The shortened five-round MLB Draft concluded Thursday night. The draft brought with it Charlottesville Tom Sox history and a surprise for a Virginia standout.
Outside the draft, a critical piece of UVa baseball’s 2020 roster announced plans to return in 2021. Outside the U.S., former UVa pitcher Tyler Wilson tossed five solid innings in his latest KBO outing.
Abbott goes undrafted
In a bit of a surprise, UVa baseball’s Andrew Abbott went undrafted in the five-round draft. Teams can sign undrafted players beginning Sunday morning for a maximum signing bonus of $20,000.
Abbott, who finished his junior season in 2020, can also elect to return to school.
Abbott planned to turn professional if he was drafted, but going undrafted could alter his decision.
The left-handed reliever, who graduated from UVa in three years in May, excelled in three seasons at UVa.
Abbott appeared in 57 games, logging 108 1/3 innings. He struck out an impressive 165 batters, while only yielding 49 walks. In his career, Abbott finished with a 3.24 ERA.
Despite a shortened 2020 season, Abbott still shined. He appeared in nine games and tossed 13 1/3 innings. In that span, Abbott struck out an absurd 28 batters while only allowing nine hits and eight walks. He dominated nonconference foes while also showcasing elite stuff against some of the better teams on Virginia’s schedule.
Abbott also participated on the USA Collegiate National Team in 2019. He threw 12 innings, striking out 12 and posting a 2.25 ERA. The hard-throwing lefty spent time in the Cape Cod Baseball League as well, and he performed well against top-tier summer league competition.
He’s an elite talent, but the shortened draft ultimately led to Abbott not being selected in the 2020 draft.
Nicolas makes history
The Miami Marlins drafted Kyle Nicolas, a Ball State product. The right-handed pitcher played for the Charlottesville Tom Sox in 2018, showcasing his quality stuff as a pitcher throughout the summer.
With the selection — he went 61st overall — Nicolas became the highest-drafted Tom Sox player ever.
Nicolas looked solid during the shortened 2020 season at Ball State. He tossed 23 innings across four appearances, posting a 2.74 ERA.
In his final start of the 2020 season, Nicolas threw seven innings, allowed one hit, one walk and struck out 17 batters.
Michaels returns for UVa
UVa senior catcher Logan Michaels is headed back to UVa in 2021, taking advantage of spring eligibility relief. Michaels announced the news Thursday night on Twitter.
“Can’t wait to be back at UVa next year and pick up where we left off this past season,” Michaels tweeted. “Excited to get back to work with my brothers in Charlottesville.”
He brings a reliable defensive presence behind the plate, as well as an underrated bat. While Michaels rarely draws headlines, he’s a career .313 hitter for the Wahoos.
He’s only struck out 16 times in 192 at-bats, and he’s worked 12 walks.
Michaels should find himself in a starting position again next season.
Wilson logs five innings
In his latest start in the Korean Baseball Organization, former UVa pitcher Tyler Wilson fired five innings, allowing five hits, five walks and two earned runs. He struck out four batters.
Wilson, who was a bit erratic with his command, worked his way through five innings despite five walks. He earned a no-decision, but the LG Twins rallied for a 3-2 victory in the 10th inning to beat the Lotte Giants.
The Twins sit in second place in the KBO with a 21-12 record. They’re riding a three-game winning streak.