Wildcat alumnus Jake Bird was officially called up to the majors on Saturday, making him the first West Ranch High School grad to reach the MLB.
Bird has been tearing through the lower ranks since coming out of UCLA in 2018. The former Bruin has risen through all levels of minor league ball before the Rockies made the call on Saturday.
The right-handed pitcher has made a name for himself coming out of the bullpen.
In 2021, Bird compiled a 6-1 record in AA and AAA action, with a 3.38 ERA and 59 strikeouts.
MLB writer Jonathan Mayo writes, “[Bird’s] stuff has ticked upward in shorter outings, helping him miss more bats with more power to his sinking fastball and breaking ball, though he needs to continue to refine his command.”
The Wildcat will have the chance to help the Rockies jump back into the win column in the NL West. Colorado will take all the help it can get to move up in what might end up being another tight finish in the wild West.
Bird was a standout at West Ranch, finishing with a 1.55 ERA, 72 strikeouts and only 11 walks in his senior year when he played for longtime Wildcats coach Casey Burrill.
“We are over the moon excited for Jake,” said Burrill. “He deserves everything he is getting. Jake is talented, smart, hardworking and patient. All of that has paid off.”
The newly added Rocky is yet to see any action since being called up on Saturday. The reliever will have his next chance at his major league debut Tuesday when Colorado hosts the Guardians.