Virginia’s baseball program made it to the College World Series for the first time in 2009 and came one win away from a return trip in the final year of Rosenblatt Stadium. Coach Brian O’Connor’s 2010 team reached the top of the national polls for the first time in school history, but then a U-Va.-record nine players were drafted last June (with a school-record seven of them signing professional contracts).
So it only made sense this year’s team was forecast to drop off somewhat. The Cavaliers, though, climbed from No. 15 in Baseball America’s preseason rankings to No. 1 for five weeks until being swept at North Carolina last week and falling to No. 5. It didn’t hurt that left-hander Danny Hultzen (St. Albans), projected as a top-five pick in the draft that starts June 6, was the ACC’s pitcher of the year for the second consecutive season.
Despite the three losses in Chapel Hill, Virginia (45-9) is the top seed in the ACC tournament, which started Wednesday in Durham, N.C. The Cavaliers beat eighth-seeded Wake Forest, 13-1, in a game called after 6 1/2 innings because of a 10-run rule.
Here’s a quick update on the five players from Virginia’s 2010 draft class who are in full-season minor leagues:
Jarrett Parker, cf (Giants, second round): Hitting .259 with a .377 on-base percentage and a .422 slugging percentage in 147 at-bats at high-Class A San Jose. Thanks to his strong arm, he’s also playing some right field. Has stolen six bases in eight attempts.
Phil Gosselin, 2b (Braves, fifth round): The man who homered off Stephen Strasburg in an NCAA tournament game is batting .258/.301/.393 in 163 at-bats at high-Class A Lynchburg.
Robert Morey, rhp (Marlins, fifth round): 3-5 with a 5.89 ERA in 47 1/3 innings at low-Class A Greensboro.
Dan Grovatt, of, (Pirates, 11th round): .286/.410/.413 in 126 at-bats at low-Class A West Virginia.
Tyler Cannon, ss (Indians, 12th round): Four-year Virginia player is seeing time at shortstop and third base. Hit .366/.456/.613 in 93 at-bats at low-Class A Lake County but is off to a 4-for-29 start (.138) with high-Class A Kinston.