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    Catching Up with the 'Cats

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    Editor's Note: Cody Stevens, a current member of the Northwestern Wildcats, penned an update on how some recent alums of the program are doing in professional baseball.

    By Cody Stevens
    May 1, 2014

    J.A. Happ, a three-time, All-Big Ten First Team Pitcher, was drafted in the third round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. It took him three years to get in his first Major League game, where he pitched for the Phillies. He bounced between Class AAA and the major league club until 2009 where he became a regular starter for the Phillies. He went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and the Phillies went on to win a World Series ring in the fall. He was traded to the Houston Astros the next year and then to the Toronto Blue Jays two years later. He is currently a valuable part of the Blue Jays bullpen.

     

    George Kontos was drafted in 2006 by the New York Yankees is now playing for the Class AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. He has a 4.32 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched with a staggering 25-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. He has spent significant time in the Majors with the Giants and Yankees over his career. In the past two years with the Giants, Kontos has had a 3.55 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 99 innings. He was also a part of the postseason roster for the Giants in 2012 when they won the World Series.

     

    Bo Schultz, who was signed by the Oakland Athletics in 2008, is now pitching for the Reno Aces, the Class AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has five starts on the year with two wins and two losses and a 2.90 ERA. Schultz has 22 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. The right-hander was called up to the Diamondbacks big league roster to make the trip to Sydney, Australia for Major League Baseball's opening series, While he was down under, he threw one inning where he did not give up a hit or walk. Bo's path was not an easy one, when he was released by Oakland in 2011 he signed to play Independent League baseball for the rest of the season. That opportunity got him another chance, with the Diamondbacks signing him for the 2012 season.

     

    Jake Goebbert was drafted in the 13th Round of the 2009 MLB Draft, by the Houston Astros. In 2012 he was traded to the Oakland Athletics where he would hit .262 in the minors. This year, Goebbert received an invite to Spring Training where he got several at-bats. He ultimately did not make the A's Opening Day roster, but he is now hitting .303 with four Home Runs in 21 games for the Class AAA Sacramento River Cats.

     

    Eric Jokisch was drafted in the 39th round out of high school but decided to attend Northwestern. After a stellar career in Evanston, he was drafted again in 2010 by the Chicago Cubs in the 11th round. He has moved up the Minor Leagues fairly quickly where he hasn't stayed in one level for more then a year and a half. On August 6, 2013, Jokisch threw a no-hitter as a member of the Class AA Tennessee Smokies. After spending much of Spring Training with the Cubs major leaguers, he now is in Class AAA Iowa where he has two wins and 1 loss with a 3.48 ERA to go along with 26 strikeouts in 31 innings.


    Geoff Rowan heard his name called in 2012 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 39th round. He saw his playing time greatly increase in 2013 where he played in 22 games with 11 hits. He also was named the proud winner of the Erik Walker Community Champion Award, which recognizes a Rays minor league player who shows teamwork, sportsmanship, and community involvement.

               

    Zach Morton, a 2013 graduate, was drafted in the 32nd round by the Houston Astros last June. He started in short-season A ball where he had a 1.93 ERA, but was then moved up to Class A where his ERA lowered to 1.45. He helped the Quad Cities River Bandits win the Midwest league championship last year and now is in the bullpen there once again. Morton has a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings with 10 Strikeouts.


    Luke Farrell, after a great 2013 season, was selected in the 6th round of the MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. He was hampered by an injury late in 2013 that effected his stats, but the Royals have enough confidence in him to move him to Class A in 2014. For the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League, Farrell has posted a 7.5 Strikeouts for every nine innings he has pitched.

     

    Trevor Stevens was signed by the Chicago Cubs after his final season at NU in 2013. He went on to the Cubs Rookie League team where he hit .257 in 26 games. In 2014, he has yet to make an appearance because of a hand injury he suffered during spring training.

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