⚾ Baumgartner Signs Deal with Colorado Rockies
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas pitcher Collin Baumgartner has signed a free agent contract with the Colorado Rockies. Baumgartner elected to use his final year of college eligibility in Lawrence for the 2023 season.
“The opportunity to play professional baseball is something I dreamed about as a kid,” Baumgartner said. “To think it is a reality is still so surreal. I am incredibly thankful for my family, coaches, and teammates that have helped get me to this point. I’m honored to be signed by a high-caliber organization like the Colorado Rockies and am extremely excited to get to work.”
Baumgartner quickly developed into the ace on the pitching staff for the Jayhawks. The 6-foot-6 righty seized his opportunity to move up to the Power Five level and was rewarded with a spot on the All-Big 12 Second Team. Baumgartner was the Friday night starter and finished the season 6-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 79.2 innings pitched. His 3.62 ERA was the best by a Kansas starting pitcher since 2017.
The Brighton, Illinois, native led the team in wins (6), quality starts (6), strikeouts (74), innings pitched (79.2) and strikeout to walk ratio (3.36). Baumgartner finished the regular season fifth in the Big 12 in innings pitched and ERA and 10th in the conference in strikeouts. In his final five starts of the season, Baumgartner went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA, including 25 strikeouts compared to only four walks.
“Collin set a new standard for what it looks like to be an elite Jayhawk baseball player,” Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald said. “He excelled on and off the field and led in both word and deed. There is nobody more deserving of an opportunity in professional baseball than ‘Baum’. He will be an incredible addition to a great franchise, and his ability and character give him a real chance at becoming a big leaguer.”
Baumgartner’s career began at SIU-Edwardsville before coming to Kansas. He spent five years in their program alongside current Kansas Pitching Coach Brandon Scott. Baumgartner missed the 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but ultimately worked his way back to have the best season of his career in 2023 at Kansas.
Baumgartner has already obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science and his MBA. He was accepted into law school at Saint Louis University and intended to begin this fall, but he will now continue to pursue his baseball career.