Jayhawks in the Pros (Update #5)
Aug. 5, 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. With many teams in the dog days of summer, several Kansas products are enjoying a great deal of success.
Jayhawks in MLB:
- Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny has enjoyed a breakout year in an otherwise down season for the Chicago Cubs. The southpaw starting pitcher, who played at KU in 2002, has won four straight decisions and is 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA in his last 10 starts. Overall, he is 6-5 this season with a 3.48 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 93 innings pitched. Gorzelanny is scheduled to start Friday against Central Division leader Cincinnati at Wrigley Field.
Jayhawks in AAA:
- Third baseman Travis Metcalf is hoping for a September call up to help the Colorado Rockies’ playoff push. Metcalf, who played at KU from 2002-04, is batting .312 with 31 doubles, nine homers and 58 RBIs in 98 games at the Triple-A level this season. Metcalf went 4-for-4 in a Colorado Springs win over Fresno last Saturday, and went 7-for-16 with a homer and three runs scored in the four-game series.
– Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski is looking to return to the Philadelphia Phillies’ roster after being optioned back to Triple-A, Lehigh Valley, in early July. Zagurski, who played at KU from 2004-05, is 1-3 this year with a 3.83 ERA in 40 relief appearances with 23 walks and 54 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched at the Triple-A level this year.
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 raised his batting average above the .300 mark for the Tri-City ValleyCats – an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Afenir, who played at KU from 2006-09, is batting .355 over his last 10 games, going 11-for-31 with two doubles and six RBIs. For the season, he is hitting .309 with three doubles, nine RBIs and five runs scored in 18 games this season.
– Left-handed pitcher Travis Blankenship has enjoyed a stellar season for the Tri-City ValleyCats – an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Blankenship, who played at KU from 2009-10, went 2-0 with an 0.50 ERA in 14 games during his first professional season. The left-handed pitcher has recorded nine consecutive scoreless appearances out of the bullpen, which has spanned 12 1/3 innings. During the streak, Blankenship has held opponents to a .190 batting average.
– Despite a rough outing on Wednesday night, left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz has pitched fairly well for the Clinton LumberKings – an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Czyz is 3-2 with a 5.09 ERA in eight starts for the LumberKings this year, after spending a couple of months in Single-A Advanced with High Desert.
– Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall has dominated opposing hitters this year for the Tampa Yankees – an affiliate of the New York Yankees. Hall, who played at KU from 2008-09, has won each of his last five starts and allowed just five earned runs during that stretch. Hall is 9-1 this season with a 2.42 ERA in 48 1/3 innings pitched at the Single-A Advanced level.
– 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 middle of July, the Lawrence native is batting .267 with a triple, with five RBIs and a .368 on-base percentage.
– Second baseman Erik Morrison has started 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 .281 in his last 10 games with two doubles a homer and eight RBIs. For the season, Morrison is batting .229 with 11 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBIs in 66 games for the Blaze.
– Outfielder David Narodowski rebounded from a tough first half of the season to hit .395 during the month of July for the South Bend Silver Hawks – an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Narodowski, who played at KU in 2009, is batting .230 for the season with 12 doubles, two homers and 22 runs scored. Since the middle of June, he has raised his season batting average by nearly 50 points.
– 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, has hit .343 over his last 10 games with three doubles, a triple and six RBIs. In his first professional season, Price has hit .322 in 35 games with 14 doubles, a triple and two homers. He also has 10 stolen bases and 20 runs scored for the Renegades.
– Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik picked up his first professional win Sunday for the Vermont Lake Monsters – an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Selik, who played at KU from 2009-10, pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win, allowing no walks and three strikeouts. He has been used as a relief pitcher in all 10 of his appearances this season, going 1-0 with a save and a 3.45 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.
– Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth has put up solid numbers for the Stockton Ports this season – an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Smyth, who played at KU from 2006-09, is 3-5 this season, but ranks sixth in the California league with 17 saves and a 2.60 ERA in 44 appearances. Smyth has held opposing hitters to a .209 batting average and recorded 73 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.
– Third baseman Tony Thompson has started to swing a hot bat for the Vancouver Canadians – an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Thompson, who played at KU from 2008-10, is hitting .333 over his last 10 games, going 14-for-42 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs. In his first professional season, Thompson is hitting .292 with six doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs in 36 games with a .370 on-base percentage.