For the first time in Brian O’Connor’s 15 year tenure in Charlottesville as the head coach of the baseball team, the Virginia Cavaliers did not hear their named called for the postseason. The Hoos struggled with injuries throughout the season and their season effectively came to an end with a 3-2 11-inning loss to Florida State in the first game of the ACC tournament.
All news isn’t bad news for O’Connor and the Cavaliers, however. Yesterday, highly touted recruit Mike Vasil announced he would forgo the MLB draft and enroll at the University of Virginia, no matter where he’s drafted.
According to USA TODAY, Vasil sent an email to all 30 MLB clubs, saying:
“A baseball career doesn’t last forever, and as I think about my future I realize that I want to be known as more than just a good player,” he wrote. “Attending the University of Virginia will afford me the tools for the next phase of my life. Not only will it prepare me for a potential career in the MLB, but will also provide me with other excellent career opportunities. It will shape me to become a ‘professional’.”
The news is spectacular for the Hoos as they are now getting an outstanding player in Vasil. As a program consistently in the top-25, Coach O’Connor and his staff have had to deal with recruits making the difficult decision whether to attend the University or go pro. Knowing that Vasil has said, “...I don’t know if any amount of money could pull me away from attending college” has to be comforting.
Virginia pitchers Daniel Lynch (3.96 ERA) and Evan Sperling (3.64 ERA) both have eligibility remaining, but senior Derek Casey (3.48 ERA) will graduate.
Vasil, a 6-4, 210 pound righty, plays for Boston College High and signed a letter of intent back in November of 2017 after committing to Virginia in 2015. His fast ball fits in the 93-96mph range, and he has a curveball and changeup in his arsenal.
His take on Virginia is pretty much all of us, telling USA TODAY, “To be honest, back when I initially committed, I fell in love with the school immediately.”
Vasil is one of seven pitchers in Virginia’s current 2018 recruiting class of 15 players.
Here is Vasil’s full statement from his Twitter: