Virginia Tech in MLB

Chad Pinder Headlines the Former Virginia Tech Players in MLB

Opening Day is upon us. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and baseball fans everywhere are rejoicing. Winter has come and gone and our national pastime has returned.

While Virginia Tech gets set for a weekend series against NC State, we’re going to take a look at some former Hokies who have found their way into the big leagues.

Chad Pinder

For anyone who has followed Virginia Tech alumni in baseball over the past few years, Pinder has to be the first name to come to mind. Pinder played for Virginia Tech from 2011-2013, playing in 150 games and compiling a slash line of .322/.389/.509. He was drafted in the second round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics.

After spending a few years in the Minor Leagues, Pinder got called up to the Majors on August 20, 2016. He played 22 games for the A’s in 2016 before starting 2017 back in Triple-A.
Pinder started to make himself known to A’s fans later in the 2017 season. He played 87 games, racking up a slash line of .238/.292/.457. He hit 15 home runs and 45 RBIs for the A’s last season. Pinder is starting the 2018 season on the A’s active roster.

Jesse Hahn

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, Jesse Hahn has played for the Padres and A’s in the Major Leagues. He’s currently a member of the Kansas City Royals 40-man roster, but he’s starting the season on the 60-day disabled list due to discomfort in his UCL.

Hahn left Virginia Tech after the 2010 season, signing with the Tampa Bay Rays. He received Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the rest of 2010 and all of the 2011 season. He was traded to the Padres in 2014 and made his debut on June 3 of that year.

On December 8, 2014, Hahn was traded to the Oakland A’s, where he compiled an 11-16 record in three seasons. In 2015, Hahn went 6-6 in 16 appearances, finishing the season with a 3.35 ERA and 64 strikeouts.

Hahn was traded to the Royals on January 29, 2018, but will start the season on the 60-day disabled list.

Mark Zagunis

Zagunis was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 2014 MLB draft. He worked his way up to Triple-A before getting called up to the Majors in 2017. He played seven games for the Cubs, replacing an injured Jason Heyward. Zagunis drove in a run in his first MLB plate appearance, but has yet to register a hit in 14 at bats. He reached base four times via walk and registered two stolen bases during his time in the Major Leagues.

Zagunis is on the Cubs’ 40-man roster, but he will start the 2018 season in the Minor Leagues with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

Other Virginia Tech alumni in Minor League systems:

Packy Naughton

Naughton played for Tech from 2015-2017. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth round of the 2017 draft. He played 14 games with the rookie-level Billings Mustangs last season, going 3-3 with a 3.15 ERA. There is no word yet on where Naughton will be during the 2018 season.

Aaron McGarity

McGarity was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 15th round of the 2017 draft. He played for the Hokies from 2014-2017. In seven games with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees in 2017, McGarity went 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA and 27 strikeouts. As of right now. McGarity is still with the GCL Yankees.

Saige Jenco

Jenco played for the Hokies from 2013-2016. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2016 MLB draft. He played 90 games with the Single-A Great Lakes Loons in 2017, batting .242 with four home runs and 28 RBIs. Jenco is still listed as a member of the Loons.

Sean Keselica

Keselica was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2015 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played in 42 games for the Double-A Altoona Curve in 2017, going 4-2 with a 3.54 ERA. Keselica is still listed as being on the Curve’s roster.

Alex Perez

Perez was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 23rd round of the 2015 draft. He worked his way up from Single-A to Double-A in 2017, batting .272 in 40 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Perez is still with the Lookouts as of right now.

Brad Markey

Market was drafted in the 19th round of the 2015 draft by the Cubs. He’s currently with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He went 0-1 with a 2.04 ERA in six games of Triple-A last season and is currently listed on the Iowa Cubs’ roster.

Kit Scheetz

Scheetz signed with the Houston Astros in 2017. He’s currently with the Single-A Quad Cities River Bandits, where he went 2-0 last season with a 0.95 ERA in four games.

Ryan Tufts

Tufts signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. He’s currently with the Single-A Hillsboro Hops. He batted .214 last season with a .303 on-base percentage.

Joe Mantiply

Mantiply was drafted in the 27th round of the 2013 draft by the Detroit Tigers. He’s currently with the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. In 35 games with Scranton-Wilkes Barre last season, he went 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA.

Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics

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