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MLB Draft Preview: UVA Commits

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

When teams start to have sustained, great success on the field, you can usually track it to further success off the field, on the recruiting trail. With the constant success the Cavaliers have seen over the past decade, that is certainly pertaining to the recruiting classes Coach O'Connor and company are putting together.

Currently ranked 13th by Perfect Game, with 13 commits so far in the class.

Unfortunately, like most upper echelon programs, some of those blue chip commits could be drafted high enough Thursday night to go pro and never step foot on Davenport Field. Current Cincinnati Reds catcher was a one time UVa commit, while Connor Jones was once thought to be a first round draft choice out of high school, before telling teams he was coming to UVa.

This year, UVa fans need to be on the lookout for four names over the first couple of rounds: Nolan Jones, Joey Wentz, Max Kranick, and Noah Murdock. They have all committed and signed Letters of Intent, but could be offered enough money to forego their commitments.

Nolan Jones - SS - Langhorne, PA
Jones is the biggest risk of the group to skip school. At 6'4, 200 lb he could be a perfect heir to Daniel Pinero. He also possesses enough power and quickness that could land him in the starting lineup as a true freshman and challenge that games started record Pinero set just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, all those qualities make Jones attractive to the MLB as well. D1Baseball lists him as one of the Top 25 players eligible for this year's draft, so it is likely Jones could hear his name in the first round and skip out on Charlottesville. Baseball America also has an in-depth report with video.

Joey Wentz - LHP - Leawood, KS
Like Jones, Wentz could hear his name called in the first round. It's also possible that he could have heard his name, had he not already told scouts he was going to Virginia unless given a large amount. The 6'5, 209 lefty has the body that Coach Kuhn would love to get his hands on as he projects to get bigger and stronger. He is also big enough and has enough power to be a DH or possible 1B. Rumors are Wentz told scouts his price is seven figures long, which could be a high price some are willing to pay, but there's a good chance he comes to UVa.

Max Kranick - RHP - Jessup, PA
The Northeastern pipeline Coach MacMullan stays strong with this PA bred pitcher. He hasn't put on his "big boy" muscle yet that could see him be a true flamethrower, but reports are that he has touched 95 and sits in the low 90s right now. D1 rates him just outside the Top 100 for players who could be drafted, but reports are that he is telling teams he has no interest and he wants to wear the Cavalier uniform. Obviously that could change, but signs are good to see him next year.

Noah Murdock - RHP - Colonial Heights, VA
A triple star at Colonial Heights High School, the tall (6'8) righty was All-State in volleyball and averaged 13 a game for the basketball team. He currently stands at 6'8, 180 lbs, so putting on muscle (and weight in general) is going to project #1 for Murdock at the next level. He throws in the low 90s, but that should only goes higher as he bulks up. He's one of the Cavaliers' class top prospects, but does not appear to be a threat to be drafted high enough.

Like Matt Thaiss, Connor Jones, and Daniel Pinero, these are the names you are going to want to listen for as the MLB draft kicks off Thursday night.