Penn State first baseman Jordan Steranka was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 21st round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft on Wednesday, becoming the second Nittany Lion selected this year.
The recent graduate and Pittsburgh native was taken with the 646th pick in the draft.
Last year, the Houston Astros drafted Steranka in the 30th round, but Steranka opted to rejoin Penn State for his senior year to achieve his college degree and to elevate his draft stock for 2012.
For Steranka, it has paid off. Not only did he finish college, but he also dramatically improved his stock by nine rounds.
Steranka had a monstrous senior season with the Nittany Lions, leading them to a third seed in the Big Ten Tournament. He hit .363 with 11 home runs, 40 RBI, and a .615 slugging percentage.
Steranka leaves Penn State as the all-time leader in at-bats, total bases and doubles and sits at second in hits and RBI.
With all of his statistics and records, Steranka was named to the First Team All-Big Ten in 2012.
Now, he will join his hometown Pirates and might start his path to the majors in a familiar place.
If Steranka plays this summer, he will start with the Pirates' single-A affiliate, the State College Spikes, who play at Medlar Field at Penn State. If so, he will become the third Penn State player to play for the Spikes.
With pitcher Joe Kurrasch also having been drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round, two more Penn State players, third baseman Joey DeBernardis and outfield Sean Deegan, are waiting to see if a big league club will draft them.
Coming out of high school, the Florida Marlins -- now the Miami Marlins -- selected DeBernardis in the 38th round in 2008, but he opted to go to Penn State.