Sept. 4, 2007
Providence, RI - Brown's Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL), the reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, has signed a professional contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Since the contract begins in the 2008 season, the senior will take classes at Brown this fall and graduate, then begin his professional career in the spring.
Dietz becomes the second Bear to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team, following Ivy League Player of the Year Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL), who was selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June by the Detroit Tigers. Since Dietz was not selected in the draft and at least a junior in college, he was eligible to sign with any team as a rookie free agent. Dietz received a signing bonus equivalent to what a late-seventh or early-eighth-round pick would receive. Graduated senior James Cramphin (Simsbury, CT) also signed a professional contract earlier this summer, his with the Rockford Riverhawks of the independent Frontier League.
Depending on many factors, including Dietz' performance at Spring Training and possibly Extended Spring Training, he could begin his career with any one of three teams. Assuming Arizona does not switch affiliates this offseason, Dietz could begin with the Missoula (MT) Osprey of the Rookie-level Pioneer League, the Yakima (WA) Bears of the short-season Class A Northwest League, or the South Bend (IN) Silver Hawks of the Class A Midwest League.
Dietz, Brown's second Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, set a new Brown record with nine victories this season. He was named first team All-Ivy and All-New England, and second team All-Northeast. He led the Ivy League in wins both in Ivy play (5-1) and overall (9-3), and threw complete-game shutouts in Brown's Red Rolfe Division-clinching win against Yale and in the first game of the Ivy League Championship Series against Penn. He also drove in the lone run in the latter game on a sacrifice fly. Dietz tied for first in Ivy play with five complete games and was second with 42 strikeouts. Dietz was also named second team All-Ivy at first base, and was one of two Bears to pass the team's single-season RBI record, driving in 53, good for second all-time.
Despite having pitched just three seasons, Dietz ends his Brown career ranked fourth all-time with 16 career wins; ninth with 163 strikeouts, 7.72 strikeouts per nine innings, and 2.75 walks per nine innings; second with five double-digit strikeout games; and 10th with two shutouts. He also posted a .542 career slugging percentage at the plate, good for 10th all-time at Brown.
Dietz' performance this summer in the Cape Cod League pitching for the Wareham Gatemen had much to do with his signing as well. Dietz made 19 appearances, which ranked third in the league, working 24.2 innings and posting a 1-1 record and 0.73 ERA. He finished nine games, striking out 28 batters and walking eight.