During the spring 2017 semester, Penn State Nittany Lions Baseball standout pitcher Sal Biasi mowed down batter after batter. Splitting the starting duties mainly with teammate Justin Hagenman, Biasi led the team in most statistical categories.
A team-leading 3.48 ERA, .183 opposing batting average, 88 strikeouts and only 47 hits in 72.1 innings still doesn’t quite illustrate how impressive Biasi was on the mount for the Nittany Lions. Having broadcasted a couple of his starts, I can tell you, the confused looks on the batters’ faces as they walked back to the dugout really showed Biasi’s talent.
The Kansas City Royals saw it too.
At the end of his junior campaign, Biasi got the call that every kid dreams about during the 11th round. Taken at 330 overall, Biasi is the earliest-round draft pick from Penn State since Head Coach Rob Cooper took over in 2014.
Signed on June 24, Biasi was originally assigned to the AZL Royals. After impressing in four games, he was called up to the Burlington Royals on July 11.
So far in his young career, Biasi has continued to impress. He put up a 2-1 record with a 2.61 ERA over 31 innings between the two teams. Continuing to show his skills at Penn State, Biasi has struck out 26 batters and kept the opposing batting average to .182.
Yesterday, Biasi gave Armchair All-Americans an exclusive interview.
Now that the excitement of draft day as past, Biasi is looking toward his next goals.
“Getting drafted was one of my goals and was a very humbling moment,” Biasi said. “It was rewarding after all of the work I put it, but it’s just the beginning. The next goal is to climb to The Show.”
Already Biasi has found areas of his game that he’s improving on his journey.
“I’ve been throwing a changeup and a cutter, working on command with them, keeping them in the strike zone,” said Biasi. “My fastball’s velocity and location are still my go-to. I’m trying to become a better pitcher. In college you sometimes over-throw to impress a scout, that’s not a factor anymore.”
The difference between the college grind and the Minor League grind are a factor to every rookie, but Biasi is taking it in stride.
“You can definitely focus on just baseball here,” said Biasi. “I’m kind of just getting my feet in the water and getting used to the everyday grind. We’ve had 21 days of games in a row with no days off, in college it’s only four days a week.
“Some days are better than others, it’s like studying for an exam and waking up early the next morning to go to class, you get used to it.”
As he works to climb the ranks, he sees the Penn State Baseball program doing the same.
“The program isn’t too far away from greatness, they have a lot of the right pieces,” said Biasi. “They’re getting more highly ranked guys. All they need to get over that hump is the belief of the kids in the college and in the program.”
To end the interview, Biasi looked back at his time at Penn State as well as looking forward to another goal of his.
“My three years at Penn State were a ton of fun,” said Biasi. “Seeing football games, experiencing the everyday college grind and making friends that will last a lifetime.
“I plan on finishing my degree. In the fall I’ll be free and I’ll probably take a class or two then. It might take a few years, but I’ll finish my degree.”
From us at Penn State and Armchair, good luck on your journey Sal, we’re all rooting for you.