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Published On: July 15th, 2023

Kalamazoo, Mich. – On Friday night, former Kalamazoo Growler, Zack Gelof made his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics.. The third-ranked prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization became the seventh Growler alum to make his major league debut when he appeared in the A’s weekend series against the Twins on Friday, July 14.

In his second career major league at-bat, Gelof roped a double off the top of the right field wall for his first career major league hit. He also drove in his first career RBI with the double. Both his parents and younger brother Jake were in attendance. Jake is also a former Growler who played in Kalamazoo in 2021. Jake was just drafted by the Los Angeles Dodges in the 2023 MLB Draft.

Gelof played at Kalamazoo in 2019, following his freshman season at the University of Virginia, and was a versatile defender playing second and third base while also mixing in as an outfielder. In 39 games with the team, he hit a league 11th-best average of .349, had a league 19th-best OPS of .916, and stole a league ninth-most 22 bags. 

In 2021, Gelof was drafted in the 2nd round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. In 132 games across the 2021-2022 seasons, the former Growler hit .287 with 25 home runs and 96 RBI and was promoted to AAA Las Vegas in September of 2022. Gelof, along with the two other Growlers represented his club in the Arizona Fall League in 2022. 

Gelof, just like Matt Mervis, received an invite to spring training from his major league ball club and an invite to join Team Israel for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The former ACC foes and fall-league teammates shared the K-Zoo connection and showed that off this past March in Miami. Zack also has made that connection with his younger brother Jake. Jake Gelof, a 2021 Growler, was selected with the 60th overall pick in this year’s draft to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

This season with Las Vegas has been another spectacular one for Gelof. In 69 games with Las Vegas, Gelof slashed .304/.401/.529 with 60 hits, 21 doubles, 12 home runs, 44 RBI, and 20 stolen bags. Gelof has incredibly versatile abilities on the field and with the production that comes from the bat, he’s in a prime spot to stay in the Oakland lineup for years to come.

Gelof is the second former Growler to make his debut this season, with 2019 Kalamazoo teammate Matt Mervis making his debut on May 5 with the Chicago Cubs. The #GrowlersPipeline continues to prove strong as Gelof looks to make an immediate impact at the Major League level.