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ASU baseball leads MLB with players on Opening Week rosters

This is a 2016 photo of Jake Barrett of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. This image reflects the Arizona Diamondbacks active roster as of Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Turns out there’s a reason Arizona State baseball is sometimes referred as “MLB U:” It’s because the program keeps churning out MLB players.

This year is no exception, as there are 12 former Sun Devils on MLB Opening Week rosters, the most of any university. The Sun Devils have sent 108 players to MLB since 1959, which is also the most.

Here’s the list:

Austin Barnes – Los Angeles Dodgers, catcher
Tony Barnette – Texas Rangers, right-handed pitcher
Jake Barrett – Arizona Diamondbacks, right-handed pitcher
Kole Calhoun – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, outfielder
Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers, outfielder
Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers, infielder
Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians, infielder
Mike Leake – St. Louis Cardinals, right-handed pitcher
Deven Marrero Boston Red Sox, infielder
Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox, infielder
Andrew Romine – Detroit Tigers, infielder
Trevor Williams Pittsburgh Pirates, right-handed pitcher

That’s a big list, and it’s not like all these guys are average players.

The biggest name that jumps off the list is Dustin Pedroia, and rightfully so. The Red Sox second baseman won the AL MVP in 2008.

Pedroia has other awards as well, earning four gold gloves, four trips to the MLB All-Star game as well as winning the AL Rookie of the year in 2007.

Jason Kipnis, Andre Either, and Ian Kinsler have all made it to multiple All-Star games. Mike Leake and Kole Calhoun are also solid MLB players.

The player who most recently played at ASU is Trevor Williams, who was drafted in 2013. Williams was called up to the Pirates in September of 2016.

The Sun Devils may have a sub .500 record this season, but their track record of producing MLB talent could signal a return to winning in the future.

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