Jayhawks in the Pros - May 31
May 31, 2011
Throughout the course of the 2011 season, kuathletics.com will update the progress of the 12 former Jayhawks who are currently playing within the ranks of professional baseball.
Former Kansas pitcher Tom Gorzelanny is in his seventh major league season and his first with the Washington Nationals. The 6-foot-2 lefty, who played at KU in 2002, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 24. He is 2-4 this year with a 4.25 ERA in nine starts. In his seven big league seasons, Gorzelanny has posted a 38-41 record and made 104 starts. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski, who pitched at KU from 2004-05, continues to put up impressive numbers for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs – an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. This year in the minors, Zagurski has a 1-0 record with a 1.88 ERA and nine saves in 14 1/3 innings. He has walked nine and struck out 23 in 14 appearances. He has pitched in two major league games for the Phillies, allowing a run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings. He was originally selected by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman, who pitched at KU in 2008, is on the rise in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. Freeman was promoted to Double-A Springfield in early May and has posted a 1-0 record with an 0.82 ERA in 11 relief appearances. Freeman has not allowed a run in his last five appearances. The 5-foot-11 lefty was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 32nd round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall, who pitched at KU from 2008-09, has posted a 4-3 record with a 3.30 ERA in 10 starts for the Trenton Thunder – an affiliate of the New York Yankees. Hall has posted a remarkable 34 strikeouts compared to only seven walks in 66 innings on the mound this season. Hall earned his fourth win in his last start on Sunday, allowing two runs on eight hits over seven innings with no walks and four strikeouts. The 6-foot-1 lefty was a 25th-round draft pick by the New York Yankees in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.
Second baseman Erik Morrison, who played at KU from 2005-08, is currently on the seven-day disabled list for the Frisco RoughRiders – an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Morrison missed the early part of the season due to a death in the family and has played in just one game for Frisco. He was a 48th-round draft pick of the Rangers in 2008.
Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth, who pitched at KU from 2006-09, earned his third victory of the year on Sunday for the Midland RockHounds – an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Smyth is 3-1 on the season with a 3.68 ERA in 16 appearances out of the bullpen. He has recorded 31 strikeouts to go with 14 walks in 29 1/3 innings this season. He allowed an unearned run in 2 1/3 innings against Northwest Arkansas. Smyth was originally a 35th-round draft choice of the Oakland A’s in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz, who pitched at KU from 2006-08, is currently pitching for the High Desert Mavericks – an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Czyz is looking to get back on track after a couple of rough outings. The former Jayhawk is 1-4 with an 8.67 ERA in eight starts this season with 11 walks and 26 strikeouts. He was originally drafted by the Mariners in the 35th-round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.
Outfielder Brian Heere, who played at KU from 2008-10, is with the Lake County Captains – an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Heere is looking to turn things around after a tough start at the plate. Heere is currently hitting .179 with a double, a homer and eight RBIs in 22 games. He was a 41st-round draft pick by the Indians in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft.
Infielder Robby Price, who played at KU from 2007-10, is surging for the Bowling Green Hot Rods – an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Price is batting .316 over his last 10 games with five runs scored and five RBIs. For the season, Price is batting .288 with five doubles, two homers and 33 runs scored with a .438 on-base percentage. He was a 13th-round draft choice by the Rays in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft.
Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik, who pitched at KU from 2009-10, was called up in early May to the High-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, the Potomac Nationals. Selik is looking to turn things around after going 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA in four starts. The former Jayhawk has walked eight and struck out 15 in 21 innings this year. The 6-foot-3 righty was a 22nd-round draft choice of Washington in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft.
Third baseman Tony Thompson, who played at KU from 2008-10, is playing for the Burlington Bees – an affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Thompson has been hot and cold this season at the plate, going 9-for-18 with a pair of homers during a stretch in May. The former Jayhawk is batting .277 with four doubles, four homers and 26 RBIs for the 2011 season. Thompson was a sixth-round draft pick of the A’s in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft.
Also of Note:
Current Kansas baseball student manager Travis Ice is serving as an operations intern for the Kansas City T-Bones of the Independent American Association. Ice will return to Kansas for his senior season next year.