Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brua accepts free agent contract with Blue Jays

Just hours after inking a deal with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League, Avon graduate and Oberlin College graduate Phil Brua accepted a free agent contract offer from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brua will report to the Blue Jays extended spring training in Dunedin, Florida, to be evaluated by the club before being assigned to one of its minor league affiliates.

"It’s great to see a guy get rewarded for all of the hard work he has put in over the last four years," Oberlin head coach Adrian Abrahamowicz said. "Phil is a great kid that has the drive and passion to succeed at the next level."

Brua left Oberlin as the all-time leader in saves (11) and appearances (65) and is second all-time in wins (15). The sidearm specialist held opposing hitters to just a .213 batting average while averaging over six strikeouts per nine innings during his senior season.

Brua’s chances of signing a professional contract came to light last summer while playing in the Prospect League for the Lorain County Ironmen. Brua shut down hitters in the Prospect League, which features mainly Division I players with high pro potential. The two-time All-NCAC selection led the league in appearances (30), tied for third in saves (10) and posted the third-best ERA (1.46) last summer. In 49 1/3 innings of work he recorded 30 strikeouts while walking just 10. His opposition batting average of .180 was also second best in the league. He allowed just eight earned runs and surrendered just 30 hits while finishing with a record of 4-2.

During his junior season for the Yeomen, Brua was a First-Team All-NCAC selection and Third-Team American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Midwest Region selection. In that season he helped lead the Yeomen to a school-record win total (18) while finishing third in the league with .278 ERA. He set the school record for saves (6) and tied the school record for wins by going 6-3. In that season he led the NCAC with a .227 batting average against. He struck out 50 and averaged over eight strikeouts per nine innings.

In four years at Oberlin College, Brua posted a record of 15-15 in 65 total appearances, while making 17 starts. He threw 187 2/3 innings and struck out 143 batters. He leaves as the all-time saves leader with 11.

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