The recent golden era of Virginia baseball has led to an influx of talent into MLB farm systems. However, as the Danny Hultzens, Steven Proscias, and Stephen Brunos of the world wait in the wings, the current class of 7 ex-Virginia baseball players all finished their college careers in 2008 or earlier. David Adams was the most recent Hoo to make the big show when the Yankees called him up on May 15th, his 26th birthday. Here's a look at Hoos in the MLB (or at least on 40-man rosters).
David Adams - 3B, New York Yankees (Drafted 2008)
MLB rules kept Adams in the minor leagues until May 15, at which point the Yankees were finally able to call up their highly-touted prospect to fill in their injury-ravaged infield. Though he played second in the minors, Adams decided to defer to Robinson Cano and shift over to his collegiate position, third base.
David Adams picked up a hit in his first big league game, doubled home a run the next day, and notched his first major league home run (video) last night in a Yankee extra-inning win. So far, he's batting 6 for 18 with 2 doubles and a homer overall this season and will be fighting for the right to maintain his spot at third base when Kevin Youkilis returns.
Sean Doolittle - RP, Oakland Athletics (Drafted 2007)
The story of how Sean Doolittle ended up as a relief pitcher for the A's is a good one, and our friends at Athletics Nation looked into it. Essentially, Doolittle tried to make it as a first baseman; when injuries left his career in danger, he switched back to pitching, and absolutely flew through the minors, debuting last summer.
He finished 2012 with a 3.04 ERA and saw action in 3 playoff games in the ALDS. So far in 2013, Doolittle is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA and has settled in as Oakland's "eighth inning guy." In 19 IP this season, he's allowed just 8 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 19. His meteoric rise was no flash in the pan; this guy is for real.
Brandon Guyer - RF, Tampa Bay Rays (Drafted 2007)
After being drafted by the Cubs, Guyer moved to the Rays in a 2010 trade and moved up to the majors in 2011. In his first major league at bat, he hit a home run, one of 113 players to do so in major league history. He was called back to the Rays in 2012, but tore his labrum and was forced to miss the remainder of the season.
Guyer is on the Rays' 40-man, but is currently playing at AAA Durham, where he's batting .248 with 4 homers and 20 RBI this season.
Javier Lopez - RP, San Francisco Giants (Drafted 1998)
Lopez, the elder statesman of the Hoos' MLB class, debuted in 2003 with the Rockies. He's subsequently spent time in Arizona, Chicago (White Sox), Boston, Pittsburgh, and, since 2010, San Francisco. Along the way, he has managed to pick up 3 World Series rings. The guy's a winner!
Javier Lopez is the definition of a lefty specialist. In the past 3 seasons, he has faced 280 lefties and 257 righties. Lefties hit .171 off him, while righties bat a torrid .315. He's off to a solid start in 2013, allowing 3 runs in 10.1 innings pitched, mainly facing just a batter or two at a time.
Mark Reynolds - 1B, Cleveland Indians (Drafted 2004)
Two things you need to know about Reynolds.
1) He strikes out a lot. Mark led the NL in Ks from 2008-2010, then moved to Baltimore and led the American League in 2011; he holds the all-time record with 223 strikeouts in 2009.
2) He hits lots of home runs. Reynolds's high was 44 dingers in '09 (yep, that year he struck out 223 times), and he has 12 already this season, good for 4th place in the major leagues as of 5/21.
Mark Reynolds moved from the O's to the Indians this past off-season, a fitting trade since Cleveland's (definitely not offensive) mascot is "Chief Wahoo."
Michael Schwimer - RP, Toronto Blue Jays (Drafted 2008)
A dominant closer during his time at Virginia, Michael Schwimer saw his first big league time in 2011 with the Phillies. He's pitched 48.2 big league innings, and has a combined ERA of 4.62. After his rookie season, he no longer has to carry around this backpack.
Schwimer started off this season on the DL; he came off last week and is now getting work in AAA ball.
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B, Washington Nationals (Drafted 2005)
After a prolific UVA career, Zim has continued on to become a big-time big-leaguer, all in Washington, DC. He's got an All-Star selection, Gold Glove Award, and two Silver Sluggers under his belt, but could be most heralded for his consistency. Zimmerman could be counted on to hit around .290 while hitting 25 homers and 100 RBIs each year, while playing stellar third base. He's got a flair for the dramatic as well.
This season, he's at .280 with 22 RBI so far. After spending some time on the DL, he's returned to hit 18-54 (.333) in May.