Virginia Baseball Notes: Three Hoos, One Top Recruit Selected On Day 2 Of MLB Draft

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After a successful first day of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft, during which University of Virginia players Daniel Lynch (LHP) and Jake McCarthy (OF) were among the top 39 overall players selected, three more Cavaliers were picked on Day 2.

Junior Andy Weber (5th Round, No. 158 overall) and senior righthanded pitcher Derek Casey (9th Round, No. 278 overall) were selected by the Chicago Cubs, while senior pitcher Bennett Sousa was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 10th Round with pick No. 288.

Weber, a 6’1”, 190-pound second baseman, is coming off a breakout junior year in which he batted .344 with 5 homeruns, 19 doubles and 44 RBIs in 54 starts. He hit .269 his freshman year and batted .278 his sophomore campaign. Per, Weber’s selection means Virginia has now had three or more players picked in the first five rounds of the draft every year since 2007.

Should Weber sign with the Cubs, his departure leaves head coach Brian O’Connor with significant void in the infield. The Aurora (OH) native has started 93 games at second base for the Cavaliers over the course of the past two seasons.

Casey, who entered UVA as a prized prospect out of Hanover (Mechanicsville, VA), battled back from elbow surgery to become one of the Cavaliers’ top pitchers in the 2018 season. The 6’1” Casey missed his entire sophomore season (2016) recovering from elbow surgery. He started 14 games his junior campaign, compiling a 5-2 record with a 3.79 ERA in 71.1 innings pitched. As a senior, Casey was credited with 7 wins and 4 losses in 14 starts. He struck out 106 batters, 21 more than he had his freshman and junior seasons combined, and boasted an ERA of 3.48.

Despite being drafted in the 34th Round by the Washington Nationals in the 2017 MLB Draft, Bennett Sousa returned to Virginia for his senior season. The move paid off for the 6’3”, 210-pound lefty reliever, who won 5 games and racked up 6 saves in 23 appearances in his final season in Charlottesville. Hitters managed a meager .220 batting average in 2018 against Sousa, who also compiled 61 strikeouts in 43 innings.

Day 2 of the draft included Rounds 3-10. The event concludes Wednesday (June 6) with Rounds 11-40.

Siani Picked By The Reds

Virginia received some good news prior to the draft, when two top class of 2018 recruits — Boston College High School (Wellesley, MA) righthanded pitcher Mike Vasil and Horace Greeley High School (Chappaqua, N.Y.) lefthanded pitcher Brandon Neeck — withdrew their names from the 2018 MLB Draft. Vasil (No. 29) and Neeck (No. 40) are rated among the top 100 prospects nationally in their class by Baseball Factory.

However, the Hoos will have to sweat out a decision from another top class of 2018 recruit in outfielder Mike Siani of William Penn Charter in Pennsylvania. Siani, the 2018 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year, committed to Virginia as a freshman but was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 4th Round at pick No. 109.

Siani told the Philadelphia Inquirer in this article that “it’s going to take a lot for me not to go to college.”

Click here to read more on Vasil and his decision not to enter the draft. Click here to read more on Brandon Neeck.

Abbott Earns Freshmen All-America Honor

Virginia true freshman pitcher Andrew Abbott has been named to the 2018 Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American team. The 6’0” lefthander appeared in 24 games this past season, striking out 78 in 51 innings pitched. Abbott yielded an ERA of 3.18 and was credited with 6 saves. Opponents managed a .223 batting average against him.

Abbott arrived at UVA as the 2018 Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year. The former Halifax County High School star was picked by the New York Yankees in the 36th Round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.

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