|Follow PSU Baseball:||Follow @PennStateBASE|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A pair of Penn State baseball pitchers have joined the professional ranks, as Justin Hagenman (Voorhees, N.J.) signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Taylor Lehman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hagenman will forego his senior season with the Nittany Lions to join the Dodgers organization, which drafted him earlier in the month in the 23rd round.
“I’m very excited to continue on to the next step,” said Hagenman. “Just like everyone else who started playing baseball when they were young, it has always been my dream to play in the ‘bigs’ and this is where it starts. My experience at Penn State was awesome. It was everything I thought it would be and more. As my first few days here [at the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Phoenix] have passed, I believe my time at college prepared me as well as possible.”
Lehman signed with the Phillies as a free agent after graduating from Penn State in May and concluding a four-year career.
“In my four years at Penn State I made lifelong friends and memories that I wouldn't trade for the world,” said Lehman. “Thank you to all of my teammates for making it such an enjoyable ride and my coaches for the opportunity to play at Penn State. I'm very excited to start my professional career with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.”
“We are so excited for Taylor Lehman to get this opportunity with the Philadelphia Phillies,” said Penn State baseball coach Rob Cooper. “He has worked extremely hard, through a lot of adversity. He deserves this opportunity.”
Penn State now has five alums active in MLB organizations - its most since 2010 - as Hagenman and Lehman will join former teammates Jack Anderson (Mariners A-Advanced), Sal Biasi (Royals A-Full) and Jim Haley (Rays A-Full). Hagenman and Lehman are still awaiting their minor league assignments.
Taylor, originally a 34th round pick of the Miami Marlins, was the first recruit to commit to Cooper at Penn State. Lehman ranks eighth all-time in career appearances (66) and seventh all-time in career starts (38) in school history. A starter for the majority of his freshman, sophomore and senior seasons, he led the team in appearances as a junior mostly coming out of the bullpen. For his career, he struck out 157 batters in 204.1 innings pitched and graduated with a degree in agricultural business management.
Hagenman was a three-year starter for Penn State, posting a 4.64 ERA, 10 wins and striking out 190, and he ranks fourth all-time in school history with 42 career starts. Hagenman was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2016 after going 6-3 with a 3.84 ERA and 39 strikeouts. Hagenman’s strikeout totals surged as a sophomore, as he sent 75 walking back to the dugout. He led the rotation this past season, earning three wins, posting a 4.60 ERA and striking out 76 in a team-best 78 1/3 innings. Opponents batted a career-low .268 against him for the year.
“We’re extremely excited and happy for Justin,” said Cooper after the Dodgers drafted Hagenman. “He’s worked extremely hard to go from being an undrafted guy out of high school to a 23rd-rounder with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He deserves this opportunity. He has never wavered in his belief and his competitive spirit, and he has continued to get better.”
Hagenman is the third Penn State pitcher to be drafted in the past three years, joining 2017 selection Biasi (11th round) and Mariners’ 2016 selection Anderson (23rd round). Before Anderson’s selection in 2016, just one Penn State pitcher was taken in the previous six years (Joe Kurrasch, 2012, 8th round, Giants). Hagenman is the 11th player to be drafted during Cooper’s career as a head coach and the fourth in his tenure at Penn State. Those four, also including Haley (2016, 19th round, Rays), have all been selected in the last three drafts. Penn State has had 57 student-athletes selected in the MLB Draft since its inception in 1965, but Hagenman is the first Nittany Lion to be drafted by the Dodgers.
Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates on Penn State Baseball. Follow on Twitter at @PennStateBASE and Facebook at Penn State Baseball.