Nebraska junior outfielder Aaron Palensky became the latest Husker to join professional baseball, as he signed with the New York Yankees organization, it was announced on Thursday.
“A childhood dream came true today and I’m thrilled for what the future holds with the New York Yankees,” Palensky said. “I am forever grateful for what Nebraska has done for me, playing under Coach Bolt and Coach Erstad during the last couple years. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and believe joining the Yankees organization gives me the best chance to the make it to the big leagues.”
“Aaron has been a model ambassador for Husker baseball and an absolute joy to coach,” Nebraska Head Coach Will Bolt said. “His talent, work ethic and demeanor will allow him to excel at the professional level. It will be fun to see him climb the ranks and pursue his dream.”
Palensky, who started every game for the Huskers in each of the last two seasons, led Nebraska’s offense in most categories during that span. In 2020, Palensky recorded at least one hit in 11 of his 15 games, including four multi-hit efforts, before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He batted .302 (16-for-53) and led the team in runs scored (15), doubles (5), walks (15) and RBIs (19), while sharing the team high in home runs (4) during the season.
During his first year at Nebraska in 2019, Palensky received second-team All-Big Ten honors after batting .320, which ranked eighth in the conference and led the Huskers. He also led the team in hits (71), runs scored (43), home runs (7) and total bases (107), while sharing the team high in doubles (11) and triples (2). In addition, Palensky compiled 35 RBIs and went 6-for-6 stealing bases.
A native of Papillion, Neb., Palensky spent his first season of college baseball at Southeast Community College before transferring to Nebraska. He batted .417 with 18 home runs, 77 RBIs, 72 runs scored, 24 stolen bases and 43 extra-base hits, while posting an .850 slugging percentage and .515 on-base percentage. Palensky graduated from Papillion La Vista South in 2017 after receiving second-team Super-State accolades as a senior.
The MLB Draft, which was held from June 10-11, was shortened to five rounds in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after previously consisting of 40 rounds. With the draft concluded, teams are permitted to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents to fill out their systems.