Jayhawks in the Pros Update #3

Aug. 7, 2009

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Throughout the 2009 season, kuathletics.com will check in on the 15 former student-athletes who are currently involved in professional baseball. Highlighting the list today is left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny, who was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Chicago Cubs on July 30. Gorzelanny made his Cubs debut on Tuesday, Aug. 4, and earned the win.

  • Catcher Buck Afenir has received sporadic playing time for the Gulf Coast Yankees this summer, but has put up impressive numbers. Afenir’s season average is .385 with a homer and five RBIs in five games after completing his eligibility at KU this past spring.
  • Outfielder John Allman got promoted to mid-level Class A ball in the Cleveland Indians’ organization at the beginning of July and has played 44 games with the Lake County Captains. Allman enjoyed a solid series against Kane County last weekend, going 4-for-10 with a double and four RBIs in the three-game set.
  • Left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz has posted solid numbers this season at the Class A level for the Everett Aqua Sox – an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Czyz suffered his second loss of the season on July 11, but struck out six in 6 1/3 innings pitched and did not allow a walk.
  • Right-handed pitcher Andres Esquibel was promoted to Class A Everett just before the All-Star break and has been solid for the Aqua Sox – an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Esquibel has earned two victories in his last three starts, including a complete game shutout against Boise last night. In six appearances for Everett, the right-handed pitcher is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA.
  • Left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman has also been promoted this season after a stellar start. Freeman is currently pitching at Class AA Springfield, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. The lefty started the season with Palm Beach (A), and posted a 1.64 ERA and a 2-1 record in 26 games. So far his numbers in AA have been equally impressive; he has a save and a 3.52 ERA in 15 relief appearances.
  • Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny went from the National League cellar to the midst of the pennant race after a late July trade to the Chicago Cubs. The 6-foot-2 lefty went 7 1/3 innings in his Cubs debut Tuesday, helping Chicago down Cincinnati, 6-3. In 10 games this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cubs, Gorzelanny is 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 16 innings.
  • Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall has been sparkling in his first two professional starts for the Staten Island Yankees this summer, a New York Yankees’ Class A affiliate. Hall has posted a 3.86 ERA in 9 2/3 innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts. After being drafted in June, Hall made his pro debut on June 24.
  • Third baseman Travis Metcalf is looking to get back to the major leagues after spending time there with the Texas Rangers the past two seasons. After being traded to the Kansas City Royals’ organization in spring training, Metcalf has spent the entire 2009 season in Omaha (AAA), where he is batting .223 with nine homers and 47 RBIs this season.
  • Infielder Erik Morrison has enjoyed a superb season with the Texas Rangers’ high-level Class A affiliate, the Hickory Crawdads. Morrison, who was named to the South Atlantic League’s all-star team in June, is currently hitting .312 with 18 homers and 64 RBIs for the Crawdads. He has hit safely in eight-straight games, including a three-hit night on Thursday against Greensboro.
  • Shortstop David Narodowski has had a solid first season with the Missoula Osprey, a Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. After finishing his only season at Kansas this spring, Narodowski is batting .270 with five homers, 17 RBIs and 32 runs scored in his first professional season.
  • Catcher Ryne Price is coming off an injury suffered during spring training and has played seven games with Salem-Keizer, a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Price played four seasons (2005-08) at the University of Kansas and holds the school’s career home run record.
  • Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth has been dominant in his first year of professional baseball with the Vancouver Canadians, a Class A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Smyth has not allowed a run in his first 15 appearances for the Canadians and has just three walks and 30 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He also has picked up five saves.
  • Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski is rounding back into form after missing the entire 2008 season with an arm injury. Zagurski has spent a majority of this year with Reading, a Class AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. He is currently 2-4 with a 4.62 ERA and eight saves in 33 appearances. He has also posted 47 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched.