Ryan Sloniger, Minors

Home to one of the oldest baseball programs in the nation, Penn State has produced baseball players whose names are littered throughout the history of the sport.

Today, the Nittany Lions have several players on the rise in multiple professional baseball leagues today — all of whom are working their way toward the major league level.

Although there are no alumni who are currently in the major leagues, there are nine former Penn State athletes suiting up for minor league squads all over the country.

Here are some former Nittany Lions who are making the most noise across baseball today, despite the 2020 Minor League Baseball season being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jack Anderson, relief pitcher, Seattle Mariners

Jack Anderson was selected in the 23rd round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft.

The 6-foot-3 right hander has dominated the competition across five levels of minor league play. Over the course of his four year playing career, Anderson has posted a 2.20 ERA in over 200 innings pitched.

The former Nittany Lion has reached as high as Double A and received an invitation to spring training with the Mariners earlier this year.

Anderson was not named to Seattle's’ 60-man roster upon the team’s return to baseball operations in July.

Dante Biasi, pitcher, Kansas City Royals

Dante Biasi was one of the top hurlers on the Penn State pitching staff in 2019.

His performance throughout his college career earned him a sixth round draft selection by the Kansas City Royals.

Despite having a limited amount of time, Biasi impressed in the Royals system. After the June draft he was assigned to the Royals rookie ball team, the Burlington Royals, where he appeared in seven games, all of which came out of the bullpen.

The former Nittany Lion tossed multiple innings in each of his appearances as he threw a total of 18 innings in his first official season in professional baseball. He also compiled an impressive 24 strikeouts and limited opposing batters to a .200 batting average.

Biasi’s older brother Sal, who also played at Penn State, was a 2016 draft choice of the Royals while his younger brother Nick has given his verbal commitment to play baseball at Florida State University.


Jim Haley, third baseman, Tampa Bay Rays

While at Penn State, Jim Haley transformed himself from a contact first middle infielder to one of the better all-around players in the Big Ten.

After posting an impressive career average of .297 to go along with his .363 on base percentage, Haley was selected in the 19th round with the 570th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay, who is notoriously known for drafting well and developing young talent, has witnessed the former Penn State infielder transition into one of the better prospects in their extremely talented farm system.

Through four minor league seasons, Haley has shown the ability to play multiple infield positions but is primarily deployed at the hot corner.

He has also developed more power as he has slugged 25 home runs in the minor leagues compared to just the two he hit during his three seasons at Penn State.

The third baseman has progressed as far as Double A and has posted a career batting average of .290.

Ryan Sloniger, catcher, Toronto Blue Jays

Through the majority of his college career, Ryan Sloniger was a light hitting, defense first catcher, but he appears to have greatly benefited from a breakout sophomore season in State College.

After being selected in the 38th round of the 2019 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, Sloniger played across two levels of minor league baseball.

The backstop’s .327 batting average in rookie ball earned him a promotion to Toronto’s low A level. In 13 games last season, he batted .255 with one home run.

Taylor Lehman, pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies

Taylor Lehman was originally selected in the 34th round of the 2014 draft by the Miami Marlins but opted to honor his commitment to Penn State where he played for four seasons.

After his college career, Lehman signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Despite experiencing some struggles with the Phillies rookie team in Florida, Lehman had a bounce back 2019 season as he tossed 49.1 innings with a stellar 2.55 earned run average.

In the Phillies organization, he has appeared on the mound both as a starter and a reliever. All together he has pitched 66 innings with an ERA of 3.68.


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