GARY, Ind. 12-15-2010 – The Gary SouthShore RailCats announced today that the Florida Marlins have purchased the contract of lefty Brad Furnish, who spent this past season as a member of RailCats bullpen.
Furnish, 25, becomes the 19th player sold by the RailCats to a major league organization and the 26th player to enter affiliated baseball after spending time in Northwest Indiana. Furnish also joins two of his 2010 RailCats teammates as members of the ‘Cats sold to the Marlins organization, Willie Glen (2007) and Tanner Townsend (2008). Edwin Walker was the most recent member of the ‘Cats to get picked up when his contract was purchased shortly before the All-Star break in 2009 by the New York Yankees.
Furnish excelled with the RailCats in 2010 earning a 4-0 record including a 3.28 ERA in 49.1 innings while striking out 49 and walking only 22. The Fort Worth native also held opposing hitters to a measly .242 batting average. Furnish displayed his versatility appearing in parts of five games as a position player when the RailCats were decimated by injuries contributing at the plate with a .333 batting average (1 for 3), while also contributing two RBI and scoring two runs.
Originally selected with the 54th overall pick in the 2006 Major League Entry Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Furnish had a great deal of success in his first two pro seasons, leading the New York-Penn League with 15 starts in his rookie season and posting a 3.94 ERA. The next year, Furnish began the season at Quad Cities (A) and stymied Midwest League batters, holding opposing hitters to a .191 average and boasting a microscopic 1.02 WHIP.
Furnish finished 2007 and began the 2008 season at Palm Beach (High-A) and made 20 starts there in 2008, going 8-8 with a 5.17 ERA. In a brief call up with Springfield (AA) that summer Furnish was even better, going 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in four starts. Last season, Furnish again split time between the two stops as both a starter and reliever. The southpaw was especially effective when he worked out of the bullpen the past two seasons with Palm Beach, striking out 24 and allowing only 30 hits in 30.1 IP.
After first enrolling at Nebraska in 2004, Furnish thrived the next two seasons with Texas Christian. As a junior in 2006, Furnish recorded 125 strikeouts in only 100.0 innings, the second-highest single-season strikeout total in TCU history. Included in his fine junior season was a no-hitter, fired against Stephen F. Austin on February 19, 2006, and a mention on the All-Mountain West Tournament Team. An All-State high school pitcher in Allen, Texas, Furnish also played two seasons with the Cape Cod League’s Wareham Gatemen.
Fan Fest 2011 is right around the corner and the RailCats will be hosting minor league baseball’s premier fan event for the third consecutive season on February 5 at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville, Ind. For more information or to purchase tickets simply call the RailCats at 219.882.2255 or visit www.railcatsbaseball.com.