Earlier this week I gave an update on a few former KU baseball players now playing professionally, Travis Metcalf, Les Walrond, Ryne Price and Erik Morrison. Just to keep it rolling here are updates on a few others:
Nick Czyz was drafted this year by Seattle. He is off to a good start in low-A ball. After nine games (5 starts) he has a 3-3 record and an ERA of 3.57. He also has built an impressive BB/K ratio of 10/35 in 35 innings of work.
Nick's older brother Don was off to a great start in Class A Greensboro before he went on the DL June 5th for a right triceps strain. Don has an ERA of 2.35 in 19 relief appearances. In 30.2 innings he gave up 25 hits, walked only 6 and struck out 37! Hopefully Don will be ready to return soon as those numbers make me think he was in the midst of a breakout when he was hurt.
Andres Esquibel is on the same team as Nick Czyz.and the two of them are representing the Hawks well. Esquibel has appeared in 10 games as a reliever, building an ERA of 2.25. In 20 innings he has given up 18 hits and 3 walks while striking out 10. Esquibel was a 38th round draft choice in June.
Brock Simpson is playing well in short season low-A Mohoning. In 117 at bats he is hitting .316/.374/.402. Brock was a 46th round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians last year so he is trying to make enough of an impression to stick.
John Allman is making the most of his limited playing time with the Gulf Coast Indians. In 39 at bats he is OPSing .806 (.282/.396/.410) with two stolen bases. Allman was signed as a non-drafted free agent this June.
Sam Freeman is off to a good start. He is pitching out of the bullpen in rookie league ball but seems to be displaying improved command. In 17.1 Innings he has given up 17 hits and 10 walks, but compliments this with 22 strikeouts. He is 4-1 with a 4.15 ERA. Sam was the first Jayhawk taken in this year's draft, 32nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Zach Ashwood has seen a lot of action this season pitching for the full-season low-A Peoria Chiefs (Cubs). Ashwood is third on the team in innings pitched (70) but his overall numbers are not impressive, 6-8 record, 5.53 ERA. It looks like his biggest problem has been the long ball. He has surrendered 13 already this season. Ashwood was a 16th round pick in 2007.
Kyle Murphy has split his season between the Arizona League and the low-A Midwest League. With the Clinton Lumberjacks (TEX) he is hitting .177/.292/.306 in limited playing time (62 at bats). I'm not sure if Murphy is being hampered by injuries, is having trouble adjusting to the wood bats, or if some other issue is at play here. I hope he turns it on the last two months of the season. He did not impress last year after being taken by the Rangers in the 19th round so he might not have a very long leash if he continues to struggle.
Gus Milner is putting together a solid if not eye catching season with the Phillie's high-A team in Clearwater. In everyday play he is hitting .261/.340/.381 with 6 homeruns and 44 RBIs. He needs to get all those numbers up a notch. Gus started strong but lost his power after June. He has only collected five extra base hits in his last 109 at bats. Gus was a 14th round pick back in 2006.
A.J. Van Slyke breifly made it all the way up to the St. Louis Cardinal's AA team in Springfield this year but was released on May 25th. I'm not sure what happened here. A.J. signed to play with the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League and then announced his retirement in July.
Tyson Corley, who pitched for KU in 2005, is with the Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS). Corley is having his best year to date. An ERA of 2.80 in 25 games out of the bullpen. He is striking out almost a batter an inning (33 in 35.1 innings) and has a very good GO/AO ratio of 3.80. Tyson only stayed with the Jayhawks for his freshman year but I remember some nice conversations I had with his mother in the stands, so I'm glad to see him doing well.
Mike Zagurski will miss the full season. Mike pitched well as part of the Phillie bullpen last season before suffering an injury requiring surgery back in July. Tom Gorzelanny had a terrible first half with Pittsburg and is trying to get right down at AAA now. Tom's struggles were surprising given his impressive 2007 campaign.
I think that is all. Let me know if I left anyone off this list.