The Houston Astros farm system will be adding a former Wharton County Junior College Pioneer.
Kyle Gruller, who pitched for the Pioneers for two seasons in 2016-2017, Monday signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the Astros for an undisclosed amount of money.
Before joining the Pioneers in 2016, Gruller played high school baseball for Cypress Ridge. After his two seasons at WCJC, he transferred to Houston Baptist to continue his athletic career. Gruller, like all of college baseball did not finish his senior season. He did get to play in four games ending his career with a 2.30 ERA in nearly 100 innings at Houston Baptist. During his time with the Pioneers Gruller stuck out 95 batters in 82 innings.
Had Major League Baseball had a normal draft of 40 rounds, Gruller would likely been drafted. However, due to COVID-19 and baseball’s season potentially not happening, this year there were only five rounds.
With baseball unsure if there will be a season, the minor leaguers who have just been drafted or signed like Gruller, are in a holding pattern. The Astros will pay their minor leagues a stipend of $400 a week through the end of August.
Spencer Griffin was the last Pioneer to be drafted back in 2017 by the Los Angeles Angels in the 16th round. Griffin’s last season was playing in high A-ball. Currently, WCJC has one player on a major league roster, Glenn Sparkman who plays for the Kansas City Royals.