STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Former UW-Stevens Point infielder Justin Jirschele came one step closer to reaching his dream on Thursday afternoon, signing a free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox.
Jirschele, who just completed his career with the Pointers, received a call from the White Sox organization the day after Major League Baseball's First Year Player Draft.
“My phone rang, and when I answered, the person on the other end of the line asked me if I wanted to play baseball for the Chicago White Sox,” said Jirschele. “I said 'absolutely'!”
Jirschele started all 42 games for the Pointers this season, all but two at second base. The senior led the team in at bats (176) and hits (61) while ranking second in total bases (84) and third in average (.340) and RBIs (33). On the season, the Clintonville product tallied 31 runs, 15 doubles, five stolen bases, two home runs and one triple.
Jirschele also held a team-best 15-game hitting streak and ranked tied for first with 19 multi-hit games. Jirschele, who earned All-WIAC First Team for the third straight season, recorded only five errors on the season for a .974 fielding percentage.
The two-time Gold Glove winner is a product of a strong baseball family. His father Mike coaches the Class AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and his brother Jeremy, a two-time All-American for the UW-Oshkosh Titans, was drafted by the Royals in 2005 and played in the team's system until 2008.
Now Justin will have the opportunity to build on that family tradition. He will report to the team's spring training facility on Saturday for a two-week camp before being assigned to one of the team's two rookie ball teams.
“It's an absolute dream come true,” said Jirschele. “I just wanted a chance to play professional baseball and I got that chance today. I just wanted a chance.”