On Wednesday afternoon, two University of Delaware baseball player got the ultimate call that every college or high school player wants to get which is getting selected by a Major League Baseball team.
The two lucky Blue Hens were right handed pitcher Kyle Hinton and first baseman Nick Patten.
Hinton was selected in the 16th round by the Kansas City Royals which the team has a Delaware connection with their class High A minor league team is the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Then there was first basemen Nick Patten who was selected in the 28th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Patten joins former Blue Hen pitcher Chad Kuhl at Pittsburgh.
Hinton this season had a 2.78 ERA in 90.2 innings, 94 Ks and 41 BBs.
The 6’2″ , 195 pound pitcher struck out 167 batters in 165.1 total innings in his career.
The Delaware native also had a career ERA of 4.46.
Delaware’s Baseball head coach Jim Sherman had this to say about Hinton getting the call to the pros:
“We’re extremely proud and excited for Kyle” head coach Jim Sherman said. “He’s worked extremely hard for this opportunity. From all of us here at UD and Delaware baseball we wish Kyle the best as he begins his next chapter as a professional.”
Hinton thanked his Blue Hen family in his statement on getting the call to the pros:
“I want to thank the entire coaching staff and all of my teammates throughout the years,” Hinton said. “I met some of my best friends here at Delaware and this university and baseball program will always hold a special place in my heart. Today was an unforgettable moment and feeling for me. I’m humbled by all of the messages I have received. Again, without coach Sherm, coach Troy, coach Hammer and coach Grimes, as well as my teammates, I wouldn’t be in this position. Now I’m excited to take the next step and see what the future in professional baseball looks like for me. At the end of the day, I will always be a Blue Hen!”
Hinton joins two other former Blue Hens pitchers in the Major Leagues and they are Ron Marinaccio ( New York Yankees) and Chad Kuhl (Pittsburgh Pirates)
MLB.com ranked Hinton the best baseball prospect coming out of the state of the Delaware saying this:
“Working 90 2/3 innings this spring, more than double his combined workload from his first two college seasons, Hinton pitched to a 2.78 ERA while compiling 94 strikeouts and 41 walks. The 5-foot-10 right-hander projects as a reliever with an 89-93 mph fastball, fringy slider and average changeup.”
Delaware first baseman Nick Patten hit 35 home runs in his career and drove in 130 runs.
The Butler, Pennsylvania native had a .279 career batting average which Patten produced 166 hits and scored 137 runs in his Blue Hens career.
Delaware’s Baseball head coach Jim Sherman had this to say about Patten getting the call to the pros:
“We’re excited for Nick and his opportunity with an organization like the Pirates,” Sherman concluded. “It’s an organization that we have some familiarity with as Chad was drafted by them a few years ago. Nick and Kyle have both represented our program extremely well both on and off the field.”
Patten voiced his excitement to play for his hometown Pirates in Pittsburgh in his statement:
“Today was a dream come true,” Patten said. “It makes it even more special that I was drafted by my hometown team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. I want to thank all of my coaches and teammates at Delaware because without them I wouldn’t be where I am. I would also like to thank my parents for everything that they have done for me. I look forward to watching this program continue to grow and accomplish special things. GO HENS!”
Patten is the first Blue Hen position player to be drafted since 2013. The other Delaware position players to be drafted were Jimmy Yezzo ( Washington Nationals) and Nick Ferdinand ( Philadelphia Phillies).