Saints Starter, St. Thomas Grad, Eric Veglahn Has Contract Purchased By Blue JaysST. PAUL, MN August 22, 2016
Make that two pitchers that the Toronto Blue Jays have scooped up from the St. Paul Saints in the last 10 days. This time it was rookie left-hander Eric Veglahn, a graduate of St. Thomas University, who is headed to their short season team in Vancouver.
The 22-year-old Veglahn was 3-4 with a 4.39 ERA with one complete game in 10 games (nine starts). In 53.1 innings pitched he walked just 18, struck out 32 and opponents hit just .246 against him. He found out his contract was being purchased following his start on Sunday against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Veglahn was pitching on three days rest for the first time in his career and was solid going 6.0 innings allowing four runs (one earned) on just three hits while walking two and striking out a career high six. He allowed just three hits in each of his last three starts.
In nine starts this season Veglahn allowed three earned runs or less in six of the nine, allowed five or fewer hits in six of nine and went at least 6.0 innings in five of nine. He earned his first professional victory on July 7 at Fargo allowing one run on three hits in 7.2 innings.
The top starter on the Tommies this season, Veglahn went 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA with three complete games and a shutout and three saves in 14 games (10 starts) at St. Thomas. In 67.0 innings pitched he walked just seven and struck out 70 while opponents hit a miniscule .227 against him.
During his four year career at St. Thomas Veglahn was an impressive 24-3 with a 2.56 ERA with eight complete games and five saves in 45 games (35 starts). In 221.2 innings pitched he walked just 39 and struck out 231. He was a two-time All-MIAC and two-time All-Region honoree.
The most impressive start of his career came as a sophomore when he was an All-MIAC Honorable Mention. Against defending champion Linfield, in the Division III World Series, Veglahn took a perfect game into the eighth inning after retiring the first 21 batters he faced. He would toss a complete game two-hit shutout while walking one and striking out 12. Earlier in that same season he came one out away from throwing St. Thomas’ first no-hitter in 18 years before giving up a two out triple in the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Carleton.
A graduate of La Crescent High School, Veglahn was the Winona Daily News Baseball Player of the Year as a senior when he led all Minnesota pitchers in strikeouts with 131. He also holds the Minnesota state record for strikeouts in an inning with five. His career high of 15 strikeouts at La Crescent was second most in school history behind only one person, his Dad Jerry who once struck out 18 in a game for La Crescent.
The Saints also released outfielder Bryson Myles. He was hitting .216 with a home run and six RBI in 13 games.
Veglahn becomes the second Saints player to have his contract purchased this season joining pitcher John Straka who also had his contract purchased by the Blue Jays on August 12. Veglahn is the 120th contract sold and 114th total player including six who had their contract sold twice. Of the 120 contracts sold eight were sold to international teams and a total of 21 have made it to the ultimate level of baseball following their time with the Saints (Julio DePaula, who played for the Saints in 2011, made it to the Major Leagues in 2014, never pitched in a game, but does not show up on the list below because his contract wasn’t purchased directly from the Saints).
The Saints currently have 20 players on their roster, nine pitchers and 11 position players, three shy of the league maximum of 23.