Former Florida Atlantic University standout pitcher RJ Alvarez had his dream become a reality today as he was called up to the major league by the San Diego Padres.
Alvarez, a native of Royal Palm Beach, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in 2012 after a phenomenal season with the Owls. A first-team All-Sun Belt Conference (SBC) selection in 2012, he compiled a 5-0 record with eight saves and a dazzling 0.76 earned run average. Alvarez recorded 47 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 37.2 innings over 22 mound appearances. He was named to the midseason watch list for National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association “Stopper of the Year.”
He joined the Owls in 2010 as part of FAU Head Baseball Coach John McCormack and pitching coach Jason Jackson’s first recruiting class. He becomes the eighth player who has made it to the big leagues in McCormack’s time with the Owls.
“It’s just awesome,” Alvarez said. “Once you get that call, it’s pretty surreal. I learned a lot at FAU; I faced a lot of good hitters and I matured a lot. Coach Jackson really made me more consistent as a pitcher.”
“I’m very excited for RJ,” Jackson said. “It’s obviously a dream come true for him and his family. I feel like a proud parent. He’s worked hard and has earned this opportunity through his success in the minor leagues.”
In the minors, Alvarez has dealt an impressive 178 strikeouts in 119.1 innings of work over 98 games, earning seven victories and 11 saves. He owns an ERA of 2.41 and holds batters to an average of just .197.
In his 21 outings as a relief pitcher for the Arkansas Travelers this season, Alvarez was lights-out. He struck out 38 batters, holding them to a .149 average and recorded an ERA of 0.33 in 27 innings. He was then sent to San Diego on July 19 in a six-player trade and joined the San Antonio Missions. There, he allowed only five runs in 17 games.
“This is a fantastic day for RJ, his family and FAU baseball,” McCormack said. “I am extremely happy for him and proud of what he has accomplished. I know this is only the first step and we all look forward to watching his Major League career blossom.”