ATLANTA, Ga. – The 2018 Major League Baseball season saw 15 ASUN Conference Baseball alums record playing time in the big leagues, headlined by Jacob deGrom, Corey Kluber and Chris Sale posting Cy Young-caliber campaigns, which you can read about here. Three players from current ASUN members saw action this season as well.
With the MLB Postseason beginning on Tuesday, the ASUN has seven players advancing into the playoffs including Kluber, Sale, Daniel Murphy, Jacob Barnes, Chad Sobotka, Drew Butera and Cory Gearrin who all helped their teams advance into the Postseason in the chase for a World Series title.
Current ASUN Schools
Jacob deGrom, Stetson/New York Mets (RHP)
W-L: 10-9, 1.70 ERA, 269 Ks, 46 BB, 217.0 IP
- deGrom is the favorite to win the NL Cy Young award. He posted a historically great season, as he became just the second pitcher since 1913, joining Pedro Martinez in 1999, to post a sub 2.00 ERA, strikeout 250+ batters and walk fewer than 50 batters.
Corey Kluber, Stetson/Cleveland Indians (RHP)
W-L: 20-7, 2.89 ERA, 237 Ks, 34 BB, 215.0 IP
- Like his fellow Stetson alum deGrom, Kluber also posted a Cy Young caliber season. He posted his fifth-straight season of 200+ strikeouts, becoming just the second Indians pitcher ever to accomplish the feat joining Sam McDowell (1965-70). Kluber also helped the Tribe win 91 games and win their third-consecutive AL Central crown.
Chris Sale, FGCU/Boston Red Sox (LHP)
W-L: 12-4, 2.11 ERA, 237 Ks, 34 BB, 158.0 IP
- Despite missing a month to injury, Sale was still able to post his sixth-straight season of 200 strikeouts or more. As the ace of the Red Sox, he helped the club to a franchise-record 108 wins its third-straight AL East crown. He led AL pitchers in WAR for the second-consecutive season with a mark of 6.5. Sale has a great case for another top-five finish in the Cy Young voting.
Daniel Murphy, Jacksonville/Chicago Cubs (2B)
91 games, 40 run, 12 HRs, 32 RBI, .299/.336/.790
- A knee injury sidelined Murphy for the better part of two and a half months, which led to a slow start to the season with the Washington Nationals. Since July, Murphy has been on a tear hitting .317 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs. He was picked up on waivers by the Cubs in mid-August, helping Chicago to its fourth-straight playoff appearance. The Cubs take on the Rockies on Tuesday, October 2nd.
Jacob Barnes, FGCU/Milwaukee Brewers (RHP):
W-L: 0-1, 3.33 ERA, 47 Ks, 23 BB, 48.2 IP
- Barnes was part of one of the best bullpens in baseball this season, helping the Brewers to their first NL Central title and playoff appearance since 2011. The Brewers finished the regular season with the fifth-best bullpen in baseball in terms of ERA. Barnes is expected to be on the NLDS roster when the Brewers open up postseason play on Thursday against the winner of the National League Wild Card Game between the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs.
Richard Bleier, FGCU/Baltimore Orioles (LHP):
W-L: 3-0, 1.93 ERA, 15 Ks, 4 BB, 32.2 IP
- Bleier was a bright spot for the Orioles this season before suffering a lat strain in June that put him on the DL for the year. The FGCU alum posted a 1.93 ERA over 32.2 IP, while striking out 15 and walking just four. According to Baseball Reference, Bleier finished the season with the highest WAR of any current Orioles player.
Sergio Romo, North Alabama/Tampa Bay Rays (RHP)
W-L: 3-4, 4.14, 75 Ks, 20 BB, 67.1 IP
- Romo was one of the key pieces out of the Rays bullpen this season, leading the club with 73 appearances including five starts as an "opener" for the team. He struck out 75 batters over 67.1 innings, while only walking 20.
Alan Busenitz, Kennesaw State/Minnesota Twins (RHP)
W-L: 4-1, 7.82 ERA, 26 Ks, 14 BB, 25.1 IP
- Busenitz split time between the big leagues and AAA Rochester this season, but in his time with the Twins he was good for a strikeout per inning.
Caleb Joseph, Lipscomb/Baltimore Orioles (C):
82 games, 28 runs, 3 HR, 17 RBI, .219/.254/.321
- Joseph split time behind the plate this season for the Orioles. In 82 games he knocked in 17 runs, and posted a defensive WAR of 0.8.
Alex McRae, Jacksonville/Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP)
W-L: 0-2, 5.68 ERA, 5 Ks, 5 BB, 6.1 IP
- McRae got a taste of MLB action in early August when he made two appearances with the Pirates. He struck out five batters over 6.1 innings.
Mark Leiter, NJIT/Toronto Blue Jays(RHP)
W-L: 0-1, 7.71 ERA, 22 Ks, 12 BB, 23.1 IP
- Leiter almost averaged a strikeout per inning between stops with the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.
Rex Brothers, Lipscomb/Atlanta Braves (LHP):
W-L: 0-0, 1 appearance
- The 2009 ASUN Pitcher of the Year only appeared in one game this season for the Braves. Brothers spent most of the season between AA Mississippi and AAA Gwinnett.
Ryan Cordell, Liberty/Chicago White Sox (OF)
19 games, 3 runs, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .108/.125/.216
- Cordell came up to the White Sox as a September call-up and saw limited action. He socked his first-career homer on September 14th against the Baltimore Orioles, which was also his first-career hit.
Former ASUN Members
Cory Gearrin, Mercer/Oakland Athletics (RHP):
W-L: 2-1, 3.77 ERA, 53 Ks, 21 BB, 57.1 IP
- Gearrin has made three stops with three different clubs this season, going from the San Francisco Giants, to the Texas Rangers before finally landing with the playoff bound Oakland A's. Gearrin only made six appearances for the A's this season, but is projected to make the playoff roster when the A's travel to the Bronx to play the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 3rd.
Drew Butera, UCF/Colorado Rockies (C):
61 games, 6 runs, 3 HR, 21 RBI, .190./264./.301
- Butera went over to the Rockies from the Kansas City Royals as a waiver claim in late August. He has served mostly as a backup this season but is projected to still make the playoff roster for Colorado. The Rockies take on the Chicago Cubs in the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday, October 2nd.
Chad Sobotka, USC Upstate/Atlanta Braves (RHP)
W-L: 1-0, 1.88, 21 Ks, 9 BB, 14.1 IP
- Since being called up in mid-August, Sabotka has been dynamite out of the 'pen for the NL East Champs. He struck out 21 batters in just 14.1 IP, while walking just nine. Sobotka and the Braves open up postseason play on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.