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June 9, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State junior Heath Johnson (Alamogordo, N.M.) was selected by the New York Yankees in the 45th round (#1375 overall) of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player on Wednesday afternoon, bringing the Nittany Lion total of draftees to four. Johnson joins junior catcher Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.), who was chosen by the Houston Astros in the fifth round, along with a pair of incoming freshmen who also went Tuesday. After starting the season as an outfielder, Johnson turned to the mound in April where his fastball consistently registered in the low-to-mid 90s.
Johnson is only the second Penn State player ever to be selected by the Yankees and first since Shorty Stoner back in 1966. After starting 21 games in the outfield, Johnson turned his attention to the mound where he posted a 6.75 ERA in 11 games (one start). He struck out 12 in 14.2 innings while holding opponents to a .275 batting average. Johnson also recorded one save, against Northwestern on Apr. 11.
The former Junior College All-American becomes Penn State's second converted outfielder to be selected in as many years after Scott Kelley was chosen by the Kansas City Royals in the 23rd round last season.
Even after he began pitching, Johnson showed the ability to step up to the plate when needed. He went 1-for-5 against Northwestern on Apr. 11 prior to entering the game in the ninth inning for the save. He also started on the 13th against Pittsburgh while pinch-hitting in the final weekend of the season against Michigan.
To read the complete recap of day two, which included Heath and incoming freshmen Kyle Redinger going to the Astros and Austin Urban to the Orioles, please click here.
Baseball camp information is now available. Call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
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