COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Last season, Coach Bragga and his staff sent four Golden Eagles to the pros in the 2010 MLB First Year Player Draft. Now, two of those four are being recognized on their pro team draft cards for their accomplishments during their first-year professional campaigns.
Right-handed pitcher Stephen Pryor was noted as having one of Seattle’s best fastballs. Playing first for the Everett Aquasox and later for the Clinton LumberKings, Pryor regularly fires his fastball between 94 and 97 miles per hour, and has been known to reach speeds upwards of 98 mph.
As one of the Mariner’s best pitching draftees, Pryor’s arm has also earned him the labeled as being “closest to the majors,” since hot arms tend to move up in the league quickly. Pryor currently sits at no. 5 overall on the “best fastball” chart, behind Jacob Petricka, Chris Sale, Stetson Allie and James Taillon.
A.J. Kirby-Jones was mentioned as one of the Oakland Athletics’ best power hitters. The 2010 MVP of the Vancouver Canadians, the first baseman set a franchise record with 14 home runs in his summer short season, chipping in 42 RBI with a .259 (64-247) batting average.
Kirby-Jones contributed ten extra-base hits in addition to his 14 long balls, and eyeballed 61 walks for the year, earning nearly three times as many free bases as the second place walk stat (23). His patience at the place earned him a .417 on base percentage and a .470 slugging percentage.