For the first time in eight years, two Penn baseball players have been tapped by Major League Baseball during the First-Year Player Draft. Pitchers Paul Cusick, a 2011 Penn graduate, and Vince Voiro, a rising senior, were selected earlier this week by the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres, respectively.
Cusick was chosen in the 29th round. Voiro was selected in the 47th round.
“It is surreal,” Cusick says. “I was home watching the Phillies game with my family and we had the computer up as well with the Draft on. We heard my name called and all looked at each other in amazement and we were all just so happy.”
Cusick, a 6-foot-3 pitcher from Wilmington, Del., has been a Phillies fan since boyhood and considers being picked for the team a dream come true. Earlier this year, he was named the 2011 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year after posting a 2.70 ERA and a 5-3 record.
A first-team All-Ivy and first-team All-Big Five pitcher in 2011, Cusick was the Ivy League's Player of the Week for April 5 and was named Big Five Player of the Week three times this season. His path to the Major League First-Year Player Draft included a stint in the Pacific West Baseball League in the summer of 2010, where he was named a PWBL All-Star as a member of the Atwater Aviators.
Voiro, a 6-foot-4 pitcher from Cherry Hill, N.J., says he also has dreamed of playing baseball professionally, “but I haven't really thought too much about it coming true until after last summer,” he says. “It has been a crazy ride since then. There is still a lot of work to be done, so hopefully this is just the start of the journey.”
During the 2011 season, Voiro struck out a career-high 57 hitters while allowing just 24 walks. He threw five complete games as part of his career-best 61.0 innings pitched and finished with a 4-5 record. At Norfolk State on March 19, Voiro tossed a complete-game shutout, striking out 10 batters and not allowing a walk over the seven innings.
Penn baseball coach John Cole has congratulated the two players, the first to be drafted under his tutelage.
Originally published on June 9, 2011