Archive for Thursday, June 8, 1995


June 8, 1995


The uncertainty is over.

Jamie Splittorff, the second-winningest pitcher in Kansas baseball history, has signed a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins and will not return to KU for his senior season.

Splittorff, a 13th-round pick of the Twins in last week's baseball draft, agreed to terms on Tuesday night. He will report to a week-long minicamp in Fort Myers, Fla., beginning Saturday. Then it's off to the Twins' short-season Class A farm team in Elizabethton, Tenn.

Senior third baseman Brent Wilhelm, the only other Jayhawk to be drafted, also has signed. A 28th-round pick of the Chicago White Sox, Wilhelm will leave Friday for a 10-day minicamp in Sarasota, Fla.

"I really am excited," Splittorff said. "It's a dream come true. I wanted to play baseball all my life. You have to work your way to the big leagues. It's time to start that process."

Splittorff, son of former Royals pitcher Paul Splittorff and a 25th-round selection by the Royals after his senior year at Blue Springs, Mo., High, was 6-6 with a team-low 3.91 earned run average as a KU junior.

Through three seasons, he was 23-9 with a career 3.63 ERA. Tied with Terry Sutcliffe and Jimmy Walker for second on the KU record charts for career victories, he needed just four wins to set the school record set from 1980-'83 by Jim Phillips.

Though he declined to divulge his signing bonus, Splittorff said the Twins' offer was "fair" for a player with a year of college eligibility remaining.

"It wasn't tough at all," Splittorff said of the negotiating process. "I was real comfortable with the scouts and the people they signed. It was a good situation for me to go through. Obviously, it wasn't as much as I anticipated early in the season, but I thought it was a fair offer. I didn't have any problems with it."

Splittorff said he was pleased to be tabbed by the Twins.

"They definitely need some pitching help at the major league level," he said. "They're a small-market team in the upper Midwest. They don't sign a lot of free agents. It looks like they get most of their players from their farm system."

Splittorff's early departure didn't come as a surprise to KU coach Dave Bingham.

"We knew that he was going to get drafted and expected him to sign," Bingham said. "We made our plans accordingly."

Those plans included signing a bevy of pitchers. So far, KU has received letters of intent from four pitchers, including two from junior college, and Bingham hinted that more might be on the way.

"It's no secret that our problem this season was pitching," he said. "We might sign three or four more players, and two or three more pitchers. And we still have to find an outfield."

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