Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball and a pair of former West Virginia Mountaineers have made Opening Day rosters. Starting pitcher John Means has been named Baltimore’s Opening Day starter and infielder Ryan McBroom has offically made Kansas City’s roster.
— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) April 1, 2021
Means was scheduled to pitch today, but the Orioles’ game with the Bost Red Sox has been postponed until tomorrow due to weather.
Means was named the Orioles’ Opening Day starter last season as well, but an arm injury kept him from actually making the start. The 2019 All-Star started 10 games for the Orioles last season, going 2-4 with a 4.53 ERA. In 43.2 innings, he stuck out 42 batters and allowed just seven walks. Means had a 3.24 career ERA in 141.2 innings in two seasons at WVU in 2013-14. The Orioles drafted him in the 11th round of the 2014 MLB draft. He spent five seasons in the minors before debuting in 2018.
McBroom is entering his third major league season with the Royals. Last season, McBroom played in a career-high 36 games with 81 at-bats. He hit .247 with six home runs and 10 RBI. He also hit three doubles and scored eight runs. McBroom hit .289 with 20 career home runs in two seasons with WVU in 2013-14. He was drafted after each of his two college seasons, in the 36th round in 2013 and finally signing with the Blue Jays after 2014.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 1, 2021
Other former Mountaineers who might see the majors this season include pitchers Alek Manoah and Michael Grove and infielder Jedd Gyorko.
Manoah is a top-100 prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays and had a very good spring training. In seven innings this spring, Manoah allowed no runs and just one hit while striking out 15 batters. The Blue Jays took Manoah 11th overall in the 2019 draft after a standout career at WVU. He spent all of last season at Toronto’s alternate training site.
Grove is in the Los Angeles Dodgers system and pitched three innings this spring. He has not yet debuted in the majors and also spent all of last season at his team’s alternate training site. Grove had a 3.40 ERA in 45 innings for the Mountaineers in 2016 and a 2.87 ERA in 47 innings the following year.
Gyorko is currently a free agent but had a strong year with Milwaukee last season. He hit .248 with nine homers and 17 RBI in 42 games. His .838 OPS was a career-best and led the Brewers.