Aaron Kurcz

From BR Bullpen

Aaron Kurcz

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Aaron Kurcz has pitched as high as AAA.

He played baseball, basketball and cross country in high school. [1] He started his collegiate career at the US Air Force Academy but transferred to Southern Nevada due to a better baseball program; one of his teammates there was Bryce Harper. [2] The Chicago Cubs took him in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft, one pick after Ben Gamel. The signing scout was Steve McFarland. [3]

He had a strong pro debut with the AZL Cubs (0 R in 1 IP) and Boise Hawks (2-1, 9 Sv, 2.05 ERA, .99 WHIP, 46 K in 26 1/3 IP). He tied Eury De La Rosa for 3rd in the Northwest League in saves and tied for 7th in games pitched (25). He began 2011 as a starter for the Daytona Cubs then moved back to the bullpen; he was solid that year at 5-4, 3.28 with 91 K in 82 1/3 IP. He was part of the deal that sent General Manager Theo Epstein from the Boston Red Sox to the Cubs; he was sent as a player to be named later along with Chris Carpenter for Epstein and another player to be named later (Jair Bogaerts). [4] Assigned to the Portland Sea Dogs, he was 3-4 with 4 saves and a 3.04 ERA, striking out 72 in 50 1/3 IP but walking 27. He missed 2013 due to Tommy John surgery. [5]

The Las Vegas native returned to the hill in 2014 and was even better (3-2, 3 Sv, 2.14 for Portland; 54 K in 42 IP). He was 1-0 with a save and a 3.86 ERA for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, walking 9 and striking out 15 in 14 IP. He was then traded again, this time for a fellow player, Anthony Varvaro of the Atlanta Braves, as well as cash. [6] He pitched for the Gwinnett Braves in his AAA debut (4-3, 7 Sv, 3.27, 38 K in 33 IP) then was traded yet again, this time to the Oakland A's for international bonus slot 4 (worth $167,000). [7] He was 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 18 games for the Nashville Sounds and struggled in his second AFL stint (6 R, 5 ER in 4 IP for the Mesa Solar Sox.

Kurcz avoided a trade in 2016, spent with Nashville (5-1, Sv, 3.50 in 35 G) and the Midland RockHounds (4-0, 4 Sv, 1.26 in 11 G). He tied Ryan Brasier and Jared Lyons for the most games pitched by an A's farmhand and tied for 5th in their farm system in wins, leading all relievers. That winter, he pitched for the Charros de Jalisco, going 0-1 with 9 saves and a 4.43 ERA. He tied Esteban Haro for 6th in the Mexican Pacific League in saves. He also split 2017 between Midland and Nashville but did not fare as well; 3-3, 7.24 in 22 G for Nashville, 2-1, 3.09 in 17 G for Midland. He signed with the Mexican League's Toros de Tijuana for 2018.

He also pitched for the Mexican national team in the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games and was their top pitcher. In 5 2/3 IP over 5 games, he allowed two hits and no walks or runs while fanning three. He saved two of their three wins, José Samayoa's win over the Venezuelan national team and Octavio Acosta's win over the defending Silver Medalist, the Dominican Republic. He tied Fernando Cruz and Bryan Escanio for the tournament lead in games pitched and tied José Valdez, Jean Toledo and Raidel Martínez for the most saves. [8]