After a terrific showing at spring training, it's no real surprise that fireballing right-hander Jesse Hahn is getting called up for the San Diego Padres.
As a senior at Tech, Hahn pitched 40 innings posting a record of 5-1 with 65 strikeouts to just six walks. He threw a no-hitter and three one-hitter's.
Hahn was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and was signed by the club before undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Dr. James Andrews went under the hood and cleaned things up, but Jesse missed the entire 2011 season.
The right-hander made his professional debut in 2012 for the Hudson Valley Renegades where he made 14 starts and finished with a 2-2 record. Hahn struck out 55 and walked just 15 in 52 innings. He hit his stride in August when he was named New York-Penn League pitcher of the week the final two weeks of the month.
In 2013, Hahn pitched mostly for single-A Charlotte in the Rays organization. He was named a mid-season All-Star in the Florida State League and allowed just 16 earned runs in 20 starts.
In January, Hahn was part of a seven-player trade centered around utility-man Logan Forsythe, which brought Hahn to San Diego where he did enough to earn an invite to spring training. He turned heads when he didn't allow a run in 8.2 innings before being optioned to AA.
In 32.2 innings for San Antonio, Hahn struck out 28 batters. Hahn is scheduled to start for the Padres (26-31) Tuesday at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates (26-30). This match-up should be to his advantage due to the Pirates batting order being heavy with righthanded hitters, particularly through the middle of the order.
The big question with Hahn has always been his health. When his arm is right, he throws an outstanding fastball that tops out around 100 MPH with movement. Clearly, Hahn is another in a surprisingly long line of players to make a full recovery after getting Tommy John Surgery.
If he manages to stick at the major league level, Hahn will be the first Hokie to hold down a spot in a starting rotation since Joe Saunders enjoyed extended success with both the Arizona Diamondbacks and California (Anaheim) Angels.
Hahn will become the first Hokie to debut in MLB since catcher Wyatt Toregas broke in with the Cleveland Indians in 2009. But this trend of Hokies arriving in the majors may not be over yet as Austin Wates (Astros) has been making noise in AAA.
We'll have more on Hammerin' Hokies alumni this summer as they make progress throughout their respective teams' systems.