Though no member of the Virginia Cavaliers baseball team was drafted on the first day of the MLB Draft for the first time since 2013, the draft took its toll on the program on Tuesday with rounds 3-10.
Still relatively unknown to UVa fans since he had yet to step on the field for UVa, the first hit for Coach O’Connor came from the Los Angeles Angels when they selected Jack Kochanowicz in the 3rd round and No. 92 overall pick. A 6’6 220 RHP out of Pennsylvania, Kochanowicz was the highest rated recruit for the Cavaliers in the 2019 class. The slot value for the pick was only $637.60K, but it’s more than likely he’ll be offered more than that to forgo his college career.
Second year Tanner Morris was the first Cavaliers to be selected going in the 5th round to the Toronto Blue Jays. Typically a player must be out of high school three years to be drafted, but Morris is old for his year and was a draft-eligible sophomore. It’s possible that Morris could return since he has two years of eligibility remaining and would still have negotiating leverage with teams next year, but nobody drafted in the top 14 rounds of the draft has ever returned to the program.
Third year pitcher Noah Murdock was the final piece selected on Tuesday, being selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round. After Tommy John surgery limited his 2018 season, Murdock returned this year going 3-6 with a 6.30 ERA in 14 games started. Like Morris, Murdock could return next year, but would not have the leverage Morris would have since he would likely be in his final year. However, Murdock tweeted this later in the afternoon seemingly indicating his UVa career is over:
Extremely honored and blessed to be given another opportunity to play this great game. Thank you to the @Royals for giving me that opportunity. Also, thank you to all of my coaches and teammates that have helped me along the way! Can’t wait to get my pro career started!! pic.twitter.com/tVrTH4XLUN— Noah Murdock (@NoahMurdock28) June 4, 2019
The draft continues and concludes on Thursday with more UVa players surely to be selected.