Two QU baseball products sign professional contracts

Spraker, Graham 2

Former Quincy University right-hander Graham Spraker signed a minor league contract last week with the Tampa Bay Rays. | Photo courtesy Buffalo Bisons

QUINCY — A pair of former Quincy University baseball players recently signed professional contracts.

Right-handed reliever Graham Spraker is getting the chance to restart his career with a new organization, while slugging infielder Dayson Croes is just beginning his pursuit.

Spraker signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays last week and was assigned to the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits. Meanwhile, Croes signed a contract with the Winnepeg Goldeyes, one of 12 teams in the independent American Association.

Spraker was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 31st round of the June 2017 amateur draft. He worked his way up the organizational ladder, reaching Triple-A Buffalo last season. He made 29 appearances with the Bison, going 1-4 with a 4.82 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. He was released by the Bison on August 19.

Overall in his five-year minor league career, Spraker owns a 15-15 record with 11 saves and a 3.05 ERA. While at QU, Spraker went 22-11 with nine complete games, 211 strikeouts and a 3.20 ERA over 281.1 innings. He won seven games with a 2.77 ERA in leading the Hawks to the NCAA Division II World Series in 2017.

Former Quincy University infielder Dayson Croes recently signed a contract with the Winnepeg Goldeyes of the American Association. | Matt Schuckman photo

Croes was the Hawks’ second-leading hitter last season with a .343 batting average. He collected 13 doubles, 10 home runs and 62 RBIs while earning second-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors.

As a junior in 2021, Croes hit .436 with 17 doubles, nine home runs and 54 RBIs. He struck out just 11 times in 172 at-bats, earning first-team All-American honors from the D2CCA and second-team honors from the NCBWA.

After finishing his final season at QU last spring, Croes played for the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs in Minot, N.D., as part of the Expedition League. When the league ended its season in mid-July, Croes joined the Quincy Gems for the final 17 games of the summer and helped them reach the Prospect League playoffs. He hit .437 with 10 doubles and 18 RBIs.

“Dayson is one of those players who gets overlooked in the draft for various reasons,” Goldeyes manager Greg Tagert said. “He was one of the best collegiate hitters in 2022, and we’re excited to see him begin his professional career in Winnipeg.”

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