Aug. 31, 2010
By Eliza Smith
Mizzou Media Relations Assistant
Former Mizzou baseball player Justin James is stepping up to the Major League. He joins the Oakland A's today in New York City in time for their game at Yankee Stadium tomorrow night. Yankee Stadium is a long way away from where James was at the start of the 2010 season.
Originally from Yukon, Okla, James was a pitcher at Mizzou (2002-03) prior to being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth-round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. He played in the Blue Jays organization until 2007, making his way up to Triple-A where he posted a 3.68 ERA in 36 games in 2007.
Following time in the Arizona Fall League in 2007, James was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for the 2008 season, however, he was released following that season. He then signed with the Kansas City T-Bones, an independent team out of the Northern League.
James began the 2010 season with the T-Bones, appearing in 11 games, recording six saves with an ERA of 1.69. His contract was purchased by the Oakland A's on June 17 and he was sent to the Double-A Midland Rockhounds, where he pitched in 12 games, posting an ERA of 2.29 and 21 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.
On July 22, he advanced to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, where he went 1-1 with a 1.37 ERA in 16 games. He recorded four saves while striking out 28 in 19.2 innings, earning him a promotion to the big leagues.
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