Gopher Alum Makes Major League Baseball Debut

Go Gophers! De Vries, who pitched for the Gophers from 2004-06, made his MLB debut tonight.
Go Gophers!
De Vries, who pitched for the Gophers from 2004-06, made his MLB debut tonight.
Go Gophers!

May 24, 2012

Photo Gallery: Professional players under Head Coach John Anderson

At the age of 27, Gopher alum and right-handed pitcher Cole De Vries (2004-06) made his Major League Baseball debut, Thursday, May 24, 2012. Earning the starting nod for the Minnesota Twins, he made his debut in Chicago at the White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field.

With his start, De Vries became the 33rd Golden Gopher to earn a spot on a MLB roster and the 17th player under head coach John Anderson. He's also the second-straight pitcher to make it to the MLB as John Gaub pitched for the Chicago Cubs in Sept. 2011. De Vries is the first former Gopher pitcher to start in his MLB debut since Denny Neagle in 1991.

Playing for the Maroon and Gold from 2004-2006, De Vries was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection in his final year with the Gophers. In 2006, De Vries started in 14 games and held a 2.42 ERA, the lowest by a Gopher pitcher. Pitching three complete games, De Vries pitched 93.0 innings and posted a 7-3 overall record. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native was a part of the Golden Gophers' 2004 Big Ten Championship regular season and tournament championship teams. De Vries signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2006, working his way up through the ranks. Playing for the Rochester Red Wings prior to his call up, De Vries was 1-4 with a 4.24 ERA in eight starts. De Vries is the second Gopher alum on the current Minnesota Twins roster as Glen Perkins has been with the organization since his debut in 2006. Of the 33 Gopher alums making it the Majors, 14 have now played with the Minnesota Twins at some point in their professional career.

In the first MLB batter he faced, De Vries struck out Alejandro de Aza in the bottom of the first. In his career start, De Vries allowed six runs, only three of which were earned, in 96 pitches. He allowed three solo home runs to AJ Pierzynski in the second, and back-to-back home runs in the sixth to Paul Konerko and Alex Rios. The two solo shots in the sixth put the game at 6-5, which knocked him out of the game. On the night, De Vries scattered six hits, issued one walk and struck out four.

Golden Gophers in Major League Baseball (debut year)
Ralph Capron (1912), Heinie Elder (1913), Harry Elliott (1953), Paul Giel (1954), Jerry Kindall (1956), George Thomas (1957), Fred Bruckbauer (1961), Bill Davis (1965), Frank Brosseau (1969), Bobby Fenwick (1972), Mike Sadek (1973), Dave Winfield (1973), Steve Comer (1978), Paul Molitor (1978), Jerry Ujdur (1980), Brian Denman (1982), Terry Steinbach (1986), Greg Olson (1989), Tim McIntosh (1990), Bryan Hickerson (1991), Denny Neagle (1991), J.T. Bruett (1992), Dan Wilson (1992), Brent Gates (1993), Brian Raabe (1995), Jeff Schmidt (1996), Kerry Ligtenberg (1997), Jim Brower (1999), Robb Quinlan (2003), Glen Perkins (2006) Jack Hannahan (2006), John Gaub (2011), Cole De Vries (2012).