Mike Siani, that top recruit, wasn’t taken in the third round either. Instead, he went early on in the fourth round to the Cincinnati Reds as the 109th overall selection. That position comes with a draft slot of about $500k. There is thought that the Reds will try to save money with some other picks in order to sign Siani for over slot. Let’s hope, for the Hoos’ sake, that he decides not to sign and comes to Charlottesville.
The other news from yesterday was the selection of three more Cavaliers. Andy Weber went in the fifth round, 158th overall to the Chicago Cubs. Weber led the Hoos in batting this year with a .344 average. He’s an infielder who may not hit enough to play 3B and may not be a good enough fielder to stay at 2B. He’s just a junior, so he could, theoretically, come back to school. But he’s not likely to get more money next year, and he’ll improve more in the minors than he would in college.
Then, two senior UVA pitchers were selected in the ninth and tenth rounds, respectively. Derek Casey went in the ninth round (278th overall) to the Cubs, while Bennett Sousa went in the 10th (288th overall) to the White Sox. Both of them have a draft slot of around $150k. Casey has some leverage since he could go back to school, as he didn’t pitch in 2016, whereas Sousa has little choice but to sign for whatever he’s offered. Casey missed 2016 after Tommy John surgery, and anybody with that kind of injury history isn’t coming back to school and risking another injury.
Casey is 6’1” 195, and doesn’t really have electric stuff. He’s got good control (just 2.11 BB/9) and struck out 106 in just 95 IP. He led the team with 7 wins. Casey sits in the low 90s with his fastball, but he has a workable changeup and curve already. He’s advanced for a college player and could move up through the low minors relatively quickly. His ceiling isn’t too high though.
Sousa is bigger (6’3, 210) and is lefty, which pro teams like. He’s also a low 90s guy, but he’s got control issues. He walked 22 batters in 45 innings. That’s…not good. He did strike out 61 in those innings, and that is good. If he works on his control, he may have a future as a left-handed releiever.
The MLB Draft continues today, with rounds 11-40 beginning at noon. There are several more Wahoos expected to go, including 6’6” Evan Sperling. Sperling throws in the upper 90s, but has control issues. Another guy to watch is Cameron Simmons. Simmons was 2nd team All-ACC as a sophomore, batting .352 with 9 HRs. But he missed this entire season with a shoulder injury. He may get drafted, but he’ll likely return because a big year could push him into the first few rounds.