MLB draft: Three Penn State baseball players drafted on Day 3

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Major League Baseball held its amateur draft this week, and a handful of players with Penn State ties were fortunate to have their name selected by one of the franchises in search of developing some new talent in the farm system.

Penn State Class of 2021 wide receiver Lonnie White Jr., a multi-sport star athlete in high school, was selected with a comp pick on Monday by the Pittsburgh Pirates. But three additional Nittany Lions were selected on day three of the draft on Tuesday.

Penn State third baseman Justin Williams was selected by the Houston Astros in the 17th round.

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“Justin is a hard-working player with good power and arm strength,” Penn State baseball manager Rob Cooper said in a released statement. “I believe Justin is just now beginning to realize his offensive potential. We are thrilled for Justin to realize his dream of a professional opportunity.”

Ten picks later, Penn State right-hander Kyle Virbitsky was selected by the Oakland Athletics.

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“In my entire coaching career, I haven’t been around many individuals who love competition as much as Kyle,” Cooper had to say about one of his pitchers. “His progression from his first year to now is a testament to his dedication and work ethic. Congratulations to Kyle on being drafted and getting the opportunity to start his professional career.”

In the 18th round, the New York Yankees selected Penn State right-handed pitcher Bailey Dees.

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“Since the day Bailey arrived in Happy Valley, he has worked extremely hard to improve his craft,” Cooper said about Dees. “I believe he is only beginning to scratch the surface of his talent and we are very excited to see him get an opportunity to sign a professional contract.”

As for White, an official decision on his future remains unconfirmed, although it should be expected White will begin his journey to professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates and leave behind his scholarship to play football for Penn State.

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