EAGLE RIVER, ALASKA- July is the heart of Salmon season. It is known to local residents as the time of year when King Salmon run north up Alaskan rivers for their swan song. This particular season, however, will be remembered for a Chinook headed south to a new beginning, one in which he will actually become a King.
Chugiak-Eagle River Pitcher Mike Jeffreys is on the next plane out for Surprise, Arizona, the
Spring Training home of Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals. Upon his arrival in the desert, fresh ink will be placed on the document making official Mike’s agreement to sign a professional contract as the newest member of the organization.
Jeffrey’s departure for Surprise comes as no surprise to fans of the Alaska Baseball League who have watched the right-hander develop into the Chinooks ace across the past two seasons. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native turned heads most recently during this past weekend’s scouts showcase games and All-Star Classic at Mulcahy Park.
“I’m just glad I was blessed with the opportunity to throw well over the weekend,” Jeffreys said, “obviously this is a dream come true for me as a baseball player. While I will miss all the guys on the team and playing here in Alaska, I’m very excited about the next step.”
Throughout his two year stint in the Frontier State, Jeffreys has led the club in wins and strikeouts. Mike quickly became a fan favorite for both his pitching talent and positive attitude. While interest was shown by several major league clubs, it is fitting that he has chosen the Royals, since he was last season’s overall ABL strikeout king.
“One of the reasons I picked the Royals is the ability to be a part of the foundation on a team that is building for the future. They also have a very good history with developing young pitchers,” Jeffreys stated.
Mike will forgo his senior season at Geneva College to begin the climb through the minors at Class-A Burlington, North Carolina in the Appalachian League. He is expected to join the team there later this week. Part of his agreement with Kansas City involves the opportunity to finish the engineering degree he has nearly completed at some point in the future.
Jeffreys joins several notable Chinooks (formerly the Fairbanks based AIA Fire) who have signed pro contracts in recent years, including Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Josh Donaldson. Both position players are currently in the Major Leagues with the Mets and Athletics respectively.
For more information on Mike Jeffreys or the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks visit cerchinooks.com