EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Five former Michigan State baseball players signed 2017 Major League Baseball contracts, as the deadline to sign for drafted players was over the weekend.
Pitcher Alex Troop was selected by the Washington Nationals in the ninth round (No. 283 overall), outfielder Brandon Hughes was selected in the 16th round (pick number 495 overall) by the Chicago Cubs. Relief pitcher Nathan Witt was chosen in the 17th round (pick number 520 overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers, while fellow relief pitcher Joe Mockbee was tabbed in the 29th round (pick number 867 overall) by the Chicago White Sox. Relief pitcher Walter Borkovich signed a non-drafted free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Troop is currently playing with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League, the Single-A Short-Season affiliate of the Nationals, in Auburn, New York. The southpaw threw three hitless innings with three strikeouts in his debut on July 7.
Hughes is currently in action with the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League, the Single-A Short-Season affiliate of the Cubs in Eugene, Oregon. He was 1-for-4 with a stolen base in his debut on July 8, before going 2-for-2 with a home run as part of two RBI on July 9.
Witt signed his contract on Friday and is awaiting assignment.
Mockbee is currently in action with the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League, the Advanced Rookie affiliate of the White Sox in Great Falls, Montana. The reliever picked up the first save of his professional career on July 8 with a 3-2 win over Billings, and Mockbee currently has eight strikeouts in 8.0 IP.
Borkovich is in action with the GCL Braves of the Gulf Coast League, the rookie-level affiliate of the Braves, based in Kissimmee, Florida. In two appearances, Borkovich has not allowed a run, with one strikeout, in 4.0 IP.
This season's four draft selections in the 2017 MLB Draft give MSU 30 draft selections under head coach Jake Boss Jr., including four or more in each of the last three years.