Pitt baseball pitcher Yaya Chentouf has signed a professional contract with the Detroit Tigers, forgoing his final season of eligibility.
Chentouf, a right-handed relief pitcher, was drafted in the 36th Round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Tigers. He was the fifth and final Pitt player selected in the draft but is the first to sign a professional contact.
“I would like to thank all of my coaches and teammates at the University of Pittsburgh for all of their support,” Chentouf said. “This group of guys was something special and I’ll remember those Panthers forever. This University has blessed me with more than I could ever imagine; a great education, great baseball instruction and great memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
He served as Pitt’s closer in 2018 and is the program’s all-time leader in saves with 16. He finished his Pitt career with a 3.09 ERA.
Pitt’s pitching staff was hard-hit by the draft, with four pitchers selected. Derek West has already announced that he will return to Pitt. R.J. Freure, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Houston Astros, has yet to announce his decision. Senior Matt Pidich is out of eligibility. Chentouf, Freure and West all pitched out of the bullpen at times in 2018.
Chentouf came to Pitt as both a pitcher and an outfielder, and had success at both before focusing his efforts on the mound.