Thursday August 8, 2013Former Gator Kevin Chapman Promoted To Major Leagues By Houston Astros
Former Gator left-hander Kevin Chapman (Coral Springs, Fla.) was informed on Thursday that he will be called up to the Major Leagues by the Houston Astros and the move will become effective on Friday.
He will be the fourth player in head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure at Florida to reach professional baseball’s highest level after left-hander Nick Maronde (2009-11) was called up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last August, left-hander Steven Rodriguez (2010-12) joined the Los Angeles Dodgers last September and catcher Mike Zunino (2010-12) was brought up by the Seattle Mariners this June.
Chapman had recently been playing for the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he was 1-2 with a 3.20 earned run average and tallied a pair of saves in 45 appearances. The southpaw had registered 61 strikeouts in 50.2 innings, while limiting opponents to a .223 average.
Chosen by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft with the 119th selection, Chapman was a third-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) that season, becoming the first Gator pitcher to earn All-America status since Justin Hoyman in 2004. He also garnered second-team All-South Region accolades as the Gators captured the SEC title and advanced to the NCAA College World Series for the first time in five years.
Chapman made a team-high 31 appearances and was 3-0 with a 1.64 earned run average during his junior campaign. The lefty had 11 saves, tied for second in the SEC, and a total that matched the fourth-most in a single-season by a Florida hurler. Over 43.2 innings, Chapman registered 44 strikeouts, issued seven walks and limited opponents to a .190 batting average.
He was UF’s lone representative on the league’s first team as a relief pitcher after going 3-0 with seven saves and a 1.59 earned run average in SEC play. Chapman was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week for the first time in his career on May 24 that season after helping the Gators clinch their first conference title since 2005 at No. 6 South Carolina. He saved the first two games versus the Gamecocks, working a total of 3.2 scoreless and hitless innings, and also registered three strikeouts.
During his time with the Orange and Blue, Chapman was 6-1 with a 2.80 ERA in 61 appearances, including seven starts. Over 93.1 innings, he totaled 76 strikeouts and collected 11 saves.
Besides Chapman, there are seven other players with UF ties in the Big Leagues: infielder Mark Ellis (Los Angeles Dodgers), Maronde (Angels), right-hander Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles), outfielder Ryan Raburn (Cleveland Indians), Rodriguez (Dodgers), catcher David Ross (Boston Red Sox/60-day DL) and Zunino (Mariners/15-day DL).