Three Cavaliers selected in 2019 MLB Draft

Morris first Virginia player off board in fifth round


Sophomore shortstop Tanner Morris was the first Virginia player drafted in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

Three Virginia baseball players were chosen in the 2019 MLB Draft Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sophomore shortstop Tanner Morris was the first Virginia player chosen, going in the fifth round to the Toronto Blue Jays with the 147th overall pick. Morris, a third team All-ACC selection this season, led the team with a .345 batting average, 21 doubles and 5 home runs.

Generally, only college juniors and seniors and high school seniors are eligible for the MLB Draft, but some sophomores like Morris qualify for eligibility due to being 21 years of age at the time the draft occurs.

Junior right-hander Noah Murdock came off the board next in the seventh round to the Kansas City Royals, 199th overall. Murdock led the Cavaliers with 14 starts on the mound this past season, striking out 69 batters in 74.1 innings of work.

With the selection of Murdock, a Virginia pitcher has now been chosen in the first ten rounds of the draft in each of the last ten years, and multiple Virginia players have been chosen in the first seven rounds for the last six.

Neither Morris nor Murdock have announced their decisions to sign with the teams that drafted them or return to school. The clubs that drafted them hold their rights and can negotiate with them until Aug. 15, after which time they be eligible for next year’s draft. However, they can make the decision to return to school at any time.

Senior center fielder Cameron Simmons was the final Cavalier drafted in the 20th round by the Chicago White Sox.

After missing the entire 2018 season due to injury, Simmons was drafted last season in the 15th round by the Texas Rangers but chose to return to Virginia for his senior season. He hit .260 with five home runs, down from .352 with nine home runs as a sophomore.

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