This is the second time the 6’1” and 225-pound right-handed catcher has been drafted. The Kansas City Royals selected him in the 39th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, but he opted to honor his commitment to Clemson.
After playing sparingly his first season and the 2020 season being wiped away due to COVID-19, the redshirt-sophomore saw his biggest role behind the plate this year. In 33 games (140 plate appearances), he slashed .258/.357/.392 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. He had a 27-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio, as well. He also appeared in four games this summer in the Cape Cod League, going 3-for-13 with a walk.
Here’s a 395-foot home run with a 102.1-mph exit velocity from his high school days.
Hackenberg has an athletic background. Both of his parents played sports in college, while his brother, Christian, is a former Penn State quarterback, who was drafted by the New York Jets. His other brother, Brandon, was a first round pick in the 2021 MLS Draft by Orlando City SC, as well. Also, in high school, he was coached by former MLB reliever Billy Wagner.
Here’s a couple of tidbits on Hackenberg courtesy of the Clemson website.