2010 first round pick becomes second FGCU pitcher in the major leagues
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Less than two months after being selected in the first round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, FGCU pitcher Chris Sale’s fast-track to the major leagues is complete. Sale has been elevated from Triple-A Charlotte to join the Chicago White Sox in time for Wednesday night’s game at Detroit.
It took Sale all of 11 days to earn his first promotion from Advanced Single-A Winston-Salem to Triple-A Charlotte on July 13. Now just 22 days after joining the Knights, Sale is on his way to the “The Show” where he’ll be available in the bullpen during tonight’s game against the Tigers at 7:05 p.m. ET on ESPN. Sale will wear No. 49. He wore No. 41 at FGCU and No. 14 at Winston-Salem and Charlotte, respectively.
Sale is the second FGCU pitcher to be called up to the major leagues and the “Windy City” in the last three days. The White Sox’s cross-town rival Chicago Cubs elevated former FGCU right-hander Casey Coleman from Triple-A Iowa on Monday.
“We’re excited for Chris and excited for our program,” said FGCU head coach Dave Tollett, who is the reigning three-time Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year. “It’s amazing how fast this has all happened, but if anyone is ready for it, it’s Chris. It’s been an amazing week for FGCU baseball and we couldn’t be more proud.”
According to Baseball America, Sale’s arrival in Chicago after being selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 7, will be the quickest major league debut of any draftee since Reds 2003 first-rounder Ryan Wagner. Sale is also the first Sox player since Alex Fernandez in 1990 to reach the majors in the season in which he was drafted. Just 13 of the 32 first round picks from this year’s draft have signed contracts.
At his most recent stop in Charlotte, Sale made seven relief appearances, going 6.1 innings with a 2.84 ERA. Sale’s call into the game usually meant the Knights’ defense could relax, as the 6-foot-6 lefty struck out 15 batters out of his 19 recorded outs. Even more impressive, Sale’s last eight outs came via the strikeout, as he limited opposing hitters to a .136 batting average. Sale struck out at least one batter in all seven appearances, two six times and the side twice.
The 2010 Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year and five-time All-American (Ping!Baseball, Louisville Slugger, Yahoo! Sports, Baseball America, ABCA/Rawlings), Sale went four innings over four appearances during his stint with the Winston-Salem Dash, giving up just one earned run and three hits while striking out four. Sale did retire nine batters in a row at one point.
Sale’s astronomical strikeout numbers in the pros are a familiar story for FGCU faithful, as he ranked fourth in the nation as a junior in 2010 with 146 strikeouts over 103 innings. The Lakeland, Fla. product’s 11-0 record, two saves and 2.01 ERA helped the Eagles clinch their third consecutive A-Sun regular season title. Sale became the second player in program history to win the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year award and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.