Jayhawks in the Pros
Sam Freeman was recalled to the major leagues by the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.” src=”http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/kan/sports/m-basebl/auto_recap_extra_vertical/8046498.jpeg” height=”400″ width=”290″ />LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the calendar changing to September, several Jayhawks involved in professional baseball find themselves in the middle of pennant races or postseason series. KU products Sam Freeman (St. Louis) and Tom Gorzelanny (Washington) look to impact the major league pennant races; while Shaeffer Hall (Trenton), Robby Price (Montgomery) and Brandon Macias (Wisconsin) will get their first taste of postseason play at the professional level this week.
Throughout the course of the season, KUathletics.com will check in with the 13 former Kansas baseball players who are involved in professional baseball.
Jayhawks in MLB
Left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman was recalled to the St. Louis Cardinals major league roster on Sept. 1 and has pitched in two games since the promotion. Freeman tossed an inning of relief against Washington on Sunday and allowed a hit to Jason Bay of the Mets on Monday night. Freeman, who pitched at KU in 2008, has made 15 appearances and tossed 13 innings, posting a 5.54 ERA with an 0-1 record. He also pitched in 42 games between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis, putting together a 3-5 record with a 1.89 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. Freeman was originally selected by the Cardinals in the 31st round of the 2008 MLB Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny is in his eighth season in the major leagues and second with the Washington Nationals. In his most recent appearance, the left-handed reliever tossed two innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, recording a pair of strikeouts. In his last 10 appearances, Gorzelanny has allowed just three runs in 15 2/3 innings with six walks and 14 strikeouts. Overall, Gorzelanny, who pitched at KU in 2002, is 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 38 games with 51 strikeouts. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski is in his fifth major league season and first with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Zagurski most recently pitched against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday evening, allowing a base hit to Andre Ethier. Zagurski, who pitched at KU from 2004-05, has pitched in 37 games and 32 1/3 innings with 31 strikeouts. He has not recorded a decision and has posted a 5.57 ERA. Zagurski was originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 12th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft.
Jayhawks in AAA
Right-handed pitcher Colton Murray was recently promoted to the Philadelphia Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, Lehigh Valley, for the final weekend of the season. However, Murray did not pitch in a game for the Iron Pigs. Murray, who pitched at KU from 2009-11, spent a majority of the season in Double-A, Clearwater, where he posted an 0-1 record with four saves and a 2.78 ERA in 19 appearances. He allowed just seven earned runs in 22 2/3 innings with five walks and 28 strikeouts. Murray was a 13th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Jayhawks in AA
Right-handed pitcher Brett Bochy was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Aug. 21 while pitching with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Prior to going on the DL, Bochy had been enjoying a spectacular season with a 7-3 record with 14 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 41 games for the Flying Squirrels. He had recorded just 18 walks and 69 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings. Bochy pitched at KU from 2008-10. The right-hander was originally a 20th-round draft pick by the Giants in the 2010 MLB Draft.
Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall is getting ready for the Eastern League Playoffs, which begin tonight as his Trenton Thunder, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, take on the Reading Phillies in a best-of-five series. Hall, who pitched at KU from 2008-09, went 9-10 for the Thunder this season with a 3.67 ERA in 27 starts. He held opponents to a .279 batting average and recorded 100 strikeouts in 164 1/3 innings. Over his last 10 starts, Hall was 2-4 with a 3.47 ERA. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 25th round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Second baseman Erik Morrison completed his 2012 season with the Birmingham Barons, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Morrison, who played at KU from 2005-08, returned to professional baseball after missing all but one game of the 2011 season. He batted .271 this year in 84 games with the Barons, collecting 12 doubles, six homers and 42 RBIs. Over the last 10 games of the season, Morrison went 9-for-36 with a homer and seven RBIs. He was originally a 46th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in the 2008 MLB Draft.
Third baseman Robby Price has had a busy week in the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system. After spending most of the season with the Rays’ Single-A affiliate, Charlotte, Price was promoted to the Triple-A Durham Bulls for the final weekend of the minor league season. He went 3-for-6 with a run scored in two games with the Bulls. Price, who played at KU from 2007-10, was then sent to Double-A Montgomery, where he will compete for the Montgomery Biscuits in the Southern League Playoffs, which are set to begin Thursday night. In 112 minor league games this season, Price batted .268 with 14 doubles, three triples and three homers. He spent the majority of the year with the Charlotte Stonecrabs. Price was originally drafted by the Rays in the 13th round of the 2010 MLB Draft.
Right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik missed the final two months of the season for the Harrisburg Senators, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. He was promoted to the Nats’ Double-A affiliate in early June, but pitched in just one game before suffering a season-ending injury. Selik had dominated the Single-A Carolina League, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.68 ERA, three walks and 34 strikeouts in 22 innings for the Potomac Nationals. Selik, who played at KU from 2009-10, was originally drafted by the Nationals in the 21st round of the 2010 MLB Draft.
Right-handed pitcher Paul Smyth finished his 2012 season with the Midland Rockhounds, an affiliate of the Oakland A’s, Monday. Smyth, who pitched for KU from 2006-09, made his first start of the year in the Rockhounds’ season finale and tossed 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, allowing four hits. He went 2-1 for the Rockhounds with a 4.02 ERA in 44 appearances with 24 walks and 53 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. Smyth was originally drafted by the A’s in the 35th round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Jayhawks in A
Shortstop Brandon Macias is also involved in the postseason for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Macias, who played at KU from 2010-11, played in 127 games for the Timber Rattlers and batted .288 with 35 doubles, eight homers and 83 runs scored. He collected 11 stolen bases and reached base at a .388 clip. Over his last 10 games, Macias has batted .325 with a pair of doubles and six runs scored. His team will face the Burlington Bees in the quarterfinal round of the Midwest League playoffs, which begin tonight. Macias originally signed as a free agent with the Brewers’ organization following the 2011 MLB Draft.
Third baseman Tony Thompson completed his third professional season on Monday with the Stockton Ports, an affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Thompson, who played at KU from 2008-10, batted .276 in 95 games for the Ports, recording 22 doubles, 11 homers and 49 RBIs. Thompson finished his year with a bang, batting .350 (14-for-40) over his final 10 games and .300 during the month of August. He has raised his batting average each year he has been involved in professional baseball. Thompson was originally a sixth-round draft pick of the A’s in the 2010 MLB Draft.
Right-handed pitcher T.J. Walz also completed his season on Labor Day weekend with the Stockton Ports, an Oakland A’s affiliate. Walz, who pitched at KU from 2008-11, appeared in 39 games with the Ports, making eight starts and went 7-6 with a 3.16 ERA in 99 2/3 innings. He recorded 112 strikeouts and walked just 36, while holding opponents to a .226 batting average. Walz picked up his final win of the season on Aug. 23, pitching 1 2/3 innings of relief against Modesto. He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.