The 2020 MLB Draft was trimmed down to just five rounds this year, but that didn’t stop Cougar pitcher A.J. Block from starting his pro career. Block signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Although Block’s senior season was limited to just four starts, he made the most of them. He struck out at least 10 batters in three of his four starts and led the Pac-12 with 27.2 innings pitched. Block posted a 3.25 ERA in his four starts, a significant improvement on the 6.06 ERA in his junior season.
Block was drafted in the 17th round by Detroit last season, but opted to return to Pullman and not sign with the Tigers. The draft was reduced to just five rounds this season, and teams couldn’t sign undrafted free agents until Sunday. Block was among the first wave of players signed, seemingly indicating a nice bump in his pro stock from last year.
A tremendous Senior! So proud of AJ and happy for him! AWESOME representative of @wsucougarbsb Person 1st Player 2nd! Top 10 senior - Leadership Council - 3 straight 10k efforts....WINNER! @aj_block @CougfanCOM https://t.co/NfRXmrxMlQ— Brian Green (@coachbriangreen) June 15, 2020
He’s officially a member of the Royals organization. When he’s able to actually begin his pro playing career remains unclear. MLB owners and players are still trying to agree on what to do with the season. Meanwhile, minor league teams have put their seasons on hold. Block would likely start in short-season A-ball, but those leagues just pushed the start of their seasons back as well.
Best of luck at the next level, A.J.
Washington State's A.J. Block signs with Kansas City Royals as free agent | The Spokesman-Review
A.J. Block wasn’t selected in the shortened Major League Baseball Draft, but a professional career is still on the horizon for the left-handed pitcher from Washington State.
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Utah State vs. Washington State, Sept. 3
Although BYU and Utah will hog the local spotlight that night, the Aggies will also have a marquee matchup to open the season, as they’ll host a Power Five opponent for the first time since 2014.