Former Jayhawks Recognized in Baseball America Draft Report Cards
Nov. 3, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Three former Kansas baseball players received mention in the annual Major League Draft Report Cards by Baseball America. Pitcher Don Czyz (Florida), outfielder Gus Milner (Philadelphia) and infielder Ritchie Price (New York Mets) were acknowledged for having some of the best tools among the 2006 MLB Draft picks. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
KU had a school-record six players selected in the 2006 MLB Draft, and one other, pitcher Ricky Fairchild, who signed a professional contract following the draft.
Czyz, who was selected in the seventh round by the Florida Marlins, was listed as having one of the “Best Fastballs” in the organization. During the 2006 season, Czyz led the NCAA with 19 saves and finished 6-0 with a 1.56 ERA while striking out 60 batters in 63.1 innings. A native of Overland Park, Kan., Czyz was the highest Jayhawk taken since Brandon O’Neal was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.
Czyz was also listed as having the “Most Intriguing Background” having played with his brother, sophomore Nick Czyz, at KU last season.
Milner, who was taken in the 14th round by the Philadelphia Phillies, was listed as having the “Best Raw Power” of the Phillies’ draft picks. With KU in 2006, Milner hit .328 with 58 RBIs and 20 doubles. After spending two seasons at Hutchinson Community College, Milner finished his two-year career at Kansas with a .314 average, 97 runs, 34 doubles, 16 home runs and 103 RBI.
Price, who was taken in the 18th round by the New York Mets, was listed as being the “Best Defensive Player” in the New York organization. Price was a mainstay at shortstop during his four seasons at KU. The switch-hitter started 255 games including 252 straight. A career .305 hitter, Price holds KU career records for hits (312), runs (204), games played (255), at-bats (1,022), sacrifices (34) and hit by pitch (52).
The current KU team will open the 2007 season against Hawaii-Hilo on Feb. 1.