Coleman becomes first FGCU player to make it to the major leagues
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After making 20 starts for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs this season, former FGCU baseball standout Casey Coleman became the first Eagle to make the major leagues on Monday when he was called up to the Chicago Cubs.
Coleman, who is 10-7 with Iowa this season, will be available in the bullpen during Monday night’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field and will wear No. 27. The Cape Coral, Fla. product has moved up in each of his three years with the Cubs organization, beginning with Single-A Short-Season in Boise (2008), Single-A Peoria (2008), Single-A Advanced Daytona (2008), Double-A Tennessee Smokes (2009) and most recently with Triple-A Iowa (2010).
Coleman turned in a solid July for Iowa, going 4-0 with a 2.79 ERA over five starts. The 6-foot right-hander’s 10-7 record on the year is backed by 117.1 innings worked, 59 strikeouts and a Pacific Coast League-leading two complete games. Coleman’s 10 wins are tied for fourth in the Pacific Coast League, while he’s tied for ninth in starts (20) and 16th in innings pitched.
With Casey now in the major leagues, the Coleman’s become the first family to have three generations of pitchers reach the major leagues. Coleman’s father, Joe, played from 1965-79, making the 1972 All-Star Game as a member of the Detroit Tigers. Coleman’s grandfather, Joe, was named an All-Star in 1948, highlighting his 10-year career (1942-55). Casey and his father, Joe, will also become the eighth father-son combination to have played for the Cubs but the first father-son pitching combination to appear for the team. Joe was a member of the Cubs’ organization in 1976.
“This is an awesome accomplishment for Casey and a great day for our program,” said FGCU head baseball coach Dave Tollett, who has led the Eagles to three straight Atlantic Sun regular season crowns. “This is well-deserved for Casey because he’s worked so hard. He’s the third generation in his family to play professional baseball, so it’s in his blood. This is an exciting day for FGCU baseball.”
Coleman was an integral part of the 2008 FGCU club that posted a 38-15 record and won the Atlantic Sun regular season title in the program’s first season in Division I. Over his three seasons, Coleman went 16-6 on the mound with 171 strikeouts, helping lead the Eagles to a 119-49 record over that span. Coleman was also a force at the plate while splitting time at second base, shortstop and third base. Coleman batted .318 with 98 runs scored, 156 hits, 26 doubles, nine triples, eight home runs and 97 RBI.
Selected in the 15th round of the 2008 MLB Draft, Coleman made his professional debut with Single-A Short-Season Boise in Northwest League where he went 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in seven games (four starts), recording 24 strikeouts and seven walks in 26.2 innings pitched. Coleman also made five starts for Single-A Peoria in the Midwest League, going 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA and tallying 18 strikeouts with just four walks in 23.1 innings. Coleman was sent up to Single-A Advanced Daytona in the Florida State League for his final start of 2008 season, and allowed a run on four hits and two walks, striking out two hitters in five innings for a 6-3 victory over Vero Beach.
During the 2009 season, Coleman spent the year with the Double-A Tennessee Smokes of the Southern League. In 27 starts, the righty finished the year with a 14-6 record and a 3.68 ERA, with 84 strikeouts and 58 walks in 149 innings pitched.