Aug. 13, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Former Arizona State Sun Devil left-handed pitcher Jon Switzer has signed a pro contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Devil Rays announced Saturday that they have signed Switzer, their second-round draft pick from the 2001 June First-year Player Draft, to a contract with undisclosed terms. The former Sun Devil (1999-2001) was 23-13 over his career in the Maroon and Gold, posting a combined 4.01 ERA.
Switzer will report to the Hudson Valley of the New York-Penn League (Rookie League) Tuesday. As a junior in 2001, Switzer was a hard-luck 5-6 with a 4.04 ERA while making 19 appearances and 18 starts. He finished second in the Pac-10 behind Mark Prior (Cubs/1st round) by striking out 148 and walked only 45 in 100.1 innings.
Dan Jennings, director of scouting, described Switzer as a "power pitcher" with a fastball clocked as high as 94 miles per hour, a slider and a split-finger fastball.
"We got better today as an organization," Jennings said in a Devils Rays' press release of the signing. "He's excited to start his career and be a part of what we're doing here."
In three seasons at Arizona State, Switzer compiled a 23-13 record with 4.01 ERA over 66 appearances, including 46 starts. The left-hander struck 327 hitters in 303 1/3 innings while walking 120.
"He's had some success in college playing against some of the better college teams in the country while at Arizona State," Jennings added.
"He' really excited about the opportunity with this club. It's an opportunity to progress to the Major Leagues."
According to Jennings, Switzer has spent time since the draft throwing on the side but hasn't pitched against competition since the end of May. Switzer will throw "sparingly" for Hudson Valley, getting back to full speed before participating in Instructional Leagues this fall.
Switzer was one of 10 Sun Devils from the 2001 team to either be drafted or sign a free agent professional contract. Currently Eric Doble (Spokane/FA Royals), Mel Stocker (Spokane/16th Rd. Royals), Casey Myers (Vancouver/9th Rd. Athletics), Chris Duffy (Williamsport/8th Rd. Pirates), Brooks Conrad (Pittsfield/8th Rd. Astros), Drew Friedberg (Hickory/6th Rd. Pirates), Jeff Phelps (Batavia/36th Rd. Phillies), and Mike Lopez (Missoula/FA Diamondbacks) are all playing professional baseball. Junior-to-be left-handed pitcher Bryce Kartler was a 20th round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals, but opted to return to ASU for his junior campaign.