WEYMOUTH, Mass. (May 10, 2023) -- Boston College’s own Jake Alu became the 13th Futures League alumnus to reach Major League Baseball (MLB) when he debuted with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
After a league-record six Futures League products climbed to the MLB level in 2022, Alu is the first to do so this season. The 26-year-old with 298 games of minor league experience under his belt is also the second National in as many years to join the prestigious group of alumni. The organization’s No. 27 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Alu joins former Pittsfield Sun and University of Oklahoma two-way standout Cade Cavalli, who made his MLB and Nationals debut in “The Show” last August.
Alu spent the summer of 2015 with the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, who are now the eighth different current or former Futures League organization to produce at least one MLB alum. Alu hit .309 with three RBI and seven runs scored across a 21-game stint for Wachusett, where he played prior to reporting for his freshman year as an Eagle.
Upon being recalled for Washington’s three-game series at San Francisco, Alu was 6-for-21 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI and a pair of runs scored in his last six games for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
Alu was drafted in the 24th round back in 2019. When he started in left field at San Francisco’s Park on Tuesday, he became the lowest drafted position player to make his MLB debut with the Nationals in team history.
In 2022, Alu led the Nationals system with a .298 average, .872 OPS, 62 extra-base hits and 252 total bases. A standout defensive player with experience as an infielder and outfielder, he also led all of the minors with 17 defensive runs saved. He was promoted to Rochester last July 12 after beginning his third professional season with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
Alu is also the reigning winner of the Nationals Way Award, which is presented to the minor league player who “best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the ‘Washington Nationals Way.’”
He is the second-ever and first Futures League alum from BC to play in the big leagues since Chris Shaw, the 2012 Top Pro Prospect for the Nashua Silver Knights who first appeared for the San Francisco Giants in 2018. Shaw has returned to affiliated ball in the Chicago White Sox organization this season.
Alu finished his 166-game BC career in 2019 having logged 176 hits and a .302 batting average. He was a third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and second-team All-New England selection in his senior season, ranking ninth in the ultra-competitive conference with his .343 average while scoring 51 runs and hitting 18 doubles.
The Futures League’s busy 2022 year of MLB call-ups began with former Torrington Titan shortstop Jeremy Pena cracking the Houston Astros’ season-opening lineup. He went on to earn Gold Glove and World Series MVP honors as a star rookie.
One of the debutants in June of 2022 was former Pittsfield Suns pitcher Matt Gage, whose brother, Dave, managed the Wachusett team on which Alu played. Dave is now the head coach at Division 3 Stevenson University in Maryland. Matt was acquired by Houston this offseason after taking the major league mound for the first time with the Toronto Blue Jays.
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