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UConn pitcher Nick Krauth signs with Texas Rangers

The Huskies’ ace is the first player from the 2020 squad to sign a professional contract in favor of returning to school.

UConn baseball cap Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

UConn starting pitcher Nick Krauth may have pitched the most lucrative 24.2 innings in baseball history this season, parlaying a tremendous performance in a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic into a $20,000 maximum signing bonus.

Krauth led the team with 24 strikeouts, holding opponents to a staggering .167 batting average against and an even more impressive 0.86 ERA. His impressive resume in less than three complete games with the Huskies includes two wins over the 2019 College World Series runners-up, Michigan.

Krauth’s journeyman career to professional baseball began at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, California, where he committed to the University of New Mexico. After transferring to Diablo Valley Community College, Krauth signed with UConn as one of Josh MacDonald’s usual west coast recruits.

Krauth enters the MLB during a historically volatile time. The COVID-19 pandemic has put the MLB season in jeopardy and given owners an excuse to release hundreds of minor leaguers, all of which happened after the league had already proposed the elmination of 40-odd minor league teams.

Krauth’s decision was undoubtedly the correct one for him, but the stormy environment at the professional level will definitely have a tangible effect on the decisions of other UConn seniors who could sign as an UDFA, like slugger Christian Fedko, right fielder Chris Winkel, or pitcher Ben Casparius.