For the second straight year, a pair of U.Va. baseball players heard their names called in the first round of the MLB draft.
Left-handed pitcher Daniel Lynch, the former Douglas Freeman High School star, went to the Kansas City Royals with the 34th pick in the first round, the compensation portion.
A few minutes later, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Jake McCarthy, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound Scranton, Pa., native, with the 39th pick in the first round, competitive balance round.
And then, with the 43rd overall pick and final of the first round, competitive balance round, the St. Louis Cardinals took Wake Forest right-hander Griff Roberts, a former James River High standout.
It’s the fifth straight year that the Cavaliers have had a player taken in the first (or competitive balance) round.
Last year, the Diamondbacks took U.Va. first baseman Pavin Smith with the seventh overall pick, and the Philadelphia Phillies selected teammate Adam Haseley with the very next pick.
Lynch, 6-foot-4, 195-pound Henrico native, went 4-4 with a 3.96 ERA. Lynch’s 105 strikeouts were the second most on the team behind right-hander Derek Casey (Hanover.)
In his final start of the year, Lynch worked 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and striking out 7 in a 3-2 loss to Florida State in the first game of the ACC tournament.
That loss knocked U.Va. out of ACC title contention and snapped the Cavaliers’ streak of 14-straight NCAA tournament appearances.
Lynch pitched at least seven innings in 10 of his 13 starts this season.
It’s the fifth straight year they’ve had a pitcher go in the first two rounds.
Nick Howard (2014) and Nathan Kirby (2015) went in the first round and Josh Sborz (2015), Connor Jones (2016) and Tommy Doyle (2017) were second-round selections.
An early-season wrist injury limited McCarthy to just 20 games this year. They will most likely be the last 20 he plays in college.
McCarthy was chosen just minutes after the Royals took Lynch.
McCarthy, the younger brother of former U.Va. Joe McCarthy, played just six games as a freshman before suffering a torn ligament in his right foot. He starred as a sophomore, hitting .338 with 5 home runs and 36 RBIs and came into this season with high expectations.
Instead, he suffered a fractured wrist in the Cavaliers’ 13th game and did not return to the lineup until the final week of the regular season.