Hugh Pinkney committed to Rutgers on July 5. Just two weeks later, Pinkney got the chance to hear his name called during the 2022 MLB Draft.
The San Diego Padres selected the catcher with the 510th overall pick in the 17th round. On Sunday, Pinkney announced that he will forgo the chance to sign a professional contract and attend Rutgers for his freshman year.
I want to thank @padres for selecting me in the 2022 MLB Draft and introducing me to their incredible organization. It was a difficult decision but I have decided to pursue @B1Gbaseball Championships with my teammates and coaches @rutgersbaseball! See you soon ⚔️ @RUAthletics pic.twitter.com/WrKZ43fxBl— Hugh Pinkney (@HughPinkney) July 31, 2022
This announcement comes days after Seton Hall transfer Drew Conover chose to attend Rutgers over signing with the Detroit Tigers.
Pinkney chose Rutgers after a virtual visit to see the campus and meeting with coaches. He is one of the top overall prospects in Ontario, Canada and will join a team led the nation in runs per game last season.
The Scarlet Knights will be losing All-American catcher Nick Cimillo after he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cimillo led the Big Ten with a .385 batting average and was named Third Team All-American and Second Team All-Big Ten.
Rutgers won a program-record 44 games this past season and finished as the runner-up in the Big Ten Tournament. The Scarlet Knights finished third in the nation in total runs scored and first with 9.57 runs per game. Pinkney has a chance to add some more fire power to a roster that will bring back many big bats.
The 6-foot-2 catcher clearly has a bright future in the Big Ten after being selected in the draft this year. Retaining this commitment is a big move for Rutgers and Steve Owens as they look to keep momentum going from last season.