The Major League Baseball season has progressed past the All-Star Week, indicating that we have reached the latter portion of the season. Let’s check in on how the Virginia Cavaliers baseball alumni are doing.
Andrew Abbott: UVA 2018-21, Current: Cincinatti Reds
The former Cavaliers ace took his minor league dominance on the mound immediately into the Big Leagues, allowing zero runs in his first three starts. Since then, Abbott has been more human but has posted an overall 4-2 record with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 47.2 innings. According to Baseball Savant, his curveball spin rate and changeup whiff rate rank above the 90th percentile of the league.
Tommy Doyle: UVA 2015-17, Current: Colorado Rockies
Doyle is back up in MLB, his first stint since 2020. He recently pitched two scoreless innings against the New York Yankees, where he struck out two.
Tommy Doyle has had an insane journey in MiLB so far.— Rockies MiLB Report (@roxmilbreport) June 25, 2023
-Pitched all season in A+ in 2019
-Pitched 2.1 innings in the shortened MLB season in 2020
-In 2021 had labrum surgery
-2022 was still out because of the surgery
-2023 he has a 1.27 ERA in 21.1 IP at AAA. pic.twitter.com/3a1snrsvQh
Zack Gelof: UVA 2019-21, Current: Oakland Athletics
Gelof made his debut immediately following the All Star Week for a struggling A’s organization, hoping for any signs of life. Although they are an unsurprising 0-4 since, the former Virginia third baseman has done his part, reaching base safely in all four of his starts, including three extra base hits and two stolen bases.
Daniel Lynch: UVA 2016-18, Current: Kansas City Royals
In his third season in the Big Leagues, Lynch is starting to settle in. He does not have the best stuff but is making a living off of pinpoint control. Lynch is in the 70th percentile in walk rate and the 91st percentile in hard hit rate. He has pitched to a 4.18 ERA and averages nearly six innings per start.
Jake McCarthy: UVA 2016-18, Current: Arizona Diamondbacks
While his hitting has declined from last year, McCarthy has provided his value in the outfield and on the base paths as one of the speediest players in the game. He is a full time starter for Arizona, splitting time between left and center field, managing to hold his own in the lineup with a .680 OPS (88 OPS+).
Josh Sborz: UVA 2013-15, Current: Texas Rangers
Considering the injuries he has dealt with, it is good to see Sborz cementing himself as part of a Major League bullpen. He has a 4.54 ERA this season over 37.2 innings, although is in the top six percent of the league in the advanced stats: xBA, xSLG, xWOBA, xERA, and K%.
Chris Taylor: UVA 2010-12, Current: Los Angeles Dodgers
As the younger ‘Hoos start to make a name for themselves, Taylor continues to hold the fort as the longest tenured UVA alumnus in the big leagues. The 32 year old continues to be a versatile, top tier defensive player, who has spent significant time at shortstop, left field, and third base this season, among other positions. At the plate, Taylor’s slash line is .214/.279/.474.
Bennett Sousa: UVA 2015-18, Current: Milwaukee Brewers
Injuries continue to plague Sousa who has bounced back and forth between AAA and MLB. This year, he has only managed to amass 2.2 innings in Milwaukee before going back to the Injured List.
Matt Thaiss: UVA 2014-16, Current: Los Angeles Angels
Thaiss has completely turned around his performance over the recent months and is now the more regular starting catcher for the Angels. A very disciplined hitter, he is in the 94th percentile in walk rate and the 93rd in chase rate. Thaiss is also capable behind the plate.
Two Cavaliers have made their MLB Debuts this season and two more are knocking on the door. Right handed pitchers Griff McGarry (Phillies organization) and Mike Vasil (Mets organization) are steadily progressing through their respective farm systems. Also, keep an eye out for Tanner Morris, who has spent the whole season at shortstop for the Buffalo Bisons, the AAA affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays. Sean Doolittle, John Hicks, Adam Haseley, and Pavin Smith could get another opportunity at any moment as well.