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June 6, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On the third and final day of the 2012 MLB Draft, Penn State first baseman Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and right handed pitcher John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) were each selected by Major League Clubs. Steranka was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 21st round, while Walter was picked by the Kansas City Royals in the 29th round. The two join sophomore Joe Kurrasch (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) as 2012 Penn State drafted players.
Steranka, who finished his career just three hits shy of the Penn State all-time hits record, is first in program history in at-bats and total bases and doubles as well as second in RBI, third in triples and fourth in home runs. The senior had a monster season as he was second in the conference in batting average (.363), first in slugging percentage (.615), fifth in hits (82), first in doubles (20), third in home runs (11) and first in total bases (139). Steranka was named a first team All-Big Ten selection in 2012 and was also named a second team All-American by College Sports Madness.
During his junior campaign, Steranka had another excellent season and helped anchor the potent Penn State attack. He led the team and finished third in the Big Ten with 57 RBI while posting a .323 batting average. A consummate power threat, he also placed fifth in the conference with a .544 slugging percentage while blasting eight home runs and five triples. His sophomore year, he continued to shine at the plate, launching seven home runs with 44 RBI. He also roped 16 doubles and scored 45 times. Uniquely consistent, he posted exactly 70 hits in each of his first three seasons with the Nittany Lions.
Over the last four years, Steranka established himself as one of the top hitters in the Big Ten. During his freshman campaign, he hit .365 with six home runs and 42 RBI. For his efforts, he was selected to the third-team All-Conference squad as well as the Big Ten All-Rookie team.
With Steranka being drafted by the Pirates, he is expected to play with the State College Spikes (the Pirates' New York-Penn League Single-A affiliate) this summer at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Walter is coming off an up and down 2012 season. He hurled a quality start at Samford on March 4, where he went six innings, giving up one run and fanning seven batters. He had one of his best starts of the season at East Carolina going 7.2 innings and giving up just one earned run while striking out four batters to earn the no-decision. He additionally held Purdue to just one earned run in 6.2 innings of work. Purdue entered the game as the nation's top hitting team. Walter additionally earned a win against Illinois, going eight innings of two- run ball while striking out eight batters.
Walter was very effective his sophomore season. An imposing right-hander, he has posted a 6-3 record during the year with a 2.94 ERA. He was durable on the mound, firing 79.2 innings, including a complete game effort against Illinois on April 2.
Steranka and Walter are two of 18 Penn State players selected under head coach Robbie Wine (since 2005). Over 60 Penn State players have been selected by Major League Baseball organizations, including 29 since the new millennium. In total, 26 organizations have selected a Nittany Lion baseball player at some point.
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