Former Florida Gators left-hander Nick Maronde (Lexington, Ky.) was called up to the Major Leagues by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday night. He becomes the first player in head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure at Florida to reach professional baseball’s highest level.
Maronde had recently been pitching for the Arkansas Travelers in Double A, where he was 3-2 with a 3.34 earned run average in seven games, including five starts. The lefty had 21 strikeouts and just three walks in 32.1 innings and was named the Texas League’s Pitcher of the Week on August 14 after tossing eight scoreless innings and permitting four hits during a victory over first-place Corpus Christi.
The Bluegrass State native began the 2012 campaign with the Class A Advanced Affiliate Inland Empire 66ers and was a two-time California League Pitcher of the Week recipient on April 30 and July 23. Over 10 appearances for the 66ers, all starts, Maronde was 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA and registered 60 strikeouts in 59.1 innings while limiting opponents to a .187 average.
A three-year letterwinner at Florida from 2009-11, he also made three starts in rookie ball this season for the Arizona League Angels while rehabbing from an injury. Over eight innings, he was 0-1 with a 1.13 ERA, collected nine strikeouts and allowed two walks.
The highest Gator draft pick in 2011, Maronde was chosen in the third round with the 104th choice and assigned to the Orem (Utah) Owlz of the Pioneer League, the Angels’ rookie affiliate. He posted a 5-0 record in 11 games, all starts, and compiled a 2.14 ERA. In 46.1 innings, Maronde notched 50 strikeouts and gave up 15 walks.
Florida’s leader with 36 appearances, the southpaw was 0-1 and registered a 2.09 ERA in ’11 as the Gators shared the SEC title and finished as the runner-up at the NCAA College World Series. Over 43 innings, Maronde totaled 55 strikeouts, issued nine walks, collected a pair of saves and was part of five shutouts. In addition, he limited opponents to a team-low .178 average, including a .086 performance with runners on base. The lefty threw two perfect innings in the Gators’ 8-4 victory over Texas in the opening round of the CWS and appeared in six of UF’s 11 NCAA Tournament games. He had a meager 0.61 ERA in 13 SEC appearances and permitted one earned run in 14.2 innings while having a 20:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Coming out of high school, Maronde had previously been picked in the 43rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft by Oakland. Over 79 career appearances at Florida, including 12 starts, the lefty was 5-2 with a 3.99 ERA and four saves and had 151 strikeouts in 130.2 innings.
Besides Maronde, there are five players with UF ties in the Big Leagues: infielder Mark Ellis (Los Angeles Dodgers), first baseman Matt LaPorta (Cleveland Indians), right-hander Darren O’Day (Baltimore Orioles), infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn (Detroit Tigers, currently on the 15-day disabled list) and catcher David Ross (Atlanta Braves).
Courtesy UF Communications