BRISTOL, Tenn. – At the beginning of August, it was a dream come true for former King University baseball player Cory Rhodes. On August 6, the Kissimmee, Florida native signed a professional baseball contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. After traveling many miles, Rhodes made four outings for the Bristol Pirates, a minor league team for Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates.
The journey was a long one as Rhodes was pitching in the National Baseball Congress World Series in Kansas when he got the call. He then traveled back to Florida to take his physical at the Pirates complex in Bradenton, Florida. After all the paperwork was finalized, Rhodes travel to Jamestown, New York to meet his new team, the Jamestown Jammers, a single A affiliate of the Pirates. However, he wasn't there very long, only three games before the Pirates sent him down to rookie ball in Bristol where the Bristol Pirates needed a pitcher.
"It was a dream come true to play professional baseball," Rhodes stated. "The stats may not have shown it, but the first outing was positive in mine and the coaches' eyes. I look forward to keep getting and represent King in a positive manner at the professional level."
Rhodes made his professional debut on August 13 against the Kingsport Mets. The outing may not have looked good on paper as he gave up three earned runs on six hits while striking out three in in one and two-thirds innings pitched, but Rhodes and the coaches viewed it as a positive outing. From there he improved in his final three outings. On August 19, he tossed one and one-thirds innings, striking out one and giving up four unearned runs.
He then posted back-to-back scoreless outings against the Burlington Royals on August 23 and the Danville Braves on August 29. He tossed one-third of an inning against the Royals before going one and two-thirds innings and striking out one against the Braves.
Rhodes is traveling back to Bradenton this weekend for training at Pirate City, the Pirates complex in preparation for spring training.