This is a good week for baseball players who come from the state of New Jersey.
Voorhees native Devin Smeltzer made his Major League debut on Tuesday, throwing six scoreless innings for the Minnesota Twins.
Another South Jersey standout, Mike Shawaryn of Carneys Point, looks forward to his chance this weekend, after being added to the active list of the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox called the 24-year-old Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday for his first major league season after placing pitcher Héctor Velázquez on the disabled list with a distended back.
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This is what we know about Shawaryn:
- He attended Gloucester Catholic HS in Gloucester City, N.J. and helped lead the Rams to four consecutive state and non-public NJSIAA titles. In his senior year, he went 8-2 with a 0.63 ERA and pitched three non-hit games, making him a first-team pick for the All-America team at the 2013 Louisville Slugger High School.
- He was drafted in round 32 of the 2013 Major League Draft by the Kansas City Royals.
- He attended college at the University of Maryland, where he set career records for career wins (30), strikeouts (307) and pitched innings (307.1). He won 13 games in 2015 with 138 strikeouts, both one-season records for the Terps.
- He was recruited by the Red Sox in the 5th round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
- He is 6'2 "and weighs 200 pounds.
- He made 10 starts for PawSox this year, going 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA.
- He "handles a fastball of less than 90 and relies heavily on a slider with multiple forms" (according to Yahoo Sports).
- The first person he called on Wednesday after learning that he was addressing the elders? His girlfriend. His second call was to his parents.
According to the Boston Globe, Shawaryn is expected to have several family members at Yankee Stadium this weekend. "I had to take a deep breath to let it sink in. It's a dream come true," Shawaryn said Thursday. "It's great, I remember when I was a kid looking [Red Sox-Yankees] on TV. So many incredible games and the rivalry is incredible, so being able to be a part of them and, hopefully, helping the team win is always important. "
Chris Calciano, who sought Shawaryn for the Red Sox, has great praise for the rookie, whom he met in Maryland. For the Boston Globe:
Calciano recognized the formidable presence in the right game, someone who "would compete with his tail until the ball was taken from his hand … I remember walking away saying that he has all the attributes he could wish for in terms of the composition of a player, "Calciano, now a professional scout for Cleveland, said through a text message."[He has] "Aptitude, pbadion to throw, confidence, great leader / teammate, a winner who really despised losing."
The Red Sox have not announced how or when they will use Shawaryn. With Thursday's rain, it's possible that it will start next week when the Red Sox are in Kansas City. But a bullpen role has not been ruled out, as Boston opens a three-game series with the Yankees in first place. Yahoo Sports reporting manager Alex Cora will decide on Saturday how the team will use Shawaryn.
Mike Rosenstein can be reached in firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ rosenstein73. Find NJ.com on Facebook.