Valdes Drafted by Pittsburgh Pirates

June 14, 2017

TAMPA, JUNE, 14, 2017 – University of South Florida pitcher Ryan Valdes (Tampa) was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Wednesday.

Valdes is the fourth Bull to be picked in the 2017 MLB Draft. Junior shortstop Kevin Merrell (Odessa, Fla.) was drafted in the opening CBA round of the draft by the Oakland A's. Senior pitcher Phoenix Sanders (Gainesville) was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 10th round of the draft. Junior reliever Joe Cavallaro (Venice, Fla.) was taken by the New York Mets in the 24th round.

After missing all but one game in 2016 due to injury, Valdes returned in 2017 and put together his best season. He led the team with a 9-1 record with a 4.37 ERA and 56 strikeouts.

In the three years at USF, Valdes holds a 15-5 record with a 4.02 ERA and 132 strikeouts.

In 2016-17, he contributed to a staff that set a program record with 620 strikeouts in 2017.

The Bulls have had at least one pitcher selected in each of the last 12 MLB Drafts. 


About USF Baseball

The University of South Florida baseball team is one of the fastest rising programs in the country. Under the guidance of head coach Mark Kingston, the Bulls reached the NCAA Regionals in 2015 for the first time in 13 years and USF followed that success with a 42-19 2017 campaign and second regional trip in three years. The Bulls earned just their second and third wins over top-five teams with a 4-2 victory against then-No. 3 Florida State on Feb. 21 and 15-10 win at then-No. 5 Florida on May 9. The win over FSU was part of the best start in program history thanks to a 19-game winning streak, the second-longest in USF Baseball records. USF reached the 40-win mark for the first time since 1996 and entered the top-25 in the major collegiate baseball polls on May 1 for the first time since 2013.

The USF Baseball program has won five conference titles and the Bulls have made 12 NCAA appearances. Follow the baseball team on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram), visit for the most up-to-date information, and purchase tickets for upcoming games at For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to

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