Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Chosen in 25th Round
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Brandon Josselyn '09, the reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, joined the professional ranks today, as he was selected by the Seattle Mariners with the second pick of the 25th round (743rd overall) in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
"Brandon is a great professional prospect," said John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball at Yale. "He had a great senior season, and I am happy to see that he will get a chance to play professional baseball. It's something he really wants to do, and he has worked very hard to get here."
Josselyn earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Year laurels after going 3-1 with a 3.41 earned run average in the Ancient Eight. Overall in his senior season, Josselyn went 5-3 with a 4.29 ERA, striking out 51 batters in 56.2 innings of work. The Hanson, Mass. native was the recipient of the Raymond W. (Ducky) Pond Award as Yale's best pitcher, and shared the Martin I.J. Griffin Award with teammate Chris Walsh as Yale's top senior scholar-athletes. Josselyn, who graduated with a degree in Humanities on May 25, also earned Academic All-Ivy honors for his performance in the classroom.
"It has always been a dream of mine [to be drafted]," said Josselyn. "I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to play."
Josselyn started his Yale career as, in his own words, "a struggling position player". After notching just two singles in 12 at-bats as a freshman outfielder, Coach Stuper converted him to a pitcher.
"I can't say enough about Coach Stuper," said Josselyn. "He saw something in me that a lot of other schools didn't see. If he didn't give me a chance to pitch, I wouldn't be in this situation right now."
Josselyn led the team with three wins and a 4.83 ERA in his sophomore season. He also notched a save and 39 strikeouts in a team-high 54 innings of work. The 6'4 right-hander struggled as a junior, posting a 2-7 record with a 7.28 ERA.
"After I struggled as a junior and the scouts still told me that I would be drafted, that's when it really hit me that I could play professionally," Josselyn said.
Josselyn bounced back in a big way to wrap-up his collegiate career as the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year.
"If they gave a comeback player of year in the Ivy League, he'd get it,'' said Stuper. "He didn't give up. At the intra-squad game last fall, he hit 94 (mph) four or five times. He improved his off-speed stuff. I think he really felt his junior year was just not him and he was going to prove he was really good.''
Yale has now had at least one player drafted in each of the last five years. Last season, catcher Ryan Lavarnway went to the Boston Red Sox (sixth round), pitcher Brian Irving '08 was selected by the San Francisco Giants (17th round) and pitcher Steve Gilman '08 went to the Detroit Tigers (36th round). Marc Sawyer '07 was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 15th round in 2007, Jon Hollis '06 was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 38th round in 2006, and Josh Sowers '05 was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 2005 Draft. A total of 26 Yale players have either been drafted or signed a pro contract in Stuper's 16-year tenure. Most notably, former Yale captain Craig Breslow '02 is currently a relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity