I love, love, love rooting for players who were once released, get a second chance, and have success. Brad Ziegler (New Market 2000) is one of those guys, and so is the one who was just named the Double-A Texas League pitcher of the week by milb.com: Drew Rucinski (Luray 2009-10).
Drew fired a complete game shutout on June 7th, allowing only 5 hits, 0 walks, and striking out 6 to earn the honor. This is what Sam Dykstra wrote about Drew:
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 6 K)
In 2012 and 2013, Rucinski was pitching in the independent Frontier League. Now, he’s a Texas League Pitcher of the Week showing that he’s potentially capable of taking on the next level of the Minors. The 25-year-old right-hander, who signed with the Angels late last season after previously pitching in the Indians system back in 2011, notched the first shutout of his affiliated career Saturday. He is 4-4 with a 2.73 ERA (seventh-best in the Texas League), 55 strikeouts and a .237 batting average-against in 12 starts (62 2/3 innings) with the Travelers.
Ready for the next level? I like that!