After going undrafted in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, UVa pitcher Andrew Abbott is returning to school for the 2021 season. He announced the news on social media Saturday night.
“More work to be done,” Abbott wrote on Twitter. “Can’t wait to be back in Charlottesville! Go ‘Hoos.”
The talented left-handed reliever was projected by many experts to go in the five-round MLB draft, but no team selected him. The surprise turns out to benefit the Cavaliers, who will return both Andrew Abbott and closer Stephen Schoch in 2021. Schoch, who told the Daily Progress in March that he planned on returning, officially announced his return on social media earlier this week.
Schoch will use eligibility relief granted by the NCAA to compete again. Abbott was only a junior this season, so he could’ve returned regardless, but he planned on turning professional if drafted in the five-round draft.
Instead of signing with a team as an undrafted free agent for a maximum signing bonus of $20,000, Abbott elected to return to the Cavaliers for another season. His return is good news for Brian O’Connor’s club, as the lefty is an elite ACC arm.
Abbott posted a 1.35 ERA in 2020, throwing 13 1/3 innings. He struck out 28 batters, while only walking eight. D1Baseball.com named Abbott the seventh-best relief pitcher in college baseball.
He frequently entered the game prior to Schoch, helping bridge the gap between a starter or middle reliever and Virginia’s trusty closer. Depending on the situation, Abbott can also elect as the closer with Schoch serving as the setup man. It’s a dangerous duo that will enter the 2021 season as one of the best 1-2 bullpen combinations in the country.
Academically, Abbott also excels, earning spots on the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2018, 2019 and 2020.