(DANVILLE, IL) – When you start the year at Double-A Midland, TX, then move to Triple-A Sacramento, CA, and have a 6-3 record with a 2.66 ERA, it’s just a matter of time before you make your major league debut. And that’s just what happened to A.J. Griffin on Sunday, when the Oakland Athletics named him the starter in their Bay Bridge Series finale with the San Francisco Giants.
Griffin, a 2007 Danville Dan, was selected in the 13th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of the University of San Diego. With the Dans that season, Griffin appeared in 17 games, starting three, and achieved a 4-2 record with a 2.61 ERA. He was named to the first team All-West Coast Conference as a junior. Griffin tied for first among A's Minor Leaguers in strikeouts, tied for second in innings pitched, tied for fourth in wins and ranked fifth in ERA in 2011.
“We’re excited for A.J., and the entire Dans family,” said Danville managing partner Jeanie Cooke. “A.J. marks our 20th alum to make to the major leagues, with more than 200 other Dans having been drafted in our 25 year history.”
In his major league debut, Griffin gave up a two-run homer in the first, then pitched five more scoreless innings. He struck out four while walking one and giving up just three hits. The A’s won the game 3-2 on a three-run walk-off homer by catcher Derek Norris.
The Danville Dans are part of the Prospect League, one of the premier college summer wood bat leagues in the nation. Baseball players from California, Texas, Florida, Maryland and places in between come to Danville to play a 60-game summer schedule, improving their pitching, fielding skills, and hitting with wood bats.