Big-league Bulldogs

By | April 11, 2013 | Sports (4)

Scheppers establishing himself in Texas Rangers bullpen

The Fresno State baseball team has had no shortage of players get their chance to play professional baseball in recent years.

Since 2003, Fresno State has seen 47 of its players get their names called in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. That number has taken a huge jump since Fresno State won the 2008 College World Series.

Since that winning run, it appears as if Major League Baseball scouts have started to pay a little more attention to what is going on at Fresno State. There have been 26 Bulldogs drafted since 2008.

And it appears as if one of those “Wonderdogs” has found a permanent place in the majors.

Fresno State’s ace in 2008 was Tanner Scheppers, but because of an injury, he was unable to pitch during the College World Series.

He was drafted in the second round by the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2008 draft, but failed to sign with the team by the deadline. One year later, the Texas Rangers took their chance on the hard-throwing right hander and drafted him with the 44th overall pick.

Scheppers had his cup of coffee with the Rangers in 2012, appearing in 39 games and posting a 1-1 record with a 4.45 ERA.

Now in his second year with the Rangers, Scheppers is off to a fast start. He has already pitched in four games. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Scheppers is one of three former Fresno State pitchers in the majors, joining Matt Garza and Doug Fister.

Garza was originally slated to be the Chicago Cubs Opening Day starter, but a lat injury forced him to start the season on the 15-day disabled list.

Fister is a key part of the defending American League champion Detroit Tigers starting rotation. He picked up the win in his first start of the season. He started Thursday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

And finally, missing from this list is Casey McGehee. The infielder spent the previous five seasons in the majors with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs.

But this past offseason, the 2003 draft pick signed a deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League for $1.3 million.

Stay tuned for Monday’s edition to find out where the rest of the former Bulldogs have been assigned.

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