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Jim Negrych

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James William Negrych

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Third baseman Jim Negrych was a two-time All-American.

He achieved notice in 2004 when he hit .354 and slugged .625 for the Keene Swamp Bats in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, earning co-MVP honors with Chris Stanton and All-Star honors. He was named the NECBL's #5 prospect by Baseball America. He was named the Big East Conference Rookie of the Year as his .378 average (.464 OBP, .592 slugging) fell four points shy of leader Jeff Frazier. Negrych also was second in the Big East with 20 doubles, a new Pitt record. Baseball America named him to their Freshman All-American team.

In '05, Jim set a Pitt record with 44 walks and hit .349/.471/.694. He led the Big East with 16 homers, was second with 59 RBI and was the All-Conference pick at second base. Baseball America named him an All-American as the best second baseman in NCAA Division I. In 2006, Negrych kept on rolling with a .396 average, 11 homers and 60 RBI. His .515 OBP was 7th in NCAA Division I and Baseball America named him an All-American. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him in the 6th round of the 2006 amateur draft. Negrych was signed by scout Jon Mercurio and assigned to the Williamsport Crosscutters, batting .267/.327/.384.

Negrych hit .282/.340/.365 for the 2007 Hickory Crawdads. He started 2008 with a bang, batting .370/.448/.508 with 36 doubles and 77 runs in 104 games for the Lynchburg Hillcats while being converted to third base. He was leading the Carolina League in average, OPS and OBP, was 4th in slugging, was second in doubles and tied with Jordan Parraz for the most runs. At that point, he was called up to the Altoona Curve when Luis Cruz was promoted to AAA. He hit .310/.394/.368 in 25 games for Altoona. He easily won the Carolina League batting title (by .055 over Brandon Snyder) and was named the Topps Player of the Year for the circuit. He also led the league in OBP and was named the All-Star 3B but lost MVP honors to Beau Mills. Baseball America rated him as having the best strike-zone judgement in the circuit. He led all Pirate farmhands in average (.359), runs (87), hits (170), doubles (41) and OBP (.438). He was 4th in the affiliated minors in average behind Terry Tiffee and Jamie D'Antona of the high-octane PCL and Angel Salome. He was 5th in the affiliated minors in OBP.

Negrych was sent to the West Oahu CaneFires that fall and hit .225/.340/.300 in 12 games.

Jim slumped in 2009, hitting .272/.366/.362 in 93 games for the Curve. On July 27, his season ended when he injured his abdomen in a collission with shortstop Brian Friday. Negrych had surgery for the hematoma on his abdomen the next day.

Main Sources: Pitt website, 2009 Baseball Almanac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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