Brandon Josselyn ’09 finally has his chance to make the big leagues.
The Seattle Mariners selected the recent graduate in the 25th round (743rd overall) of last Wednesday’s draft, and the 2009 Ivy Pitcher of the Year said he is excited to give professional baseball a try.
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“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Josselyn said in an interview. “They wanted me, and they got me. I just want the chance to play.”
Josselyn, a native of Hanson, Mass., began his Yale career as a position player and struggled throughout his freshman year, notching only two hits in 12 at bats. After that rough start at the plate, Coach John Stuper decided to put Josselyn’s arm to use on the mound.
The move was a perfect fit: Josselyn led the team his sophomore year with a 4.83 ERA and pitched 54 innings, the most of any pitcher on the team.
Despite a tough season his junior year, scouts were still watching the rising senior, giving Josselyn the hope that he could really play professionally. Hitting 94 miles per hour his senior season, Josselyn ended his Ivy season 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA. Overall, he went 5-3 with a 4.29 ERA and 51 strikeouts.
Off the field, Josselyn, a humanities major, received Academic All-Ivy honors and shared the Martin I.J. Griffin Award — which recognizes the top senior scholar-athletes — with teammate Chris Walsh ’09.
Josselyn has been placed, for now, with the Pulaski Mariners, an advanced rookie league team in Pulaski, Va. With his first team workout set for Tuesday, Josselyn said he is uncertain about what the pros will fully entail.
“I don’t know how they’ll use me yet,” he said. “I don’t know what caliber I’m up against.”
Josselyn is the seventh Yale baseball player to be drafted in the last five years, and he is among 26 players who have been drafted in Stuper’s 16 years as coach. Arguably the most successful of them is Oakland relief pitcher Craig Breslow ’02, a southpaw who holds a 2.81 ERA in 106 career appearances.