In 1999, the Kansas City Royals had four first round draft picks. I already wrote about their second pick that year (25th overall), Mike MacDougal, earlier in this series. Today, let us take a look at their third pick in 1999, right-handed pitcher Jay Gehrke, who was drafted 32nd overall out of Pepperdine University.
Gehrke was an All-American at both Arizona State and Pepperdine before being drafted by the Royals. He received a bonus of a little over $1 million. Not bad for a kid out of Fargo, North Dakota. Unfortunately, he spent just four seasons in the Royals minor league system.
After being drafted, Gehrke was sent to rookie level Spokane and he struggled. He allowed more hits (34) than innings pitched (29) and walked 21 while hitting three. He struck out 33 and had 13 saves.
Gehrke had a solid first full season in Charleston ERA-wise (3.75), but he walked more (42) than he struck out (38) in 60 innings. I had the chance to watch Gehrke pitch in 2001 when he spent the entire season in High-A Wilmington. In 42 games, he was 5-7, which is a lot of decisions for a reliever. He had a 5.65 ERA in 71.2 innings. He once again allowed more hits (82), though he lowered his walk total (32) and increased his strikeouts (65). He was a little wild, throwing 11 wild pitches.
A career ending injury ended his career in 2002. I honestly was disappointed because he was a really nice guy and I wanted to see him succeed.
Gehrke went on to earn his BS degree from ASU in global business with a concentration in financial management. In 2007, he earned his accredited asset management specialist (AAMS) designation from The College for Financial Planning. He is also licensed as an investment advisor. Gehrke works at Cole Wealth Management, LLC. as a financial advisor. He is involved in financial, investment, and estate planning for professional athletes, entrepreneurs, executives, and business entities.
Tags: Kansas City Royals