Reds news: Standout Division II pitcher signs as undrafted free agent

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: A close up view of a hat and baseball glove in the dugout with the New Era logo before a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: A close up view of a hat and baseball glove in the dugout with the New Era logo before a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Signing Braxton Roxby continues a trend of the Reds signing college pitchers.

After drafting three pitchers in the 2020 MLB draft, the Cincinnati Reds added another arm with the free agent signing of Braxton Roxby, a pitcher out of the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. Roxby, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and throws right-handed, made the signing official on his Twitter page.

Roxby pitched three seasons at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, compiling a 7-9 record with 105 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings. Before this season was stopped in the spring due to Covid-19, he had 28 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.

Last summer, Roxby’s draft stock rose after he pitched in the renowned Cape Cod Baseball League, one of the premier amateur baseball leagues in the country. In three games, he pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out six. This strong performance coupled with his college pitching career made him one of the top NCAA Division II prospects heading into the draft.

According to an interview in The Tribune-Democrat, Roxby understood the 2020 MLB Draft going from 40 rounds to five presented a challenge to getting drafted. Following the draft, he decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and sign a contract to begin his professional baseball career.

Roxby is the first member of the University of Pittsburgh-Johnsontown baseball team to sign a professional contract since 2011 (Kaleb Fleck signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks). The last university alum to be drafted was Ben Watkins, a 40th-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2009. Roxby’s teammate, Isaiah Kearns, signed with the Baltimore Orioles.

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic stopping the minor league baseball season, Roxby is waiting to hear from the Cincinnati Reds about where he will report. Along with signing Roxby, the Reds also signed eight other college free agents including second baseman Francisco Urbaez, outfielder Jacob Hurtubise, and pitchers James Proctor, Carson Spiers and Stevie Branche.