Original article link: Sean Doolittle gets first major league call up with Oakland Athletics
Former Virginia pitcher/first baseman Sean Doolittle has been called up by the Oakland Athletics for the first time and was in uniform Monday evening. Doolittle pitched and played first base for the Virginia Cavaliers from 2005-07. A first-round pick in the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Athletics, Doolittle is the 30th former Cavalier to reach the major leagues.
Doolittle was drafted as a first baseman/outfielder with the 41st overall pick in 2007 by the Athletics. After reaching triple-A in 2009, Doolittle had his career derailed by injuries. He missed the next two seasons before returning to the mound in during the instructional league in the fall of 2011. After starting the 2012 campaign at single-A Stockton, Doolittle ripped through the minor leagues. In 16 games at three levels, Doolittle posted a 0.72 ERA while striking out 48 batters in just 25 innings and limiting foes to a .096 batting average.
Doolittle played at Virginia from 2005-07 and was a two-time All-American. The 2006 ACC Player of the Year, Doolittle went 22-7 with a 2.23 ERA in his UVa career. In 222.1 innings, he struck out 243 and limited opponents to a .213 batting average. His 22 career victories ranks No. 4 all-time in the Virginia annals, while his 243 strikeouts ranks seventh.
The left-handed reliever completed a two-month surge through three rungs of the minor-league system and into the major leagues.
“I never in a million years would think, with two months of pitching under my belt, that I’d be here,” Doolittle said.
Doolittle was once a top prospect in Oakland’s system, considered a likely big-league first baseman. Injuries stalled his career, and the onetime University of Virginia pitcher started to throw off the mound. He didn’t pitch in a pro game until instructional league last fall. He has 48 strikeouts in 25 innings this season.
“We knew Sean had the aptitude and the ability, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be in the big leagues in June,” assistant general manager David Forst said.
One person did, though.
“I said from Day 1 of spring training, ‘This is going to be the guy who shoots to the majors in one month,’ ” left-hander Dallas Braden said. “It just took him a little longer than I thought.”
Filed under: 2012: USA MLB Player Updates