Three Cavaliers were selected on the first day of the MLB Draft as Nick Howard, Derek Fisher, and Mike Papi all heard their names yesterday. Virginia's three first-day draftees were more than any other conference -- yes, conference -- other than the ACC, which had six total. No other conference had more than two. Howard, Fisher and Papi are the sixth, seven the and eighth first-round picks in Virginia history, respectively.
Junior pitcher Nick Howard was selected 19th overall to the Cincinnati Reds, making him the sixth first-round pick in Virginia Baseball history. The third team All-American currently holds the school record in single-season saves at 19, with 14 of them coming in conference play. Howard was undrafted coming out of high school.
Junior outfielder Derek Fisher, who had previously been drafted in the sixth round coming out of high school by the Texas Rangers, was selected by the Houston Astros in the Competitive Balance Round as the 37th pick overall. After missing 25 games due to a left wrist injury, Fisher has had three home runs, seven doubles and 23 RBI this season. He heads into the Super Regionals with a career-high 12-game hitting streak.
Going as back-to-back picks, junior outfielder Mike Papi was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the Competitive Balance Round as the 38th pick overall. Papi, originally drafted in the 30th round by the Los Angeles Angels, is a two-time First Team All-ACC pick, batting .297 and leading the conference with 11 home runs on the season. He currently owns 53 walks and will tie the school's single-season record with one more this season. Last year, Papi had an ACC-high .381 batting average.
Virginia joins Georgia Tech (1994) and Miami (2008) as one of only three ACC schools to have three selected in the first round of the MLB Draft.
Super Regional action against Maryland in Charlottesville starts Saturday at 12:00 noon. Catch all the previews and commentary you'll need to send the Twerps off in style right here at the Super Regional Hub.
As always, Go HOOS!