Former Hoosiers standing out for Cubs and A’s


The Indiana Hoosiers have long been known for their college basketball program. Branch McCracken, “The General” Bobby Knight, national championships, and many renowned college basketball players. Though Hoosier country will likely always be basketball country, IU is starting to produce Major League Baseball talent.

Indiana baseball continues its progress towards being one of the better up & coming programs in the country, and now they have two alumni catchers helping to put Hoosier baseball on the map. Their names? Kyle Schwarber and Josh Phegley.

Schwarber is likely the most popular of the two. For starters, he helped lead the Hoosiers to a college world series appearance in 2013. Secondly, he plays in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field for the beloved Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs selected Schwarber with the 4th overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft. A draft, where many fans wanted one of the top pitching prospects (Brady Aiken and Carlos Rodon). Both Aiken and Rodon were off the board once the Cubs were on the clock, and so they went with a catcher from Indiana University.

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Since making his debut on June 16th of this year, Schwarber has hit the ground running, and has the Cubs in the heart of the NL wild card race. Schwarber is batting .345 with 6 homers and 20 RBI in his first 26 big league contests.

Josh Phegley is another success story. The Terre Haute product was Indiana’s Mr. Baseball in 2006 for Terre Haute North Vigo High School. After attending IU, Phegley was drafted by the other Chicago team, the White Sox.

The White Sox took Phegley with the 38th overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft. Phegley wasn’t called up to the majors until July 5th of 2013. Two days later, he recorded his first home run off lefty hurler David Price.

At the end of last season, the White Sox traded Phegley to the Oakland Athletes, for former Cub and Notre Dame standout, Jeff Samardzija.

Phegley is currently batting .273 with 6 homers and 24 RBI in 50 games for the A’s this season. Phegley currently platoons at catcher with starter Stephen Vogt, and normally finds himself in the lineup with a left handed opposing pitcher on the mound.

The A’s are going through a rebuilding stage this season, but I expect Phegley to be a part of their long terms plans.

Indiana has had quite a few prospects selected in the MLB draft over the last few years. If Kyle Schwarber and Josh Phegley are any indication, there will be plenty more drafted and appearing in the big leagues in the near future.

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