Pitcher Jon Fitzsimmons has signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Royals. Fitzsimmons is the second Canisius junior pitcher to sign with a Major League Baseball franchise after Garrett Cortright signed with the Baltimore Orioles after being selected in the 40th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
Fitzsimmons becomes the 10th Golden Griffin (seven draft selections and three minor-league contracts) to sign with a Major League franchise since 2006.
Fitzsimmons, a two-time MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year, was 4-0 with 10 saves and a 1.16 ERA in 21 appearances during the 2013 season. Fitzsimmons also had 38 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched and allowed opponents to post a .154 batting average. The 6-foot-2 right-hander recorded two outs – both strikeouts – of No. 1 seed North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. He also pitched the ninth inning in the combined no-hitter of Iona College on March 29, the first nine-inning no-hitter in program history.
In his three-year career with the Golden Griffins, Fitzsimmons made 56 appearances and posted 22 saves with a 7-3 record and 1.88 earned run average. In 67 innings, Fitzsimmons recorded 85 strikeouts and allowed the opposition to hit .185.
In eight appearances with the Wilson Tobs of the Coastal Plain League this summer, Fitzsimmons posted six saves and allowed one run while striking out 12 batters. Fitzsimmons also struck out the side in his one inning of work in the Coastal Plain League All-Star Game on Monday night, earning Defensive Player of the Game honors.
Canisius won a conference-record 42 games during the 2013 season and won the MAAC Championship for the first time in program history. The Golden Griffins return 12 players who started 23 or more games and eight pitchers who made 10 or more appearances, including three pitchers with 10 or more starts.
Canisius MLB Draft Picks/Signees
- Jon Fitzsimmons # - 2013 (Kansas City Royals, Minor-League Contract)
- Garrett Cortright # - 2013 (Baltimore Orioles, 40th round)
- Ryan Fennell - 2012 (Cincinnati Reds, Minor-League Contract)
- Sean Jamieson - 2011 (Oakland Athletics, 17th round)
- Chris Cox - 2011 (Toronto Blue Jays, 39th round)
- Shane Davis - 2011 (Toronto Blue Jays, 42nd round)
- Steve McQuail # - 2010 (Toronto Blue jays, 30th round)
- Kevin Mahoney - 2009 (New York Yankees, 23rd round)
- Kevin Mailloux - 2009 (Seattle Mariners, 45th round)
- John Axford
- 2008 (Milwaukee Brewers, Minor-League Contract)
- 2006 (New York Yankees, Minor-League Contract)
- Joe Mamott # - 1994 (Boston Red Sox, 6th round)
# - selected/signed as a junior