(Sports Town is featuring updates on WPIAL baseball players who are currently playing in the major or minor leagues. The posts were compiled by veteran baseball writer John Perrotto. We will feature two players every day.)
When Mike Jeffreys headed west to play in the Alaska Summer Baseball League last year, he fully expected to return home in August then play his senior season at Geneva College in the spring.
However, the Moon High School graduate wound up taking the long way home. Following a scintillating one-inning performance in the league All-Star Game that included a string of 95-mph fastballs, the right-hander received offers from six major league organizations as he was eligible to sign as a free agent after being bypassed in the draft.
Jeffreys, 22, chose the Kansas City Royals over the Pirates among others, signing on July 27, and is now pitching for their rookie-level Idaho Falls farm club in the Pioneer League.
"I never expected this," Jeffreys said. "Scouts didn't even come to my games at Geneva. No team told me they were even thinking of drafting me. It's kind of a unique story and I'm very thankful to be in this position."
After being kept behind at the Royals' extended spring training camp in Surprise, Ariz., while making the conversion from reliever to starter, Jeffreys is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA in three games, including one start.
He made a fine professional debut last summer at rookie-level Burlington in the Appalachian League, going 0-0 with a 0.87 ERA in six relief appearances.