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By Mark Gregory
Editorial Director 

Minooka's Foltynewicz is MLB All-Star

 

Last updated 10/7/2019 at 1:48pm



To say the road has been easy for Mike Foltynewicz would be a lie.

The Minooka High School graduate, who had all the scouts buzzing as a senior, did not have a smooth ride once he was drafted in 2010, but while he has faced adversity, Foltynewicz has always kept progressing and that hard work has paid off this season as he was named to the National League All Star team. The game will be played Tuesday night in Washington.

He enters the game with a 7-5 record for the Atlanta Braves with a 2.66 ERA and 120 strikeouts. His 10.623 strikeouts per nine innings is 10th among all MLB pitchers.

“As a program, we are super proud of Mike and personally, I just couldn’t be happier for Mike,” said Minooka head baseball coach Jeff Petrovic. “He has worked really hard, he is a great talent and a great person and it is nice to see great things happen to great people and someone I care about so much.”

Foltynewicz, 26, had planned to pitch for the University of Texas after Minooka, but chose to forego college after he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round, 19th overall selection, of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.

In 2012, Foltynewicz was the Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 14–4 with a 3.14 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 152 innings pitched.

He made his MLB debut for the Astros on August 2, 2014 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Then on January 14, 2015, Foltynewicz was traded to Atlanta and made his Braves debut on May 1 of that year, earning his first career win.

Foltynewicz battled injury and surgery in 2015 and 2016 and on June 30, 2017 he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Oakland Athletics, but allowed a home run to the leadoff man and was pulled.

On June 1, 2018, Foltynewicz pitched his first career complete game against the Washington Nationals, earning a shutout and 11 strikeouts.

“People have said for a long time it is coming, but until it happens, there is always some doubt. There are always the doubters and critics and they can be pretty loud. People may be surprised by what they have seen this year, but this is not a surprise to me,” Petrovic said. “This is something that I expected because this kid is so talented and there was never a doubt in my mind that he would get this far. You have to get used to the travel and the workload and we can’t even comprehend what these guys go through. So what, it took him a couple years to get there – so what. It takes something to happen to catapult you to the next level and this could be huge for Mike. The sky is the limit for Mike. This may throw him into another realm.

“We could be having a talk in 15 years when he is in the Hall of Fame – he is that special of a talent. I love to death and am just happy for him.”

 

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