Jake Junis is a Different Type of Journeyman
We often hear of journeymen in our beautiful game of baseball. There is no certain definition of what constitutes a player as a “journeyman”, but baseball fans pretty much know it when they see it. A guy may play for three teams in one season or pitch four teams in four seasons, but, however you define it, a baseball journeyman is virtually a guy that bounces around from organization to organization. With that in mind, what do you call a guy that bounces around in the same organization?
Jake Junis is a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals that was selected by the club in the 29th round of the 2011 draft. The 6’2 right hander out of Rock Falls, Illinois had a typical minor league story through his first five seasons of professional baseball, but has had one of the most unique ones in his sixth.
Junis steadily progressed through the Royals organization getting promoted virtually every season, including this one. After making one start for the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers to begin the 2017 season, the 24 year old was called up to make his major league debut. He tossed one scoreless inning against Oakland before being sent back to Omaha.
This trend would continue over and over for Junis as he has been sent back and forth between Omaha and Kansas City an unbelievable amount of times. On August 14th, Junis was called up to the big league club for the seventh time this season. The SEVENTH time.
Since his most recent call up, Junis has made three starts and one relief appearance. He has fared well at both Triple-A and the big league level so far in 2017. In Triple-A he is 3-5 with a 2.92 ERA through 71 innings and in the bigs he is 6-2 with a 4.41 ERA through 63.1 innings.
Junis had another great performance last night against the Tampa Bay Rays where allowed one run over 5 ⅓ innings while striking out eight and walking none to pick up his sixth win of his big league career. I’m sure the commute from Kansas City to Omaha is a lovely one, but one that Junis hopes to avoid for awhile. Luckily it looks like he will now get a break from the back and forth as MLB rosters expand in a couple of days.
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