Former Rocket catcher/infielder Jim Vahalik has earned an opportunity to continue his professional baseball career. He has been invited to spring training with the Baltimore Orioles.The four-year letterwinner for the midnight blue and gold is slated to report to Sarasota, Fla., Feb. 12.
Vahalik wrapped up this past summer as a member of the Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League. The Westerville, Ohio, native collected 15 hits and nine RBI with the Wild Things.
He was acquired by Washington from fellow Frontier League member London Rippers July 26. He batted .282 (49 for 174) with 21 runs scored, six doubles, one triple, two round-trippers and 24 RBI in 51 games for the Rippers, en route to being named an all-star. He signed as a free agent with the Rippers’ organization following the completion of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.
“Jim has all the tools to be a solid major league catcher,” said Wild Things’ Field Manager Chris Bando on the team’s website. “His enthusiasm and passion for the game is contagious for his teammates, and I’m excited for Jim and look forward to hearing good things from the Orioles about Jim.”
Vahalik collected a .285 career batting average with 13 home runs and 86 RBI in his time with the Rockets. He played a key role in helping UT advance to the Mid-American Conference Tournament each of his final three seasons.