Thirteen Players Representing @ASUNBSB In Major League Baseball

LakePoint, Ga. - Thirteen former ASUN Baseball players have made appearances in Major League Baseball (MLB) this season, with righties Mark Leiter and Alan Busenitz making their debuts earlier in 2017. Jacksonville alum and ASUN Hall of Famer Daniel Murphy continues to be one of the most productive hitters in the majors, while former FGCU hurler Chris Sale is on the brink of tallying a career defining season in Boston. 

As of June 28, 2017, Murphy trailed only Nationals teammate Bryce Harper for the lead in National League All-Star Voting, while Sale and Stetson-product Corey Kluber are both in line to make their sixth and second appearances in the MLB All-Star Game respectively. The ASUN sent four players to last season's AS competition, while four were listed to postseason rosters. Four are playing for teams presently sitting atop their division, with Busenitz' Twins holding onto a wild card spot in the AL. 

Ten of this year's 13 ASUN big-leaguers played for sides currently associated with the conference, while Leiter completed his career in Newark while NJIT was a member of the GWC (Great West Conference).

Daniel Murphy, Jacksonville/Washington Nationals (2B)
- .340 batting average is second only to San Francisco's Buster Posey (.344) for first in MLB
- Leads the Nationals with 97 hits and 23 doubles, and is on pace to set personal bests with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs through 71 games played
- On an 11-game hitting streak as of 6/28/17, his longest of the 2017 season
- Has started 70 games at second base for the NL East Leading Washington Nationals (46-31)
- Has struck out just 30 times all season, tied for seventh among all MLB batters with at least 200 at bats

Chris Sale, FGCU/Boston Red Sox (LHP)
- Third among AL starting pitchers with an ERA of 2.77
- One of just four MLB hurlers to reach double-digit wins thus far this season, going 10-3 over 16 starts
- Leads MLB with 155 strikeouts, and is on pace to set a career-high in K/9 (12.3) in his first year with the Red Sox
- Leads the American with a 0.91 WHIP, serving as the ace for a Boston side that currently sits first in the AL East (43-34)

Corey Kluber, Stetson/Cleveland Indians (RHP)
- Tied for ninth in the AL as of 6/28/17 with 93 strikeouts on the season
- Holds a 6-2 record over 11 starts for the Indians, leading all Cleveland starters with a 3.24 ERA
- 1.05 WHIP is fifth among all MLB hurlers with at least 10 starts in the 2017 season
- Has tossed 72.1 IP for a Cleveland squad presently leading the AL Central (40-36)

Jacob deGrom, Stetson/New York Mets (RHP)
- Leads the New York Mets and is ninth in MLB with 113 strikeouts
- Owns a team best seven winning decisions on the year, with his 3.71 ERA trailing only Steven Matz (3.60) among active Met hurlers 
- On track to set career-bests in IP (97.0) and K/9 (10.5)

Mark Leiter, NJIT/Philadelphia Phillies (RHP)
- Became first NJIT alum to appear in MLB with a single-inning relief outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers (4/28/17)
- Holds a 1-0 record after making his first major league start on 6/23/17
- 3.60 ERA over 25.0 IP is the lowest ERA of all Phillie pitchers to make a start this season

Richard Bleier, FGCU/Baltimore Orioles (LHP):
- 1.88 ERA ranks second among the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff
- Holds a 1-1 record in his first season with the O's, already surpassing his total innings pitched during his MLB debut campaign, with 24.0 in 2017

Cory Gearrin, Mercer/San Francisco Giants (RHP):
- Current 1.98 ERA leads the Giants, tossing 36.1 innings over 31 appearances
- Just a single win away from tying a career-high, sitting at 2-2 for the 2017 season

Caleb Joseph, Lipscomb/Baltimore Orioles (C):
- Slashing a career-best .270/.298/.421 over 44 games played in 2017
- Recorded the second triple of his career earlier this season, recording 11 extra-base hits overall on the year

Jacob Barnes, FGCU/Milwaukee Brewers (RHP):
- 38 appearances and 35.2 IP for the NL Central leading Brewers has already surpassed the 27 and 26.2 he posted in his rookie campaign
- 40 strikeouts rank second among Milwaukee's full time relievers, sitting third on the team at 10.1 K/9 

Drew Butera, UCF/Kansas City Royals (C):
- Has stroked two home runs with five RBIs over 65 at-bats this season
- One of the Royals' most reliable backups this season, slashing .231/.242/.369

Alan Busenitz, Kennesaw State/Minnesota Twins (RHP)
- Made his MLB debut against Cleveland 6/17/17
- Has tossed 6.0 innings over five appearances this year, averaging a 3.00 ERA with four strikeouts

Josh Smith, Lipscomb/Oakland Athletics (RHP)
- Averaging a career-best .80 HR/9 over 23.0 innings pitched 

Billy Burns, Mercer/Kansas City Royals (CF):
- Played in three games thus far this season, making his first appearance of the year against Cleveland (6/3/17)

 

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