Aug. 7, 2007
CINCINNATI---After being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this summer, University of Cincinnati pitcher John Baird has signed his first professional contract, inking a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Devil Rays used their 24th-round pick, the 725th pick overall to select the right-hander from Delaware, Ohio.
Baird pitched just one season for the Bearcats after transferring from Birmingham Southern. He held a 2-4 record in 13 appearances (12 starts) and a 6.44 ERA. In 58.2 innings, Baird struck out 30. He picked up his first career win against Marshall on April 9 and followed that up with a compete game victory against Connecticut on April 22.
This summer, Baird pitched for the Delaware Cows of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League for the second straight year. In limited action, Baird was 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in seven games, including four starts. In 20.1 innings, Baird recorded 24 strikeouts, while walking just four. The summer with the Cows was Baird's second in a row after being named the co-top pitching prospect in the league by Baseball America in 2006.
Baird's signing marks the 16th player during head coach Brian Cleary's Cincinnati tenure to sign a professional contract.