College baseball has a unique draft setup, where players can either be selected straight out of high school, straight out of a junior college, or after they’ve completed three seasons at an NCAA institution.
It makes for tough sledding for college coaches, who have to try to figure out how many open scholarships they’re going to have each fall after the pro ranks pluck their best juniors.
They also have to deal with poaching from the other side, as the best high school players are simultaneously coveted by both pro and college teams.
Pitt had two players that had already committed to play for the Panthers selected in the 2018 MLB Draft, and on Wednesday, coach Joe Jordano got some good news. The highest-rated and highest-drafted of Pitt’s incoming players has decided to go the college route and play for Pitt.
Penn Cambria left-handed pitcher Mason Ronan announced that he’s going to join the Panthers this fall, despite being drafted in the 29th Round by the Boston Red Sox.
“I am honored to have been selected in this year’s MLB Draft,” Ronan said. “I want to thank the Boston Red Sox for seeing potential in me and my parents for getting me to this point in my career. However, the Pitt coaching staff has an exciting vision for this program that I want to be a part of, and continue to develop under [pitching coach Jerry] Oakes. With that said, I will be honoring my commitment to Pitt. Hail to Pitt!”
The Ashville, Pa. native figures to slot somewhere into Pitt’s starting rotation in 2019, joining three returning starters in Blair Calvo, Dan Hammer and Derek West. West was also drafted and has announced he plans on returning to Pitt while Calvo was unselected and Hammer was not eligible.
The inclusion of Ronan helped Pitt land the No. 48 recruiting class in the country, according to Perfect Game USA. Right-handed pitcher Billy Corcoran was the other Pitt commit selected in the draft. The Malvern Prep pitcher was taken in the 36th Round by the Texas Rangers.