Former LMU standout baseball player Billy Traber returns the bluff in 2011, serving as an Undergraduate Assistant after finishing a nine-year professional career, including five seasons pitching for four teams in Major League Baseball.
Traber, a first-round pick of the New York Mets in 2000 (16th overall), made his Major League Debut on April 4, 2003 for the Cleveland Indians en route to amassing a 12-14 record and a 5.65 ERA pitching for the Indians, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The left-hander appeared in 96 games, including making 28 starts in his Major League career, while striking out 152 hitters. In eight years of Minor League work, Traber appeared in 202 games, starting 108. He pitched to the tune of a 3.59 ERA and a record of 53-45 with 546 strikeouts.
In 2002, Traber was the runner-up Minor Leage Pitcher of the Year, going 17-5 for the Akron Aeros (Double-A) and Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A), and was voted by Baseball America as having the best control and curveball in the league. His numbers were also good enough to give him top-honors amongst Cleveland pitching prospects.
While at LMU, the El Segundo, Calif. native was named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2000, going 10-4 on the season with a 3.13 ERA. He closed out the regular season with six consecutive wins and finished the year with seven games of 10 or more strikeouts. A two-time first team All-West Coast Conference selection, Traber garnered All-American recognition in 1999 and 2000 while leading LMU to the West Coast Conference Championship in each of his three seasons.
Traber recorded 338 career strikeouts, second only to Tim Layana in the LMU record book, over the course of his three years and 340.1 innings pitched, a mark that ranks eighth overall. The 10 wins in 2000 still place eighth in the single-season record book, while his 156 strikeouts that same year are second to none in LMU history. His 135 strikeouts in 1999 also place in the top-three all-time, claiming third overall.