A pair of Penn State baseball players are ready to start their professional careers.
After being chosen in the Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday, Jim Haley and Jack Anderson signed contracts with their respective teams Wednesday.
Haley still had a year of eligibility left with the Nittany Lions but decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays, who picked him in the 19th round, 570th overall.
“I feel like signing with the Rays was the best opportunity for me,” Haley said in a university release. “It has been a dream of mine since I started playing baseball to get drafted by a big league team. It is an absolute honor and privilege and something that I do not take for granted.”
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He will begin his pro career with the short season Class A New York-Penn League affiliate, the Hudson Valley Renegades, who play the State College Spikes at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Sunday.
The third baseman was a three-year starter, posting a .315 batting average this past season while adding 45 runs, 69 hits, 12 doubles and 27 RBIs.
Anderson signed with the Seattle Mariners after they drafted the relief pitcher with the 687th pick in the 23rd round. He will join the short-season Everett Aquasox of the Northwest League.
“The Penn State baseball program took a chance on me four years ago and I was immediately surrounded by great people,” Anderson said in a university release. “The Seattle Mariners are now taking a chance on me and I am blessed to have the opportunity to continue my baseball career at the professional level.”
The right-hander, who was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Rawlings NCAA Division I Mideast All-Region Second Team on Wednesday, set the program records for saves in a single season (13) and career (25) along with career appearances (98), and he posted a 2.14 ERA this spring.