Jayhawks in the Pros (Update #4)
July 13, 2010
Throughout the course of the 2010 season, kuathletics.com will update the progress of the 15 former Jayhawks who are currently playing within the ranks of professional baseball. Several players are rounding into mid-season form and will be looking for big things in the second half of the season.
Jayhawks in MLB:
- Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny enters the All-Star break pitching well, having earned wins in his past two starts for the Chicago Cubs. Gorzelanny, who pitched at KU in 2002, earned a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 10, allowing one run on six hits over six innings with a walk and a season-high seven strikeouts. Gorzelanny is 4-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 18 games for the Cubs and has 76 strikeouts in 74 innings on the hill.
Jayhawks in AAA:
- Third baseman Travis Metcalf has hit well enough to earn a promotion in the Colorado Rockies’ organization. Metcalf, who played at KU from 2002-04, is batting .315 with 26 doubles, seven homers and 44 RBIs, including a .344 average in his last 10 games. He is currently with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
– Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski was optioned back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley when the Philadelphia Phillies activated Ryan Madsen from the 15-day disabled list. Zagurski, who played at KU from 2004-05, pitched in five major league games during his most recent stint in the majors, allowing two earned runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He recorded eight strikeouts in five relief appearances, including striking out the side against the Atlanta Braves in the 11th inning on July 6.
Jayhawks in AA:
– Left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman is still battling the injury bug, having been sidelined the entire year. Freeman, who pitched at KU in 2008, has yet to make an appearance this year for the Springfield Cardinals – an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jayhawks in A:
– Catcher Buck Afenir has played in eight games this season for the Tri-City ValleyCats – an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Afenir, who played at KU from 2006-09, is batting .250 with a double and three RBIs in spot duty behind the plate. In a July 4 game against Batavia, Afenir went 2-for-4 with an RBI single.
– Left-handed pitcher Travis Blankenship has been lights out from the Tri-City ValleyCats’ bullpen this season. Blankenship, who played at KU from 2009-10, is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Houston Astros’ affiliate. Blankenship earned his second victory of the season on July 9, working 1 1/3 innings on the road at Staten Island.
– Left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz was sent back to Clinton – a Seattle Mariners’ affiliate – at the end of June and has pitched four games since rejoining the LumberKings. Czyz, who played at KU from 2006-08, is 1-1 with Clinton with a 2.96 ERA in four starts. He earned a win in his first start with the team on June 26, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with a season-high seven strikeouts.
– Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall continues to pitch well for the Tampa Yankees – an affiliate of the New York Yankees. Hall, who played at KU from 2008-09, is 4-1 with a 2.73 ERA in five starts in Tampa, posting just two walks and 25 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings. He earned his fourth consecutive win on June 24, allowing two unearned runs over six innings with no walks and six strikeouts against Clearwater.
– Outfielder Brian Heere has picked things up after a slow start to his professional career. Heere, who played at KU from 2008-10, is playing with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers – a Cleveland Indians’ affiliate. Since the beginning of July, the Lawrence native is batting .321 with two doubles, a homer and six RBIs in nine games.
– Second baseman Erik Morrison will be looking to turn things around in the second half of the season. Morrison, who played at KU from 2005-08, is with the Bakersfield Blaze – a Texas Rangers’ affiliate. Morrison has hit .220 in 54 games during the first half of the year with nine doubles, six homers and 23 RBIs. He has hit safely in all four July games that he’s started.
– Outfielder David Narodowski has also hit better in recent games for the South Bend Silver Hawks – an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Narodowski, who played at KU in 2009, has hit .333 in nine July games with a double, a homer and a .462 on-base percentage.
– After an adjustment period, second baseman Robby Price has found his stroke for the Hudson Valley Renegades – an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Price, who played at KU from 2007-10, is batting .333 in the month of July with five doubles, a homer and nine runs scored. He also has at least one extra base hit in five of his last seven games, including a double and a homer in a July 5 win at State College.
– Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik had a rough outing on July 12, but has pitched well overall for the Vermont Lake Monsters – an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Selik, who pitched at KU from 2009-10, has allowed earned runs in just two of his six appearances, and has recorded 10 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings this year.
– Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth continues to throw well for the Stockton Ports – an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Smyth, who pitched at KU from 2006-09, is 3-3 for the Ports with a 1.84 ERA with 14 saves in 36 relief appearances. Smyth is holding opposing hitters to a .174 batting average this season and has 59 strikeouts compared to 13 walks in 53 2/3 innings.
– Third baseman Tony Thompson has also broken out of an early season funk to get above the .300 mark for the Vancouver Canadians – an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Thompson, who played at KU from 2008-10, is batting .436 in 11 games during the month of July with four doubles and six runs scored. For the season, Thompson is batting .304 with five doubles, a homer and six RBIs in 22 games.