@GTBaseball Summer Notebook #2

A.J. Murray hit his first pro home run last week.
July 1, 2015

• GOLD STANDARD IN CLASSROOM: After a record-setting semester in the classroom that saw the baseball team record a team-record GPA of 3.17, three Jackets were selected to All-ACC Academic Team. No less than three Tech players have earned mention every year since the team’s inception in 2006. More

• HOME RUN DERBY BOUND: Rookie slugger Kel Johnson competes in the College Home Run Derby on July 2 in Omaha. The event airs live on ESPN Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. More

• NATION’S BEST BALLPARK EXPEREICNES: For the second consecutive year, Russ Chandler Stadium is ranked among the top ballpark experiences in college baseball. RCS checked in at No. 5 on the list, in a top-10 dominated by ACC and SEC venues. Last season, the home of the Yellow Jackets was ranked fifth-best in college baseball and No. 53 of all sports venues in the U.S. More

• SUMMER BALL UPDATE: Pitchers Jonathan King and Zac Ryan continue to excel in Cape Cod League, while Grant Wruble stays hot in Ohio. More

• MORE HARDWARE FOR JOHNSON: Rookie Kel Johnson added a second Freshman All-America award to his collection, earning second-team honors from D1Baseball.com. More

• RECENTLY-DRAFTED JACKETS UPDATE:

o A.J. Murray is off to a red-hot start for the Minnesota Twins’ minor-league affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn. Murray has played in four games and is five for his first 12 at the plate (.417) with two doubles, a home run, an RBI and three runs. The Elizabethton Twins are 4-3 in the Appalachian League. Murray, who was drafted by the Twins in the 14th Round, made his pro debut on June 24…
o Daniel Spingola has signed with the Chicago Cubs after they drafted the outfielder in the 31st Round. He’s with the club in Mesa, Ariz., but has not yet played as he rehabs a late-season ankle injury…
o Yellow Jacket signee Tyler Stephenson (Reds’ first-round pick) has already signed with the Reds, while pitcher Jonathan Hughes (Orioles’ second-round pick) remains Baltimore’s only unsigned top-10 round selection.

• #PROJACKET UPDATES:
o Buck Farmer has made two MLB starts for the Detroit Tigers this season as he continues to dominate the Triple-A level. In 13 starts this year for the Toledo Mudhens, Farmer is 7-2 with a 3.35 ERA and 67 strikeouts against 22 walks in 75. 1innings…
o Daniel Palka is tearing up the Class-A California League to the tune of 23 doubles, 13 home runs, 16 stolen bases and a .509 slugging percentage. He ranks third in the league in doubles, fourth in steals, eighth in homers and 12th in the league in slugging. His Visalia Rawhide team went 42-28 and won the California League’s first-half title…
o Kyle Wren made his Triple-A debut with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on June 18. In 60 games with the Biloxi Shuckers (AA) before his promotion, Wren helped them to the Southern League’s first-half title by hitting .300 with six doubles, 23 stolen bases and was a Southern League All-Star pick…
o Zane Evans was promoted by the Kansas City Royals to Double-A in mid-May and is hitting .270 with eight doubles, six homers and 25 RBI in 27 games with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) since his call-up…
o Luke Bard, who missed all of 2014 with an injury, is 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA in 11 appearances for the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins Class A affiliate in the Midwest League)…
o Dusty Isaacs recorded his first professional save on June 20 for the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays Class affiliate in the Midwest League). Isaacs owns a 2.95 ERA in 10 minor-league appearances this season…
o Mott Hyde, who was promoted to the Class A California League on June 11, is hitting .292 with six doubles, a triple and 13 RBI in 15 games since his call-up to the Lancaster JetHawkws.