Former Dutchmen Excel in First Season of Pro Ball

The success of the Albany Dutchmen in 2015 extended beyond the fields of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and into the professional ranks. Three of the four former Dutchmen that were selected in the 2015 MLB Draft began their professional careers during the summer, as well as a pair that extended their baseball careers with independent teams.

Matt Dacey, a 2013 Albany infielder and PGCBL Home Run Derby champion, was selected in the 21st round by the Tampa Bay Rays. Dacey made his professional debut on the short-season A level, with the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League. Over 37 games, Dacey drove in 21 runs with 14 extra-base hits and 12 runs scored. He split time between first base and third base, and made his return to the Capital Region with a 2-for-5 performance on August 21 against the Tri-City ValleyCats. 

Former Bryant left-handed pitcher and Watervliet native Trevor Lacosse was a 23rd round selection by the Miami Marlins. Lacosse began his career in professional baseball with the Marlins’ Gulf Coast League team in Jupiter, Florida. Lacosse made six relief appearances spanning 8.2 innings. He earned his first professional victory on July 3rd, tossing 2.1 innings against the GCL Cardinals. He also worked 2.1 scoreless innings in an appearance against the GCL Nationals. 

Also making his professional debut was Jacob Shortslef, a 2015 signee that was selected in the 26th round by the Texas Rangers. The right-hander from Herkimer CC was dominant in 14 appearances for the Rangers’ Arizona League squad. Shortslef went 3-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 35 innings. He struck out 31 hitters in his 14 outings, all of which came out of the bullpen. In September, Shortslef was called up to the short-season A team, the Spokane Indians. The righty worked a scoreless inning in his Northwest League debut on September 1.

 The fourth draftee, 2013 infielder Joe Purritano, elected to return to Dartmouth for his senior season, joining 2015 Dutchmen utilityman Adam Gauthier. Purritano was selected in the 30th round of the Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

 Two other former Dutchmen made their professional debuts on the independent level after successful collegiate seasons in 2015.

Spencer Hotaling, a right-handed pitcher from Susquehanna who was a mainstay in the Albany rotation in 2014, played for the Las Vegas Train Robbers of the Pecos League. In ten starts, Hotaling earned three victories, striking out 43 hitters over 58.1 innings. His best outing came on July 4th, where he allowing just one earned run over eight innings, striking out seven hitters. He also got 26 at-bats at the plate, getting an RBI to go with six hits.

Continuing his career with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League was Michael Jurgella, who had completed a stellar senior season at St. Cloud State after playing with the Dutchmen in 2012. Jurgella appeared in 11 games in the Frontier League, recording five hits with a run scored and a run batted in. 

Next week: profiles more former Dutchmen in professional baseball

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