Metcalf Honored by Texas Rangers, Other Former Jayhawks Shine

Sept. 9, 2005

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Several former University of Kansas baseball players posted productive seasons as the 2005 Minor League Baseball campaign comes to an end. Travis Metcalf highlighted former Jayhawk achievements when he was named the Texas Rangers 2005 Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year.

An 11th round draft pick of the Rangers last year, Metcalf played third base and hit .292 with 32 doubles, 22 home runs and 94 RBI for the Class High-A Bakersfield Blaze.


Travis Metcalf



Metcalf’s 94 RBI tied for second-most among Texas farmhands and his 22 home runs ranked third. Former winners of the award include: Juan Gonzalez (1990), Kevin Mench (2000) and Hank Blalock (2001).

A native of Wamego, Kan., Metcalf broke KU’s single season and career home run records during his three years with the Jayhawks. In 2004, Metcalf hit 18 long balls to break Russ Blaylocks previous mark of 17 set in 1981. Metcalf ended his career with 29 roundtrippers topping Matt Gundelfinger’s old mark of 27 set from 1978-80.

John Nelson hit .241 with 14 home runs for the Class AAA Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. As the starting shortstop, Nelson was third on the team with 49 RBI.

Brent Del Chiaro played in 49 games for the Class AA Arkansas Travelers. He hit four home runs and scored 13 times. Del Chiaro also saw action in two games for the Class AAA Salt Lake Stingers.

Ryan Knippschild appeared in 19 games as a relief pitcher for the Class A Lake County Captains. The left-hander struck out 36 batters during his 36 innings of work. Knippschild also saw action in two games for the Class AA Akron Aeros.


Matt Tribble



Matt Tribble hit .276 in 65 games for the Great Falls White Sox. The outfielder notched 16 doubles and stole eight bases.

Jacob Jean, Sean Richardson, A.J. Van Slyke and Mike Zagurski all finished their first season in professional baseball after successful careers at KU.

After hitting .380 in 12 games for Johnson City of the Appalachian League, Van Slyke was called up to Class A by the New Jersey Cardinals. The outfielder picked up where he left off, hitting .343 until an injury ended his season after nine games.

Jean posted three wins in eight starts for the Bristol Sox. The left-hander struck out 40 batters in 48 innings of work.

Zagurski also recorded three wins in eight starts while playing for the Batavia Muckdogs. The lefty struck out 43 batters and complied a 4.60 ERA.

Richardson notched a go-ahead single in the eighth inning of the decisive third game of the Appalachian League championship series to lift the Elizabethton Twins to league title. The catcher hit .298 with seven home runs for the Minnesota Twins affiliate.

To view complete stats of these former Jayhawks in the Pros