Three former Kennesaw State pitchers, Chad Jenkins, Kenny Faulk and Justin Freeman, will try to prove their worth this spring.
The Toronto Blue Jays have brought 2009 first round draft pick Chad Jenkins to Dunedin Florida to take part in Grapefruit League action. The 6’4″ 235 pound right-hander out of Chattanooga Tennessee posted a 4.5 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 32 big league innings last year with the big league club, as both a starter and reliever. Among those 16 strikeouts, were Evan Longoria (2x), Ben Zobrist (2x), Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton and Matt Wieters. Jenkins will still be considered a rookie this year under league rules because he did not meet the 50 inning threshold last season.
Kenny Faulk, who was selected in the 16th round of the 2009 draft, will be with the Detroit Tigers camp in Lakeland Florida this spring. He is a non-roster invitee which means he is likely going to pitch on an evaluational basis as a camp body and has little chance of making the 40-man roster before the season starts. Originally from Kennesaw, Faulk, 25, is a 6’0 235 pound left-handed reliever who posted a 4.53 ERA last season with four saves in Double-A Erie. Faulk’s Tigers open up Spring Training on February 23rd against his former teammate Chad Jenkins and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Cincinnati Reds have invited right-handed relief pitcher Justin Freeman to camp as a non-roster player. The 26 year old who was drafted in the 32nd round in 2008 posted a 2.91 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 68 strikeouts and 16 saves in 68 innings for Double-A Pensacola. Even though Freeman is a non-roster player, he posted very impressive numbers and should be monitored closely this year if injuries were to hit the Reds’ deep pitching staff. The Reds spring training team will be based in Goodyear Arizona and play in the Cactus League. They open on February 23rd against the Cleveland Indians.