Marko Vykoukal

From BR Bullpen

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 198 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Marko Vykoukal has played in the Extraliga and has represented both the Czech Republic and Slovakia on the international stage. His brother Michael Vykoukal has been a teammate. [1]

He lost to the US in the 2009 World Youth Championship, but was the top Czech hurler that day (4 R in 2 IP) in a 18-1, 6-inning mercy rule loss. [2] He spent the winter in Venezuela's Liga Paralela. [3] He was 0-1 with a 5.62 ERA on the event and went 0 for 5; he led the Czechs in ERA, 1.13 ahead of future Phillies and Pirates farmhand Marek Minařík. [4] He was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in the 2010 World Junior Championship, though he held South Korea to one run in five innings for a strong show for a European hurler. He tied Angel Mejias, Chang-sik Yoo and Amin Touhari for the most losses in the event. [5]

Vykoukal was 1-3 with a save and a 8.31 ERA for the 2010 Arrows Ostrava then improved to 1-4, 7.20 the next year. [6] He was 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA in the 2011 European Junior Championship, striking out 20 in 16 2/3 IP. He lost to Robin Schel and the Netherlands but beat France and Alexandre Roy. He tied Daniel Vítek for the event lead in strikeouts. [7] He did not play in the Extraliga in 2012-2013 then returned in 2014, going 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA for Ostrava. He also was 4 for 8 with 3 doubles, a walk and 3 RBI, a sign that he could contribute on the plate. [8] He was out from the league again in 2015-2016 then was back with the Arrows for 2017, going 0-1 with six saves and a 2.13 ERA. He led the league in saves, one ahead of Tomáš Ondra. [9] He played for the Czechs in the 2017 Universiade. [10]

At the 2018 CEB Cup, he allowed three runs in 3 2/3 IP. [11] He was 3-3 with a save and a 3.73 ERA in the 2018 regular season, then was 5-1 with a save and a 2.02 ERA in the postseason. He tied for the most wins in the postseason and the Arrows won their first title. Combining the regular season and postseason, his .96 WHIP was third in the loop, behind Petr Minařík and Wes Roemer. [12] Ostrava thus made it to the 2019 European Champions Cup. He was hit hard (5 R, 3 ER in 2 1/3 IP) by the L&D Amsterdam Pirates in a loss to Jim Ploeger but was actually his team's best hurler that day and finished the Cup with a better ERA than the team mark. [13]

Pitching for the Slovakian national team in the 2019 B-Level European Championship, he gave up seven hits and five runs in two innings but three teammates had higher ERAs. [14] In the 2019 Extraliga, he had a 5-1, 2.77 regular season record but was more human this postseason (1-1, Sv, 6.48) but Ostrava repeated. He tied Jan Novák, Jason Jarvis, John Hussey and Radim Chroust for fifth in wins. [15] In 2020, he only pitched two shutout innings for Ostrava. [16]

In the high-scoring 2021 European Champions Cup, he allowed seven runs in seven innings against the Bonn Capitals but beat Joe Wittig in a mercy rule rout. [17] Slovakia made it to the European Championship for the first time. Vykoukal got the honor of starting their first European Championship game. He had a tough challenge in their 2021 European Championship opener, facing a Dutch national team that would win the event and was highlighted by former big leaguer Roger Bernadina and a slew of minor league veterans. His mound opponent, Lars Huijer, had also played in the minors. He did pretty well considering the opposition. He got Jiandido Tromp on a fly, walked Bernadina and hit Ray-Patrick Didder. Juremi Profar grounded them over. He seemed to be out of the jam by getting a grounder from Sharlon Schoop but an error made it 1-0. He recovered to fan former Cubs farmhand Dwayne Kemp. In the second, he got Junior Martina on a grounder, allowed a Dashenko Ricardo single then retired both John Polonius and Tromp, the latter via K. Lukáš Žilavy relieved him; Vykoukal would wind up the best Slovakian pitcher on the day, having given up only one run (unearned) in two frames. His other appearance came versus Ukraine. He again allowed no earned runs (two unearned), giving up six hits and a walk in six innings while fanning four. Markus Racík took over with a 4-2 lead, but Slovakia could not hold on for their first European Championship win. He was a bright spot for his team, finishing third in the Euros in ERA; Alex Webb and Elián Leyva were at 0.00 in more innings. He was third on Slovakia in IP behind Martin Gieci and Jakub Ižold. He also tied for second in the Euros in games started on the mound, one behind Joey Wagman. [18]