Gipson-Long taking nontraditional path through pro ball

This story was excerpted from Jason Beck’s Tigers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Sawyer Gipson-Long had just completed a long bus trip with the Twins’ Double-A affiliate from Wichita, Kan., to San Antonio, Texas, when he got a call from Minnesota player development director Alex Hassan. Knowing that Tuesday was baseball’s Trade Deadline, the 24-year-old right-hander instantly knew what the call was for.

“The Twins are in the running for a World Series this year, and they need dudes to bolster their rotation and make a push,” Gipson-Long said. “I figured they were going to trade some guys away. Never figured it would be me.”

The Twins traded several prospects to upgrade their bullpen, including a few from Wichita. Gipson-Long was the return prospect for the Tigers in the Michael Fulmer trade. While Fulmer just had to change clubhouses at Target Field, Gipson-Long flew from San Antonio to Washington, then to Portland, Maine, where the Erie SeaWolves are in the middle of a two-week New England road trip.

It was a long, unique journey for Gipson-Long, who hasn’t taken a traditional route through pro ball. An academic all-conference player at Mercer University, he was a chemical commerce major who also took pre-med studies. He’d like to go back to school one day and put that to work in a post-playing career in the game, but for now…

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Jason Beck

Jason Beck

MLB - Tigers

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Detroit Tigers beat reporter on MLB dot com, Xavier hoops, Chelsea FC fan, marathoner. Not to be confused with the football coach.