Pitcher Billy Corcoran committed to Pitt in January 2017 but was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 36th round of the 2018 MLB draft last week. However, he confirmed on Friday that he will be forgoing the professional game for the time being to play with the Panthers in 2019.
“I am very grateful for being selected in this year’s MLB draft, and I want to thank the Texas Rangers for believing in what I can do,” Corcoran said in a message posted on Twitter. “I believe this is an important time in my development, and with that being said, I will be honoring my commitment to the University of Pittsburgh and Coach [Jerry] Oakes.”
Along with left-handed pitcher Mason Ronan of Penn Cambria High School, Corcoran was one of two Pitt commits selected in the draft last Wednesday. His affirmation that he will follow through with his plans to become a Panther likely come as a relief to head coach Joe Jordano, who was already facing turnover issues, as five players from his 2018 roster were also selected.
The righty out of Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, is an intriguing prospect based on his success during his high school career. Over four years with the Friars, Corcoran pitched to a 1.07 ERA with 159 strikeouts in 151 innings, according to MaxPreps.
In addition to that, he also accrued 16 career saves at Malvern and developed a repertoire that includes a curveball, a change-up and a fastball that tops out in the vicinity of 90 mph.
All told, the Panthers stood to lose a total of seven players as a result of the draft, six of whom would have impacted their pitching staff. As a redshirt senior, Matt Pidich could not have returned, but of the five pitchers who had an option to stay, three have said they will come back.