Las Cruces, NM — Three former New Mexico State baseball players furthered their playing careers by signing contracts with Major League Baseball teams this week.
Left-hand pitcher Ryan Beck was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 30th round (pick No. 906) of the 2013 MLB first-year player draft. Infielder/designated hitter Parker Hipp signed a free-agent contract with the Houston Astros, and catcher Tanner Rust signed a free-agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
“It’s big time, and it gives me another chance to keep playing,” Beck said. “ I have mixed emotions about it all actually. I am excited and anxious. It feels like when I started college.”
Beck, who finished his career No. 2 all-time at NM State in strikeouts (308), is currently in Norwich, Conn., playing short-season for the Connecticut Tigers. Beck also finished No. 2 in career starts (50) and No. 3 in career wins (26).
Hipp, who played more games than anyone else at NM State (213), heads to Greeneville, Tenn., to play for the Greeneville Astros in short-season play. Hipp was a two-time All-WAC selection and finished as the all-time leader in walks (159) while also finishing No. 2 in career-singles (191) and No.3 in career-RBI (194).
“It was unanticipated and a little back and forth but it’s really exciting for myself and my family,” Hipp told the Las Cruces Sun News in an earlier interview about signing with the Astros.
Rust, a catcher for the majority of the 2013 season who saw some time in the outfield as well, heads to Aberdeen, Md. for short-season with the Aberdeen IronBirds. Rust had a good offensive career at NM State hitting .356 in three years while finishing the 2013 season hitting .375, which led the team. He also posted 15 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 54 RBI during the Aggies’ 29-28 season.
Fans can keep up with all three former Aggies by searching for the respective team-websites at www.milb.com .