13 Trojans Continue Careers In The Pros

13 Trojans Continue Careers In The Pros

Mount Olive, N.C. - Thirteen former Trojan baseball players are currently playing professional baseball. The University of Mount Olive baseball team boasts 11 alumni in Major League Baseball organizations with two others playing independent league baseball.

Carter Capps (2010-11) - El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres)

  The 2011 Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year is currently in the San Diego Padres organization and continuing his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. Capps was traded to the Padres from the Miami Marlins just before the deadline last season. The Kinston, N.C. native opened the season with the Lake Elsinore Storm (Class A Advanced). With Lake Elsinore, Capps did not allow a hit or a run in two innings of work, striking-out a pair. Capps was promoted to the El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A) on April 16, but was then placed on the Padres' 60-day DL. On June 10, Capps was reassigned to El Paso to continue his rehab work. With the Chihuahuas, Capps holds a 4.15 ERA with a 1-1 record in 13 innings of work.

Jay Gonzalez (2014) - Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles)

    The leading base-stealer in the entire Orioles organization in 2016, Gonzalez has continued his strong play through the first half of the 2017 campaign. Gonzalez opened the season with the Bowie Baysox (Double-A), where he batted .284 with seven doubles, three triples, and nabbed 13 bases. Gonzalez was sent to the Frederick Keys (Class A Advanced) this week and in a pair of contests has two hits and a stolen base.

Austin Hutchison (2016-17) - Arizona League Mariners (Seattle Mariners)

     Following a stellar 2017 season with the Trojans, Hutchison was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 26th round of the MLB Draft. The Dandridge, Tennessee native starts his professional career with the AZL Mariners. In a pair of appearances, Hutchison has yet to allow a run in four innings while striking-out six.

Gunnar Kines (2014-15) - Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets)

    Kines started the 2017 season as a member of the Schaumburg Slammers, an independent club in the Frontier League. After starting the season with a 5-1 record with a 1.31 ERA in 41.1 innings pitched, Kines was signed by the New York Mets on June 24 and sent to the Brooklyn Cyclones (Class A Short Season). In his only appearance, Kines was credited with the loss, pitching six innings and allowing six runs on 11 hits while striking out five.

Ryan Kussmaul (2009) - Wichita Wingnuts

    After playing for the Mobile BayBears, the Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, last season, Kussmaul opened 2017 with the Wichita Wingnuts of the independent American Association. In nine appearances, Kussmaul is 4-2 with a 3.47 ERA, striking out 56 while walking just 12.

Tommy Layne (2007) - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees)

    A consistent bullpen arm for the New York Yankees, Layne returned to the Bronx to wear the pinstripes in 2017. Layne made 19 appearances, earning a pair of holds, while collecting a 7.62 ERA in 13 innings of work and striking out nine. Layne was sent to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Triple-A) on June 16 and has since impressed for the RailRiders. In five appearances, Layne has amassed a 1.59 ERA in 5.2 innings of work, allowing just two hits and recording four strikeouts.

Pete Levitt (2011) - Florence Freedom

    Levitt returned to the Florence Freedom of the independent Frontier League for his fourth-straight season in 2017. In 13 relief appearances, Levitt has not allowed an earned run in 7.2 innings, while striking out four batters.

Jason Morozowski (2015) - Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks)

    Rising through the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, Morozowski opened the 2017 season with the Kane County Cougars (Class A). With the Cougars, Morozowski hit .286, earning him a promotion to the Visalia Rawhide (Class A Advanced) on April 24. Morozowski is hitting .229 with the Rawhide, smashing three home runs with 27 RBI. Since joining the Diamondbacks organization out of UMO in 2015, Morozowski has amassed 22 home runs with 111 RBI while slugging .408.

Zack Mozingo (2017) - Gulf Coast League Rays (Tampa Bay Rays)

      The Goldsboro, N.C. native became the third Trojan selected in the 2017 MLB Draft when he was picked in the 21st round by the Tampa Bay Rays. Starting his professional career with the GCL Rays, Mozingo has pitched one-third of an inning, coming on in the eighth inning against the GCL Red Sox on June 28. Mozingo did not allow a hit, getting an out and walking one in his professional debut.

Jacob Rogers (2011-12) - Spokane Indians (Texas Rangers)

     A first baseman for much of his professional career, Rogers has transitioned to the mound in his sixth professional season. Coming into the 2017 campaign, Rogers had pitched just two-thirds of an inning in his professional career. Rogers role shifted to start 2017 as the Clearwater, Florida native was signed by the Texas Rangers and sent to the Spokane Indians (Class A Short Season). With the Indians, Rogers has pitched 3.2 innings with a 2.45 ERA, allowing two hits and striking out eight.

Ricky Surum (2016-17) - Gulf Coast League Yankees East (New York Yankees)

     Surum became the second Trojan drafted in the 2017 MLB Draft when he was selected in the 16th round by the New York Yankees. The Atlanta, Georgia native's professional career starts with the GCL Yankees East. In a pair of appearances, Surum has a hit with two runs scored and a stolen base in six at bats.

Kodi Whitley (2014-17) - Gulf Coast League Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)

     The final of five Trojans selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, Whitley was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 27th round and starts his professional career with the GCL Cardinals. In 2017 with the Trojans, Whitley returned from Tommy John surgery and pitched 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts.

Bruce Zimmermann (2016-17) - Danville Braves (Atlanta Braves)

     Zimmermann became the third-highest draft pick in Mount Olive Baseball history after being selected 140th overall in the fifth round by the Atlanta Braves. The Woodstock, Maryland's professional career begins with the Danville Braves (Rookie League). In 2017 for the Trojans, Zimmermann compiled a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in a team-high 99 innings of work. Zimmermann tied the program record for single-season strikeouts with 129 Ks this season.