Former Turks 2011 Draftees Off To Fast Starts in Pro Ball

07/02/2011 – Turks Tidbits

Written by Nathaniel Stoltz James Madison University

All four former Turks drafted in the 2011 MLB Draft have signed with the organizations that drafted them, and three of them are off to excellent starts.

Lefthander Matt Chaffee, a 2008 Turk selected in the 12th round by the Atlanta Braves, was assigned to Advanced-Rookie Danville of the Appalachian League. The relief pitcher has pitched in three games, throwing five innings. He’s already struck out nine batters while walking only one and allowing just two hits. Chaffee’s first appearance, against Pulaski on June 23, actually saw him pull off an extremely rare feat – striking out four batters in one inning. The Arizona alumnus is ninth in the Appalachian League in relief strikeouts.

Right-handed pitcher Kurt Wunderlich, drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 20th round and was immediately pushed a level above Chaffee to short-season-A-ball with Vermont of the New York/Penn League. Wunderlich threw a perfect inning in his first outing, but his next two have seen him allow four runs. Hopefully he’ll shake it off – the fact that he was placed in the NYPL straight out of the draft speaks to how highly Oakland regards the Michigan State alum.

Outfielder Ruben Sosa, a 24th round pick of the Astros, is in the Appalachian League as well, and he’s one of the best hitters on his Greeneville team, batting .316 with a .391 on-base percentage in seven games. Sosa has also been successful on his sole stolen base attempt, and has already ripped a pair of doubles.

Drew Granier, a righthanded starting pitcher from Louisiana-Monroe, also went to the A’s in the 32nd round, and was assigned to their Rookie-level Arizona League affiliate. Granier, like Chaffee, has thrown five stellar innings – he’s walked just two and struck out eight.

It’s certainly very early in these players’ careers, but it’s great to see the former Turks getting their careers started the right way. Best of luck to all four as they progress through the minors!