Beaver Falls, PA - It is every young baseball player′s dream to someday make it to the big leagues. Geneva′s Mike Jeffreys took his next step to realizing that dream on Thursday when he opted out of his senior year to sign a professional contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Jeffreys, who broke the Geneva College single season strikeout record with 106 this past spring, has been spending his second consecutive summer playing baseball in Alaska. Jeffreys has been pitching for the Chugiak Eagle River Chinooks and has been more than holding his own. This past Sunday, Jeffreys pitched an inning in the league′s all-star game and the young right handed hurler turned the heads of a handful of major league scouts.
"I got the opportunity to throw one inning at the all-star game and one of the radar guns was registering 94 mph," say Jeffreys. Not surprisingly, Jeffreys was approached by a handful of scouts following the game. The next few days became a blur as he spoke with several organizations about his future. On Thursday, Jeffreys made his final decision to bypass his final season at Geneva College to begin his road of professional baseball. "I spoke with Coach (Alan) Sumner and wanted to make the best decision possible. Of course it′s a dream to have this opportunity and I felt that this was the time to begin my journey."
Jeffreys will head to Arizona to the Kansas City Royals′ spring training facility on Friday before being sent to Burlington, NC to play for the Burlington Royals in short season single A. In what now will turn out to be his final season at Geneva College, Jeffreys appeared in 12 games and made ten starts for the Golden Tornadoes. He posted a 1.73 ERA in 67.2 innings pitched with 106 strikeouts and only nine walks.
What is gained by professional baseball and the Kansas City Royals is the loss of Geneva College and head coach Alan Sumner. Jeffreys claimed first team all-conference honors in each of the past two years and was of course slated to be Geneva′s number one starter in 2014. "This is a no- brainer," says Sumner. "Mike has enjoyed a great career with us at Geneva and has maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of him and he should go pursue his dream. Of course we are going to miss him on the field, but honestly we will miss him a lot more off of it. He is simply a great kid and has been a wonderful example to the rest of our student-athletes. We wish him nothing but the best and we know that he will have great success in the professional ranks."
Geneva College invites students to accept the challenge of an academically excellent, Christ-centered education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, an Adult Degree Completion Program with fully online and campus-based options, and seven graduate degrees, Geneva has programs that place students at the forefront of higher learning. Adhering to the inerrancy of Scripture, the liberal arts core curriculum fosters a breadth of knowledge through the study of humanities, social and natural sciences, and experiential learning.