Chris Carden enters his first season with the Grizzlies and second in professional baseball in 2019.
Carden, who will turn 25 on Aug. 5, pitched in 15 games for the Gulf Coast League Rays in 2017 and posted a 3.86 ERA over 21 innings. He struck out 15 and walked 12.
He played his college baseball at Truett-McConnell University, an NAIA school in Cleveland, Ga., with only 2,141 students. Carden went 9-2 with a 3.91 ERA as a senior in 2017; he struck out 106 and walked 27 in 101 innings. He also hit .350 with a .940 OPS over his three years with the Bears; he hit 18 home runs and drove in 111 over 162 games.
Truett McConnell’s most notable athletic alumnus is Mitchell Wiggins, who played basketball there in the late 70s and went on to play in the NBA — most notably, perhaps, he is the father of former Kansas star and current Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins.