TAMPA, FL - Former University of Louisville baseball player J.T. LaFountain has signed a free agent contract to play professional baseball in the New York Yankees organization.
He is in Tampa for a physical and workouts and will then be assigned. A likely destination is the Staten Island Yankees (Class A-Short Season) of the New York-Penn League.
LaFountain, a second-team All Conference USA selection in 2005 completed his Cardinal tenure tied for third in games played (207), sixth in at bats (729), eighth in runs (162), first in hit by pitches (34), fifth in doubles (47), eighth in hits (229) and sixth in walks (107).
Last season, he lead the team in average (.337), home runs (8), RBI (48), total bases (104), slugging %(.523) and topped C-USA with eight sacrifice flies. He started 20 games at catcher, 24 at second base and eight at third. Five of his home runs and 26 of his RBI came in 29 C-USA games. LaFountain hit a home run in his final collegiate at bat as a Cardinal.
His father Jim, is a U of L Athletic Hall of Fame member and was All-American and academic All-American at U of L in 1976 before a professional career in he Minnesota Twins' organization.
J.T. will join fellow Cardinals Sean Green, Adam Haley and Mark Jurich in professional baseball.
Green, a pitcher for the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League is 1-0 with a save and a 2.25 ERA in six outings after posting 14 saves for the San Antonio Missions (AA) of the Texas League before his promotion to the highest level of minor league ball.
The Male High School graduate played for the Cards from 1998-2000 before he was drafted in the 12th round by the Rockies in the 2000 MLB entry draft. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners farm system in the off-season. Green is in his sixth season of Minor League Baseball.
Haley, whose younger brother Nick will be a senior this fall, played at U of L from 2000-2002 and was tabbed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 13th round in the 2002 draft. Adam is in his fourth year of pro ball and is currently hitting .332 with nine doubles, two home runs, eight stolen bases and 17 RBI in 59 games for the Tennessee Smokies (AA) of the Southern League. He and his brother both attended Pleasure Ridge Park High School.
Jurich, whose season was interrupted by an injury in spring training, hit .347 with three doubles, two triples, six home runs and 18 RBI in just 24 games for the Rome Braves (A) of the South Atlantic League. He was moved up to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A) on June 15th. The Pelicans are in the Carolina League, the top A league in baseball.
Jurich was 1 for 3 with two runs, two RBI and two walks in his first game at Myrtle Beach. He played four seasons for the Cards and was a two-time All-American from 2001-2004. He was picked in the 13th round by the Atlanta Braves in the 2003 draft and is playing his second year of pro ball after setting a new Danville Braves (A) single season home run record last season with 16.
Jurich, who prepped at Ballard High School in Louisville is the son of U of L Vice President for Athletics Tom Jurich.
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