Matt Purke was one of the bigger reasons TCU reached its first College World Series in 2010, and while he "got his" since leaving Fort Worth for big-league money the lefty has not had a lot of success, or good luck.
A Double A prospect for the Harrisburg Nationals, Purke this week received a second opinion about his recently injured left elbow. That ain't good. Usually, when it comes to elbows, a second opinion means they are conisdering Tommy John surgery, which seemingly every person who has ever thrown a baseball is having this season.
Purke, 23, is 1-6 this season for the Double A Nationals with an 8.04 ERA. In 31 1/3 innings, he has allowed 42 hits with 18 walks and 22 strikeouts. This is his first season at Double A.
If you are Purke, who elected to attend TCU after the team that drafted him, the Texas Rangers, could not come to a contract agreement, at least he already "got paid." He wanted $6 million from the Rangers, but was offered $4 million.
After pitching for the Horned Frogs for two years, Purke was picked in the third round of the '11 draft by the Washington Nationals. He agreed to a deal that included a $2.75 million bonus as part of a four-year, big-league contract with $4.15 million in guarantees. Purke also counts against the Nationals' big league 40-man roster.
"He was coming off his first full year of pitching injury free," TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said when I asked him about Purke since leaving Fort Worth. "I know they have made some changes with his delivery and pitching pitches.
"As far as I am concerned - Matt is a lesson of why you should go to college. He got two years towards his degree. He met his wife here. He pitched in the College World Series. It is a cautionary tale for us that I tell recruits all the time."
And, unlike some athletes who leave college for professional success, at least Purke got his.
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