These are heady days for former Citadel baseball star Asher Wojciechowski, who may be on the cusp of becoming the second Bulldog to reach the major leagues this season.
The 2010 Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year and consensus All-American has been one of the top hurlers in the Pacific Coast League since his promotion to Oklahoma City in early May. In 14 starts for the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, Wojo has a record of 5-4 with an ERA of 2.95 and 69 strikeouts.
The 6-4, 235-pound righty put himself on the fast track to Houston on July 8 when he tossed a complete game one-hitter for the RedHawks in a 5-0 win over Round Rock, the Rangers’ PCL farm team that includes former Citadel first baseman Chris McGuiness.
Wojciechowski got the best of his former college teammate that night, holding McGuiness hitless in three at bats. Also going 0-for-3 that night was a former major leaguer of some renown – Manny Ramirez – who is trying to work his way back after spending the early part of the 2013 season playing in Taiwan.
When Toronto made Wojciechowski the 41st pick of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, he became the highest player ever selected from The Citadel. He was traded to the Astros on July 10, 2012.
In addition to his on-field success, things are going pretty well for him in his personal life. He is marrying his longtime girlfriend Alanna Hamilton on December 14, just seven days before he celebrates his 25th birthday.
McGuiness, who was drafted by the Red Sox in the 13th round in 2009 and later traded to the Rangers, made his major league debut on June 7 and had two hits including a double and RBI two days later. He played in 10 games with Texas before returning to Round Rock, where he is batting .267 with 20 doubles, six homers and 39 RBI this season.
Outfielder Chris Swauger got off to a strong start this season at Springfield (Ill.), the Double-A affiliate of the Cardinals. He was batting .286 with eight home runs and 39 RBI before earning a promotion to Triple-A Memphis. Swauger is in his sixth season in the Cardinals’ organization after being drafted in 2008.
Pitcher Matt Crim spent the past year and a half in the independent Frontier League with the Evansville Otters before moving on to the Southern Illinois Miners on Saturday. He was drafted by the Braves in 2009 and played in that organization through the 2011 season.
A couple of more recent Bulldogs are just beginning their professional careers. Catcher Joe Jackson, a fifth-round pick by the Rangers in June, made his debut with the short season Spokane Indians of the Northwest League on Friday after recovering from a broken thumb.
Austin Pritcher, a 19th-round choice by Detroit, has appeared in eight games in relief for the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League and earned a save against Williamsport on Friday when he worked 2 1/3 perfect innings.
To follow these former Bulldogs, check out the following links:
Oklahoma City RedHawks: http://www.okcredhawks.com
Round Rock Express: http://www.rrexpress.com
Memphis Redbirds: http://www.memphisredbirds.com
Southern Illinois Miners: http://www.southernillinoisminers.com
Spokane Indians: http://www.spokaneindiansbaseball.com
Connecticut Tigers: http://www.cttigers.com
– Mike Hoffman –
Media Relations Director