Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Tommy Bergjans from Reading Fightin Phils
Reading Fightin Phils pitcher Tommy Bergjans shares with Zeke how he has made an unlikely journey from Division III to a pro career. He had no aspirations of playing pro ball coming out of high school. With a fastball that topped out at 84 mph, one of the few college recruiting letters he received came from Haverford College and he accepted. It turns out the Division III school was more than that. It became a launching pad for one of the greatest careers ever in the Centennial Conference and has led to an unlikely journey into professional baseball.
Bergjans landed in the Phillies organization late last summer as part of the package offered by the Dodgers in exchange for catcher Carlos Ruiz. At Haverford Bergjans' velocity increased to the mid-90s and as a senior, he averaged 14.84 strikeouts per nine innings -- the best rate in the NCAA across all levels. He posted a 1.07 ERA, was named a D3baseball.com All-American for the second straight year and Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year for the third straight time. He set program career records for ERA (1.69), strikeouts (374, in 282 2/3 innings) and wins (27).
He became just the third player in school history to be drafted when the Dodgers took him in the eighth round; he was signed by Dodgers scout Rich DeLucia, the former big league pitcher and Wyomissing star. Bergjans spent the first two months of this season pitching in extended spring training after developing forearm and elbow tightness late in spring training. He has a lot of movement on his pitches, especially a spike curveball that breaks sharply like a slider.
Watch or Listen to more of our story on Talking Sports and Fitness with Zeke.