Lions’ Lefty Drafted By San Francisco Giants
Penn State lefty Joe Kurrasch had the lowest earned-run average of all Big Ten starting pitchers this season. Evidently, pro scouts have noticed.
Kurrasch, a redshirt junior, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round (268th overall) of the Major League Baseball First Year Player draft on Tuesday.
Kurrasch, a native of San Juan Capistrano, California, is coming off a fantastic first season as a Nittany Lion. He went 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA in 16 appearances, including 11 starts. He struck out 78 batters (third in Big Ten) while allowing just 68 hits (fifth in Big Ten) in 87.2 innings pitched and opponents hit for just a .223 average against him.
Kurrasch — who transferred to Penn State from the University of California — began the season as the team’s closer but was thrust into the team’s weekend rotation and thrived, quickly becoming the go-to Friday night starter. One of his more impressive starts came against Purdue — the eventual Big Ten champs — on March 31. Kurrasch took a no-hitter into the seventh against a powerful Boilermaker lineup before being pulled after 7.1 innings after allowing three hits.
Should he choose not to sign a contract with his favorite childhood team, Kurrasch will still have two years of collegiate elgibility remaining if he opts to remain in Happy Valley. He could also return to school in hopes of improving his draft stock for next year’s draft.
Kurrasch is not the only Nittany Lion who is on the MLB draft radar. PSU’s All-Big Ten first baseman Jordan Steranka, who was drafted in the 30th round by the Houston Astros in last year’s draft, is hoping to have his name called again. Steranka, a four-year starter and one of the program’s most decorated players, finished his monster senior season with a .362 batting average, 11 home runs, 20 doubles, and 40 runs batted in.
Seniors Sean Deegan and Joey Debernardis are also draft hopefuls. Deegan led the Big Ten with 12 home runs while batting .241, while Debernardis hit .272 with 8 home runs and 32 RBIs. Debernardis was previously drafted out of high school in 2008 by the Florida Marlins. The draft will resume today.