TEMPE, Ariz. - Former Arizona State catcher Tuffy Gosewisch became the 102nd Sun Devil to play Major League Baseball after making his debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 1 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Gosewisch started the game at catcher and batted ninth in the lineup.
ASU is now tied with Texas and USC for the most MLB alums all-time, according to recent press releases by both schools that each claim 102 of their former players have reached the Major Leagues.
The 102 players Arizona State has sent to the Major Leagues is the most of any school since 1959, the year baseball’s modern era started at ASU, and ASU has had at least one major league player on their varsity roster from 1961 through 2010, which is the longest current streak in the nation.
According to the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the Sun Devils have the third-most all-time Major League players behind the University of Southern California (108) and the University of Texas (107). ASU's major leaguers all debuted since 1963, while Texas (1908) and USC (1927) have a much longer history of sending players to the big leagues. Texas' list also includes three freshman-only players, while USC has five freshman-only players.
Twenty-seven former ASU baseball players have made their MLB debuts since 2002, and Gosewisch is the sixth Sun Devil from the 2005 team to reach the Major Leagues, joining Travis Buck, Colin Curtis, Jeff Larish, Eric Sogard and Andrew Romine.
Gosewisch played at ASU from 2002-05 and was a two-time Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year semifinalist, a three-time All-Pac-10 and All-Pac-10 Academic honoree, and the 2005 co-Most Outstanding Player of the Tempe Regional.
A 2001 graduate of Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., he became the first person to attend high school in Arizona, go to Arizona State University and play for the Diamondbacks.
Gosewisch finished his ASU career with a .320 batting average and added 10 home runs and 166 RBI. He is only the third catcher in school history to start three years behind the plate as he played in 215 career games, including 182 starts. Gosewisch had a career .993 fielding percentage as he made only 10 errors in 1,506 chances.
He was selected in the 11th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies and was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in July 2012. The Diamondbacks signed him on Nov. 4, 2012.
Gosewisch hit .285 (65-for-228) with 19 doubles, 6 home runs and 30 RBI in 66 games with the Reno Aces in 2013. He was named to the Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star Team and led the league with a 51.2 caught stealing percentage (21-for-41).
He is a career .238 (590-for-2476) hitter with 159 doubles, 51 home runs and 300 RBI in nine Minor League seasons with the Phillies (2005-12), Blue Jays (2012) and D-backs (2013).
Thirty-eight Sun Devils have been taken in the MLB Draft in head coach Tim Esmay's four seasons at ASU, which is the most of any Div. I school in that time span and five more than the next closest team, Florida. ASU produced seven selections in the recent 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Arizona State University and Sun Devil Athletics held a celebration in February 2013 to honor all its Major League players.
The list of former Sun Devils who have played in the MLB includes Floyd Bannister, Barry Bonds, Bob Horner, Reggie Jackson, Paul Lo Duca, Oddibe McDowell and Don Wakamatsu. Pete Lovrich was ASU's first Major Leaguer in 1963 and since then, former Sun Devils have won a combined nine Major League MVP awards and have represented ASU in the MLB All-Star Game 55 times, second most among all NCAA schools.