Registration | How Former Penn State Baseball Players Are Faring In The Minor Leagues | Penn State Sports News
The Minor League Baseball season is well underway and some former Penn Staters are putting up numbers in farm systems across the country.
The Blue-and-Whites are hoping to get at least one more player drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft, which is less than a month away, but the team has alumni who were recently drafted and are battling for majors spots. .
Here’s a look at some of the former Nittany Lions and how they’re doing in MiLB.
Justin Hagenman spent three years pitching for Penn State from 2016 to 2018, accounting for 14 starts each year and earning freshman All-Big Ten team honors in his freshman year.
The pitcher was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 2018 draft and has steadily risen through the ranks.
He started the 2022 season with the Tulsa Drillers, the Dodgers’ AA affiliate, but was promoted to the Oklahoma City Dodgers, his AAA team.
Hagenman posted a 2.79 ERA in five games with the Drillers, claiming 10 strikeouts and allowing one walk. However, since his AAA promotion, his ERA has dropped to 7.48 in 16 appearances.
Bailey Dees was selected in the 18th round of the MLB draft last year by the New York Yankees after a four-year career that saw him make 33 starts for coach Rob Cooper’s team.
After a brief stint with the FCL Yankees, a rookie-level affiliate of the Yankees, the pitcher was assigned to the Tampa Tarpons, the big league singles A team.
So far in 2022, the Charlotte, North Carolina native has played in 14 games and posted a 5.21 ERA. He allowed just one home run and held his opponents to a .208 batting average.
His biggest struggle so far has been locating the strike zone, as he has only 18 strikeouts to go along with 14 walks on the year.
Kyle Virbitsky ended up with the Oakland Athletics after being selected in the 17th round of last year’s draft, just 10 picks behind fellow Nittany Lion Justin Williams.
With the Nittany Lions, he showed steady improvement over a four-year collegiate career, leading the team in strikeouts in his senior season.
The 6-foot-7 pitcher from Media, Pa., currently pitches for the Stockton Ports, an A singles team, where he posted a 5.74 ERA in 11 games.
Virbitsky is 3-3 in his 10 starts for the Ports, including 60 strikeouts while walking only 15.
Of Penn State’s three pitchers selected in the 2021 MLB Draft, Conor Larkin arguably posted the best numbers of the trio.
After earning a 1.46 ERA in singles-A, the ninth-round selection was promoted to the Vancouver Canadiens, the High-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the Canadiens, Larkin played in six games, with a 7.71 ERA and nine Ks.
Larkin will need to return to his Single-A form if he is to continue climbing the professional baseball ladder.
Selected by the Houston Astros in the 17th round in 2021, Justin Williams currently plays for the organization’s Single-A affiliate, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Williams spent time on the development roster to start the 2022 campaign, but since returning on June 3, he has significantly improved his offensive output.
Last season, the Pennsylvanian hit .213 with 51 strikeouts and just 15 walks, but in his second season with the Woodpeckers, Williams is batting .286 with a .350 on-base percentage.
In his final year with the blue and white, Williams was one of two hitters to hit over .300 this season.
Jim Haley was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB Draft after his move to Happy Valley.
Haley hit .297 during his three-year career with Penn State and carried that success to the minors.
The Upper Darby, Pennsylvania native was promoted to the AAA Durham Bulls at the end of 2021, appearing in just one game before the end of the season.
So far in 2022, the former Nittany Lion has made 51 appearances for the Bulls, claiming an average of .254 paired with 10 homers and 17 walks.
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