Two More Lions Drafted By MLB Teams
A day after Penn State ace Joe Kurrasch was selected in the MLB Draft, two of his teammates were chosen yesterday during the draft’s third and final day.
The Nittany Lions’ All-Big Ten first baseman Jordan Steranka was selected by his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates in the 21st round, while John Walter, a tall right handed pitcher, was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 29th round.
Steranka leaves Penn State as one of the most accomplished players in program history. He ended his four years in Happy Valley just three hits short of the University’s all-time hits record. Additionally, Steranka ranks first in program history in at-bats, total bases and doubles, second in RBI, third in triples, and fourth in home runs.
Steranka’s senior year was arguably his finest in a Penn State uniform as he ranked at or near the top of the Big Ten in most offensive categories. He led the conference in doubles (20), slugging percentage (.615) and total bases (139), was second in batting average (.363), third in home runs (11), and fifth in hits (82). In addition to being named first team All-Big Ten, Steranka was named second-team All-American by College Sports Madness.
As a member of the Pirates organization, Steranka will more than likely begin his career in a very familiar ballpark. Medlar Field at Lubrano Park — the stadium that Penn State calls home — also houses the State College Spikes, Pittsburgh’s single-A affiliate from the New York-Penn league.
Walter was plagued by inconsistency during his junior campaign for the Nittany Lions after a very promising sophomore performance. He earned third team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore compiling a 6-4 record with an excellent 3.19 ERA but struggled with a 2-8 record and 5.07 ERA over 15 starts in 2012.
The 6-foot-5 220 pound Walter features a strong four seam fastball and average off-speed pitches. He has a year of collegiate eligibility remaining if he wants to return to Penn State’s rotation for his senior season, which is the likely scenario.