Middle Tennessee redshirt junior pitcher Brandon Zajac has signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals, according to Blue Raider Head Coach Jim McGuire.
Zajac signed the free agent deal earlier this week and has reported to the Arizona Rookie League, where he will spend the summer working out and going through rehabilitation.
“I got a phone call from the scout with the Royals, and I jumped on the opportunity,” Zajac said. “I wanted the opportunity to play professional baseball and when this came along I figured it was time.”
Zajac spent his two seasons at Middle Tennessee on the disabled list. He did not play in 2014 or 2015 due to injury after transferring from Cleveland State Community College, where he was the TCCAA Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore.
“I’m excited for (Zajac) to get the opportunity to sign professionally,” McGuire said. “He has had some misfortune with injuries the last couple years. The Royals like his talent and wanted to get him in their organization. They are going to continue with Brandon’s rehabilitation with the goal of having him ready to pitch by spring training.”
Zajac said he will spend the remainder of the summer, as well as fall and winter, working his way back to being 100 percent healthy.
“Right now I am in Arizona and all I do is rehab and work out,” said the 6-foot-5 left-hander. “I have a little ways to go before I start throwing again. I wasn’t sure this would happen but when I got the phone call I knew what I wanted to do. I wasn’t about to risk another injury and never have another chance to play professional baseball. As much as I love Middle Tennessee, this is something I had to do.”
Zajac was previously drafted twice. He was selected in the 23rd round by the San Francisco Giants following two strong seasons at Cleveland State. He was drafted with the first pick of the 28th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, following a stellar prep career at Walker Valley High School.
Zajac is the sixth Blue Raider to be selected into professional baseball this year, joining former teammates Nathan Foriest, Johnathan Frebis, Ronnie Jebavy, Heath Slatton and Ryan Stephens.