KU Pitcher Walz Inks Contract with Oakland A's Organization

June 15, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. –

The Oakland Athletics announced Tuesday that they have signed former Kansas pitcher T.J. Walz to a minor league contract after selecting the Jayhawk right-hander in the 15th round of last week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Walz has been assigned to the team’s Class A Short-Season affiliate – the Vermont Lake Monsters.

Vermont Lake opens its New York-Penn League season on Monday, June 20 against the Lowell Spinners – a Boston Red Sox affiliate.

Walz, a senior right-handed pitcher out of Omaha, Neb., leaves the Jayhawk program as one of the best pitchers in school history. In 2011, he led the team in wins, going 6-5 in 14 starts with 85 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings. Walz finished the season with 3.97 ERA, while holding the opposition to a .241 average. He was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention for the second time in his career.

In his illustrious career, Walz holds the school records in innings pitched (328 1/3), games started (50), strikeouts (307), and tied the record for career wins (26). He was a 2009 All-Big 12 second team selection and was named Preseason All-Big 12 in 2010. He was also a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection and was twice named conference pitcher of the week in his career.

Two other Jayhawks were also selected in the 2011 draft – junior right-handed pitcher Colton Murray (13th round, Philadelphia Phillies) and Tanner Poppe (37th round, Tampa Bay Rays). Both players have until Aug. 15 to agree to terms with the organizations which drafted them or they would likely return to KU and re-enter the draft in 2012.