Joey Wentz. Nolan Jones. Max Kranick.
Most Cavalier fans won’t remember those names. They’ll go down in the history books with Devin Mesoraco and Justin Nicolino.
All players who committed to UVa, but signed a pro contract out of high school.
Wentz, Jones, and Kranick could have come in and been reliable starters for the Cavaliers in 2017 and maybe even given them the depth needed for a deep NCAA Tournament run. We’ll never know.
This season, Coach O’Connor and staff hopes the draft will be more kind than it was last year.
Right now, according to Perfect Game, Virginia has 11 commits for the 2017 class. Four commits from Virginia, two from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and one each from Colorado, Florida, and California.
The class is ranked #27 by Perfect Game, but unlike basketball and football classes, baseball classes can be highly influenced by the draft. Having a strong class could be good, until all those prospects that make it a strong class are drafted high enough to sign, and a program’s class is left with nothing.
Andrew Papatonis, a middle infielder from Delbarton HS in New Jersey, is the highest rated prospect in this year’s class. D1baseball has Papatonis as the #91 high school prospect in the country right now, but he has seemingly made it clear to everyone that he has talked to that he will be coming to Charlottesville next fall.
Devin Ortiz, a 6’3 pitcher out of New Jersey, and Tanner Morris, a shortstop from the Miller School, are also highly rated prospects and listed in Perfect Game’s Top 500 prospects. Both could obviously be drafted, but not likely to be offered enough to spurn their Virginia scholarship opportunity.
The 2017 MLB Draft will be an event for the UVa program as both Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith could be drafted in the Top 10, but it isn’t expected to affect the recruits as it did in 2016.