Two Yale pitchers are now one step closer to the Major Leagues after right-handers Pat Ludwig ’12 and Nolan Becker ’13 were selected Tuesday in the MLB First Year Player Draft.
Ludwig was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round with the 316th pick in the draft. Becker was selected one round later by the Cincinatti Reds with the 352nd overall pick.
Although Ludwig has graduated, Becker has two years of eligibility left due to continuing arm problems that required season-ending surgery in 2011.
Becker said that he will forgo his final two seasons with Yale in favor of playing professional baseball.
“I think I am going to sign,” Becker said. “It’s just the way that baseball works: after junior year is when you have the most negotiating leverage and being young is key as a prospect.”
Although Becker is mostly like through with his short Yale baseball career, that does not mean he will be away from campus for long.
“[The Reds] think it’s a good idea for me to back to school in the fall,” Becker said. “It will help me work towards finishing up my degree.”
Both pitchers excelled on the mound this past season despite Yale’s poor record (13-31-1, 5-15 Ivy). Ludwig was a second-team All Ivy player and led the Ancient Eight in strikeouts with 64 while posting a 2.73 ERA. Becker, an honorable mention All-Ivy selection, finished third in the Ivy League by punching out 56 batters. His 16-strikeout performance in a 13-7 victory over Brown on April 28 was the highest total by any Ivy League pitcher this season.
The two former teammates immediately became competitors on Saturday, as the two teams that drafted them faced off in Cincinnati. Ludwig’s Pirates came out on top with an 8-4 win.
The Bulldog duo were the first two of five Ivy Leaguers selected in the draft on Tuesday night.