BOONE — A pair of 2014-15 Appalachian State University baseball players have started their professional baseball careers, bringing the total number of Mountaineer players in the pro ranks to 12.
Standout pitcher Taylor Thurber and infielder Dillon Dobson both recently signed and are getting their pro careers underway.
Thurber signed his contract last Thursday to join the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League. Schaumburg is about 10 miles from Chicago.
Thurber played for the Mountaineers from 2012-15 but was undrafted in the 2015 MLB Draft held in June.
The starting pitcher finished his career with eight wins, 151 strikeouts and just 26 walks in 196.1 innings. Thurber was a first-team all-Sun Belt Conference player with a 2.35 earned run average, 73 strikeouts and eight walks in 95.2 innings. Thurber’s stats ranked him as one of the top pitchers in the nation last season, ranking second in first walks per nine innings and fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
For Dobson, the former Starmount Ram and MVAC All-Conference performer could have returned for his senior season at App State but elected to sign with the San Francisco Giants after being drafted in the 23rd round.
Dobson will go down as one of the top power hitters for the Mountaineers the last three seasons. He ranks fifth in program history in home runs with 29. This past season, he smashed 12 homers and had a .577 slugging percentage, both good enough to rank in the top 100 in the country. Dobson was a two-time all-conference performer as well.
Dobson’s career is underway with the Arizona League Giants.
Other former Mountaineers currently playing professional baseball include pitcher Ryan Arrowood (triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes of the Colorado Rockies organization), pitcher Nathan Hyatt (double-A Arkansas Travelers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), catcher Jeremy Dowdy (high-A Winston-Salem Dash, Chicago White Sox), infielder Will Callaway (single-A Augusta GreenJackets, San Francisco Giants), infielder Dillon Dobson (rookie-level Arizona League Giants, San Francisco Giants), infielder Michael Pierson (rookie-level Orem Owlz, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), pitcher Jeffrey Springs (rookie-level Spokane Indians, Texas Rangers) and pitcher Sam Agnew-Wieland (independent Joplin Blasters, American Association). Additionally, outfielder Jaylin Davis has signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins but has not yet made his professional debut as he continues to rehab an arm injury sustained in March.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87