March 14, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team is busy with its 2011 regular season, but it is also busy tracking the careers of several former players that have seen a lot of success at the major league and minor league levels. Over the next few days, MUTigers.com will look at the former Tigers that are seeing success at both the major league and minor league levels. First, we will start with a look at the Tigers on major league rosters as on Monday, March 14.
Ian Kinsler - 2B - Texas Rangers
As one of the Tigers' most notable alumnus in the professional ranks, Ian Kinsler looks primed for another All-Star season in 2011. The two-time all-star (2008, 2010) and two-time AL Player of the Week is leading all major league players with five homeruns during Spring Training this season and is hitting .367 in 11 games. His five homeruns come in 30 at bats and he also has nine RBI this season and has swiped a pair of bags. In all, Kinsler is a career .281 hitter and has 92 career long balls and he should hit the century mark in that department this season. He was an All-Star last season before his campaign was interrupted by an injury, but with a strong start to the spring, he should be one of the key pieces of a Texas Rangers team that looks to return to the World Series in 2011.
Max Scherzer - RHP - Detroit Tigers
Justin James - RHP - Milwaukee Brewers
Former Mizzou Tiger ace Max Scherzer is off to a nice start after arriving in Detroit last season and Tiger manager Jim Leyland has even named him as the starter for the home opener at Comerica Park against the Kansas City Royals on April 8. Last season with the Tigers, Scherzer posted an ERA of 3.50 while winning 12 games. Overall, he owns a career ERA of 3.69 with 424 strikeouts and he has started 68 games in his career and thrown 422.0 innings. In 2010, Scherzer posted career-bests in wins (12), games started (31), innings pitched (195.2) and strikeouts (184). So far in Spring Training, Scherzer has started three games and pitched 10.2 innings for the Tigers while allowing seven earned runs.
Justin James has landed in Milwaukee for the upcoming 2011 season after spending the 2010 season with the Oakland Athletics. Through five games in spring training with the Brew Crew, James has appeared in five games and thrown 5.2 innings. He has allowed three earned runs in those games but has shown the ability to overpower hitters. In fact, he owns a WHIP of 0.71 and is holding opposing batters to just a .158 average. Last season with Oakland, James appeared in five games and boasted an ERA of 4.50 with five strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work.
Doug Mathis - RHP - Cleveland Indians
Doug Mathis, who debuted in the major leagues on May 12, 2008, is currently in the Indians organization and has pitched well in Spring Training after pitching last season with the Texas Rangers. So far in Spring Training, Mathis has thrown in five games and only allowed three earned runs while striking out three batters. Mathis owns a career ERA of 4.84 in his three seasons in the big leagues and has appeared in 45 games at the major league level, starting six. His best season came in 2009 when he appeared in 24 games and boasted an ERA of 3.16 with 25 strikeouts.
Aaron Crow - RHP - Kansas City Royals
Aaron Crow, who is one of the most decorated pitchers in Mizzou history, is looking like a lock to make the Royals' opening-day roster as he has put together an impressive Spring Training so far. In fact, he has appeared in four games and thrown7.0 innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out five batters. His WHIP is a very solid 1.14 in those 7.0 innings pitched. His great spring comes after an even better performance last spring in which he three 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball for the Royals. Look for Crow to make an impact this season with Kansas City.
Kyle Gibson - RHP - Minnesota Twins
Kyle Gibson, the latest in a long line of successful starters at Mizzou, has found plenty of success in the Minnesota Twins' organization. In fact, Baseball America rated Gibson as the organization's No. 1 pitching prospect and he is expected to make his major league debut sometime this summer. Last season, Gibson flew through the minor league system, advancing from High-A ball all the way to Triple A ball by the end of the season. He made 26 starts in that span and compiled a 2.96 ERA and struck out 126 batters while walking just 39.
Andrew Johnston - RHP - Colorado Rockies
A reliever for the Colorado Rockies, Andrew Johnston is making a strong case to make the Rockies opening day roster. In four appearances during Spring Training, he has a pair of wins and has not allowed an earned run in those games. He also owns a pair of strikeouts on the season. He will continue to pitch with the Rockies during Spring Training as he will try to make his major league debut this summer.