Red Sox Aaron Wilkerson, from Undrafted NAIA to the Big Leagues

Red Sox Aaron Wilkerson

The Boston Globe published a story hinting at the possibility that Aaron Wilkerson could make his Major League debut with the Red Sox as early as Sunday. His story is that of a true underdog.

Aaron Wilkerson pitched his college career at Cumberland University, an NAIA school. He went undrafted both his Junior and Senior years, despite setting NAIA records with 54 straight scoreless innings, and 26 straight wins. In 2010 he lead Cumberland to a national title.

A big problem with the future of Wilkerson’s pitching career at that point was an elbow problem. The righty that once touched 96 mph, was down to throwing low to mid 80s. Despite no real pain or discomfort, the drop in velocity on that scale is always suspicious. Turned out he had a slightly “frayed” UCL which would require Tommy John surgery.

Undrafted from an NAIA school with no phone calls coming from any MLB organizations found Aaron Wilkerson at a point where most guys would hang it up. Instead, he built a pitching mound in his backyard, and started rehabbing. After multiple tryouts with MLB clubs, he opted to try his luck in Indy ball. The man worked at a local grocery store in his home town when he received a call to try out for the South Shore RailCats. His journey through Indy ball is where the Red Sox decided to take a chance on the right-hander.

Throughout his journey in the Minor Leagues, Aaron Wilkerson has posted a career 2.48 ERA, and strikes out over 1 batter per inning. With the Red Sox pitching woes this year, some are saying we’ll see the NAIA product as soon as Sunday. Looking forward to it.