John Powell (minors08)

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John Richard Powell

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher John Powell had a standout career at Auburn University, then pitched five years professionally.

Amateur Star[edit]

He began his collegiate career in 1990, going 5-0 with 40 strikeouts and a 5.50 ERA in 36 innings pitched. The next year, he was 10-4, 3.30 in 23 games (17 starts), striking out 121 batters, and allowing just 88 hits, in 101 innings. He joined John Burke and Marc Valdes as the All-Southeastern Conference pitchers. [1] He was 8-7, 2.54 with 7 complete games and a shutout in 23 games (17 starts) in 1992, striking out 120 batters in 109 2/3 frames. He was 4th in the SEC in ERA but did not make All-Conference first-team this time. [2]

In 24 games (23 starts) in 1993, he went 15-5 with 7 complete games and a 2.81 ERA; in 141 innings, he allowed 102 hits and had 191 strikeouts. With Brian Anderson, Daniel Choi, Darren Dreifort and Jeff Granger, he was named a Baseball America All-American pitcher that year. [3] He tied Granger for third in NCAA Division I in wins and led in K (14 ahead of Granger). [4] He, Rich Pratt and Brett Laxton were the All-SEC hurlers. [5] He was originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 1993 amateur draft, one pick ahead of pitcher Eddie Gaillard and ahead of outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr., but he opted not to sign.

He also played for Team USA during his college tenure, tying the record of eight wins for the team, also held by Jim Abbott and Ben McDonald. The record was later broken by Seth Greisinger. [6] In the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, he was 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA for the Silver Medal-winning United States. He beat Cup All-Star pitcher Masanori Sugiura and Japan in the semifinals with a complete game win, avenging one of the US losses in the round-robin. [7] His loss came against then-unbeatable (as in no losses for over a decade) Cuba and Omar Ajete, though he kept it 2-2 through five. [8] He tied for second in the Cup in wins, two behind Hidekazu Watanabe. [9]

In his final year at Auburn, 1994, Powell went 5-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 16 games (15 starts), striking out 130 batters in 89 1/3 innings. He was 5th in the SEC in ERA. [10] He holds the all-time NCAA Division I record for most career strikeouts with 602, breaking Derek Tatsuno's mark of 541, and is second in starts with 77, one behind Doug Little. [11] He did sign after being taken by the Texas Rangers in the 9th round of the 1994 amateur draft, a couple picks after pitcher Chris Fussell and ahead of pitcher Keith Foulke.

Pro Career[edit]

He was 2-8 with a 3.54 ERA in 17 games (12 starts) for the Port Charlotte Rangers in 1994, striking out 85 batters in 81 1/3 innings. He wouldn't be a strikeout ace in the minors, however, never averaging more than a K per inning again. The next year, he was 5-5, 3.40 in 26 games (9 starts) between two clubs, averaging 7.6 K/9 IP; in 1996, with the Tulsa Drillers, he was 3-8 with a 4.89 ERA in 39 games (10 starts) and saw his K/9 drop to 6.2. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 1997 -- for a single game -- allowing 2 runs in 4 innings for the Oklahoma City 89ers. He was 4-3, 2.67 in 44 relief appearances on the year as a whole, spending most of the campaign with Tulsa. In 1998, he was 2-5, 4.12 in 39 relief appearances between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. His mark with the 89ers was 8.49 in 11 appearances.

Overall, Powell was 16-29 with a 3.84 ERA in 165 games (31 starts) over five seasons. In 424 1/3 innings, he allowed 392 hits and 138 walks, while striking out 360 batters. In his college career, he was 43-20 with a 2.94 ERA in 96 games (77 starts). In 477 innings, he allowed 406 hits and 145 walks, while striking out 602 batters.


  1. 1992 Baseball Almanac, pg. 291
  2. 1993 'Baseball Almanac, pg. 328
  3. 1994 Baseball Almanac, pg. 318
  4. ibid. ,pg. 325
  5. ibid., pg. 342
  6. 1997 Baseball Almanac, pg. 383
  7. Defunct IBAF site
  8. ibid.
  9. ibid.
  10. 1995 Baseball Almanac, pg. 346
  11. Tulsa World

Further Reading[edit]