This week, Penn baseball could see some of its alumni drafted for the first time in three years.
Graduated senior catcher Austin Bossart, classmate Ronnie Glenn and others could hear their name called during next week’s MLB first-year player draft, which takes place from Monday, June 8, to Wednesday, June 10.
Bossart was the powerhouse of the lineup and a stalwart behind the plate, batting .358 with 4 home runs, 27 RBIs and nabbing 46.9 percent of would-be base stealers in 2015. Bossart came up with several key hits and handled a pitching staff that posted a 3.38 ERA as the Red and Blue marched to a 16-4 record in Ivy League play.
The Illinois native served as the starting catcher for all four of his years in University City while batting .302 for his career. His standout play earned him the attention of Major League scouts.
“It seems like I have a pretty good chance [of being drafted] this year,” Bossart said. “I’ve been in contact with a number of teams, and they seem interested.”
Bossart’s stellar senior campaign was good enough to earn him the Ivy League Player of the Year Award, which he shared with Columbia senior outfielder Gus Craig. Receiving the honor bodes well for Bossart, as the award’s previous three recipients went on to play pro ball.
“Those previous players were very talented and did amazing in their college careers, so they deserved everything that has been going well for them,” Bossart said.
Glenn provided valuable senior leadership to the Quakers’ pitching rotation this season, finishing with a 4-3 record, 139 strikeouts, and a 3.12 ERA in 52 innings pitched. A true workhorse, Glenn completed five of his nine starts. He was named to the All-Ivy League honorable mention team.
Glenn’s consistent performance over his four years at Penn has drawn significant interest from MLB teams.
“I have been incredibly blessed to have gained interest from some organizations,” Glenn said. “I have spoken to a number of teams about their interests, my potential going forward, what role they see me in, past performances, my approach of the game and my pitching arsenal that I work on from day to day.”
Besides their play for Penn baseball, Bossart and Glenn also were noticed while playing in collegiate summer leagues. Such leagues are key to getting noticed by major league organizations and count scores of players, such as Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, among their MLB alumni.
Bossart spent the summer after his freshman year playing in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League and then the next two summers playing for the Asheboro Copperheads of the Coastal Plain League.
Glenn played for the Alexandria Aces of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League before receiving an offer to play in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League, traditionally the best-known collegiate summer league, in the summer of 2014.
Both players saw these as invaluable experiences.
“Every summer experience I had has helped me to get to the point I am today,” Glenn said. “I thoroughly enjoyed all three of my summers, the people I have met, the coaching I received and the self-learning process I had undergone.”
“I enjoyed playing baseball without school on top of everything,” Bossart added. “It helped me really focus on baseball and improve year after year.”
Bossart and Glenn are just two members of a decorated senior class, which counts shortstop Mitch Montaldo, third baseman Jeff McGarry, first baseman Matt McKinnon, pitcher Connor Cuff, and outfielder Connor Betbeze among its ranks. All eight players stand at least an outside chance of being selected.
“There has been a number of scouts coming to games to watch many of our players at Penn,” Bossart said. “It is very cool to see a lot of our young guys already turning heads and our older guys getting scouted, possibly having a chance to play pro ball.”
Bossart and Glenn are ready for whatever next week’s draft may bring.
“It has been a dream of mine to play professionally, but if I’m not drafted I plan on interviewing for jobs to start my life as a college graduate,” Bossart said.
“I am praying every day that two weeks from now, God grants me an opportunity to continue playing this great sport,” Glenn said. “I have come to realize at this point in my career that fortunately I have no regrets with how I approached the game, and I am just ecstatic to see what happens during draft time.”
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