced in 1 1/3 innings of work. He was a 12th-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005.

Jayhawks in AA:

– Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall is in his first season at the Double-A level with the Trenton Thunder, an affiliate in the New York Yankees’ organization. Hall, who pitched at KU from 2008-09, got roughed up in his first outing of the year by New Hampshire, allowing five runs on six hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out four, but did not factor in the decision. Hall was a 25th-round draft pick of the Yankees in 2009.

– Infielder Erik Morrison is in his first season at the Double-A level, opening with the Frisco Roughriders, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Morrison, who played at KU from 2005-08, has yet to see the field in 2011. He was a 48th-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2008.

– Right-handed relief pitcher Paul Smyth is in his first season at the Double-A level, playing with the Midland Roundhounds, an affiliate in the Oakland Athletics’ organization. Smyth, who pitched at KU from 2006-09, earned his first win of the year on April 9, pitching a scoreless inning against Arkansas. Smyth was a 35th-round draft choice by the A’s in 2009.

Jayhawks in A:

– Left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz opened the season in Single-A with the High Desert Mavericks, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Czyz, who pitched at KU from 2006-08, won in his first start of the season Monday, allowing no runs on two hits over six innings against Inland Empire. Czyz was a 35th-round draft choice by the Mariners in 2008.

– Outfielder Brian Heere opened the 2011 season in Single-A with the Lake County Captains, an affiliate in the Cleveland Indians’ organization. Heere, who played at KU from 2008-10, has played in three games for the Captains and is 1-for-10. 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 Indians’ organization.

– Infielder David Narodowski opened the 2011 season in Single-A with the South Bend Silverhawks, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Narodowski, who played at KU in 2009, is looking for his first action of the year. Last season, Narodowski played in 88 games for South Bend and posted a .223 batting average. He was a 15th-round draft pick by the Diamondbacks in 2009.

– Infielder Robby Price started the year with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Price, who played at KU from 2007-2010, is 5-for-21 this season after going 2-for-4 last night with an RBI. He hit his first homer of the season on Sunday – his dad’s birthday – and drove in a pair of runs at Dayton. Price was a 13th-round selection by the Rays in 2010.

– Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik is opening the 2011 season with the Hagerstown Suns – an affiliate of the Washington Nationals – in the Atlantic League. Selick earned a win last night, allowing no runs on four hits over five innings with two walks and five strikeouts. He has yet to allow a run in two starts this season. Selik pitched in 15 games last year and went 1-0 with a 2.54 ERA and 32 strikeouts. He was drafted by the Nationals in the 22nd round of last year’s draft.

– Infielder Tony Thompson has found his stroke early in the season with the Burlington Bees, an affiliate in the Oakland Athletics’ organization. Thompson, who played at KU from 2008-10, is hitting .481 in the early going with a triple, two homers and seven RBIs in seven games. Thompson has hit safely in all seven games this season, including a 1-for-3 effort last night with a solo home run against Peoria. He was a sixth-round draft choice of the A’s last season.

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.