PITTSBURGH, Pa. – For just the 10th time in the history of the Jacksonville University baseball program, a former member of the team has been called up into the professional ranks. 2014 JU alum Alex McRae was called up to the 40-man roster of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, Saturday, filling the only current open spot on the team's depth chart.
Drafted in the 10th round by the organization in 2014 following his junior year, the right-handed pitcher has spent his entire professional career with the club thus far, working his way through the ranks to Triple-A over the last five years.
After impressing in 2018 Spring Training, McRae began the 2018 season with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians of the International League. The 25-year-old started 16 of 17 appearances for the team, posting a 3-7 record and 4.61 earned run average in 84 innings pitched and ranking second on the squad with 80 strikeouts.
McRae becomes the second former Dolphin currently on a major league team, joining three-time MLB All-Star, 2006 JU graduate Daniel Murphy, who is currently in his 10th season at the sport's highest level and third with the Washington Nationals. Along with Baltimore Orioles prospect Austin Hays, who made 20 appearances with the O's last season, McRae's call-up gives the program three players that are currently active that have spent time in the MLB.
He also becomes the second product of Jacksonville to play baseball professionally in the Steel City. A 1989 graduate of JU, first baseman Ivan Cruz spent the 1999 and 2000 seasons as a member of the Pirates during his four-year major league career.
A member of the Dolphins' pitching staff from 2012-14, the West Allis, Wisconsin native made 43 starts on the mound during his career, tied for the most in program history. He was a member of the ASUN All-Freshman Team during his rookie campaign before transitioning into a full-time starting role for his final two seasons in the River City.
Almost mid-way through the 2018 season, the Pirates sit at 40-47, 12.5 games out of first place in the National League Central division.