Virginia baseball juniors Daniel Lynch and Jake McCarthy heard their names called on Day 1 of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 5, 2018
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) June 5, 2018
The Kansas City Royals used the No. 34 overall pick – a first-round compensation pick – to select Lynch. The 6’4”, 195-pound left-handed pitcher started 27 games during his past two seasons and 36 overall in his Cavalier career, posting a career-best 3.96 ERA while recording 105 strikeouts in 88.2 innings this past season. Lynch, a native of Henrico (VA), compiled a 4-4 record in 2018.
“Make that three college pitchers in a row for the Royals in the first round,” Jim Callis of MLB.com wrote in this analysis feature. “Lynch was rising up Draft boards late in the season when his fastball ticked up a bit and he continued to throw a solid changeup. He’s more of a high-floor than a high-ceiling guy, a good bet to be a No. 4 starter.”
The Arizona Diamondbacks picked McCarthy with the No. 39 overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A. Despite suffering a left wrist injury that sidelined him for the majority of the season, the 6’2”, 200-pound outfielder hit .329 with seven doubles in 20 starts with the Cavaliers as a junior. He stole 9 bases in 9 attempts.
“Strong and athletic, RHP Gunnar Hoglund (Pirates) is an elite strike-thrower with a fastball that reaches 96 mph and feel to spin,” Callis wrote in his Competitive Balance Round A analysis on MLB.com. “Both SS Cadyn Grenier (Orioles) and RHP Griffin Roberts (Cardinals) made our list of the Draft’s best tools, Grenier as the top defender and Roberts as best slider. … SS Xavier Edwards (Padres) easily could have fit in the first round as a guy at a premium defensive position with feel to hit and well above-average speed. … OF Jake McCarthy (Diamondbacks) drew first-round interest as well for the same reasons. … Not only does LHP Kris Bubic (Royals) have one of the better changeups in the Draft, he also commands his 89-94 mph fastball very well. … RHP Lenny Torres (Indians) isn’t physical but he is electric, reaching 97 mph with his fastball and flashing a plus slider. … 1B Grant Lavigne’s (Rockies) hitting ability and big raw power nearly made him the first New Hampshire high school position player selected in the first round.”
McCarthy, whose older brother, Joe, starred for Virginia from 2013-15 and is now with the Durham Bulls (AA) in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, played in only six games his freshman year in Charlottesville before a toe injury put him out for the season. He rebounded in a major way his sophomore season, hitting .338, stealing 27 bases in 29 attempts, and accumulating 11 doubles, 7 triples, and 5 homeruns. McCarthy was a unanimous All-American heading into the 2018 campaign.
According to VirginiaSports.com, this is the fifth straight MLB draft in which a Virginia player has been selected in the first-round. Including Lynch and McCarthy, UVA has had 11 players drafted in the MLB Draft Top 40 in the Brian O’Connor era.