Jayhawks In The Pros #4

Sept. 9, 2009


Throughout the 2009 season, kuathletics.com will check in on the 15 former student-athletes who are currently involved in professional baseball. With the 2009 minor league seasons coming to a close, we look back on the standout performances several former Jayhawks had, including Paul Smyth, who did not allow a run in his first professional season and Gus Milner, who was promoted to Triple-A for the last week of the season.

  • Catcher Buck Afenir was promoted to Single-A Staten Island in the New York Yankees’ organization at the beginning of August and has appeared in five games for his new team. In his two minor league stops this summer, Afenir batted .296 with six doubles, a homer and seven RBIs in 11 games.
  • Outfielder John Allman got promoted to mid-level Class A ball in the Cleveland Indians’ organization at the beginning of July and played in 66 games with the Lake County Captains. Allman put up solid numbers in his first full professional season, batting .295 with 17 doubles, six homers, 32 RBIs and a .394 on-base percentage with the Captains.
  • Left-handed pitcher Nick Czyz posted solid numbers this season at the Class A level for the Everett Aqua Sox – an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Czyz went 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA in five starts for the Aqua Sox to go along with 11 walks and 31 strikeouts.
  • Right-handed pitcher Andres Esquibel has pitched with five different teams this season, including a brief stay in Triple-A Tacoma in the Seattle Mariners’ organization. Esquibel finished the season in High Single-A with the High Desert Mavericks of the California League.
  • 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 has enjoyed his change of scenery this summer. After starting the year in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization, Gorzelanny was traded to the Chicago Cubs in July, and has gone 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA in eight appearances for the Cubs. He has become a left-handed arm out of the bullpen in the last month for Chicago.
  • Left-handed pitcher Shaeffer Hall was sparkling in his first two professional starts for the Staten Island Yankees this summer, a New York Yankees’ Class A affiliate. Hall 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, but missed the second half of the season with an injury.
  • Third baseman Travis Metcalf was released by the Kansas City Royals’ organization in August, and picked up right away by the Texas Rangers, who had traded Metcalf in May. Metcalf has been playing with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, and has hit a pair of home runs in his 15 games back in OKC.
  • Outfielder Gus Milner had spent the better part of three years in Double-A before finally being promoted to Triple-A in the Philadelphia Phillies’ organization. At Lehigh Valley, Milner made a big splash early, going 3-for-8 in his first two games with a pair of doubles and four RBIs.
  • Infielder Erik Morrison was promoted to the high Single-A level in August, and has played nine games for the Bakersfield Blaze – an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Morrison has enjoyed a fantastic start, batting .323 (10-for-31) with the Blaze, including three doubles and a homer. Earlier this season, Morrison was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team.
  • Shortstop David Narodowski 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 hit .239 with seven homers, 22 RBIs and 38 runs scored in his first professional season.
  • Catcher Ryne Price is coming off an injury suffered during spring training and played 20 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 in the Oakland A’s organization. Smyth did not allow a run in his first 25 professional appearances, seeing time with Vancouver and Kane County (high Single-A). Smyth was promoted to Kane County for the stretch run and pitched seven innings out of the bullpen and recorded two saves. He also held opponents to an .083 batting average and posted four strikeouts with no walks.
  • 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, the Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. He is currently 3-4 with a 3.57 ERA and eight saves in 45 appearances. Zagurski pitched extremely well down the stretch, allowing just one earned run in his final 10 appearances.