Virginia shortstop Tanner Morris and right-hander Noah Murdock heard their names called Tuesday on Tuesday during the second day of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
Morris, a draft-eligible sophomore, went in the fifth round (No. 147 overall) to the Toronto Blue Jays, and Murdock was selected in the seventh round (No. 199 overall) by the Kansas City Royals.
While it’s unclear if Morris will return to UVa or join the Blue Jays’ organization, Murdock confirmed he’ll be joining the Royals’ organization via a Twitter post.
“Extremely honored and blessed to be given another opportunity to play this great game,” Murdock wrote. “Can’t wait to get my pro career started!”
Morris provided a bright spot in what was an otherwise bleak campaign for the Cavaliers. The shortstop led the team in batting average (.345), hits (77), doubles (21), homers (5), slugging percentage (.507), walks (41) and on-base percentage (.452). He earned All-ACC third team honors after getting named to the conference’s All-Freshman team in 2018.
Murdock had a bumpy 2019, finishing with a 3-6 record and a 6.30 ERA in 14 starts. He struck out 69 batters in 74.1 innings and surrendered 92 hits and 33 walks. Still, teams often draft based off potential, and the 6-foot-8, 190-pound junior possesses enviable size. Murdock was selected in the 38th round by the Washington Nationals out of high school.
Virginia’s season ended without an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. The Cavaliers went 32-24 and finished the regular season on a hot streak, including a series win over then-No. 5 Louisville. But after losing both of their games in the pool play round of the ACC Tournament, the Cavaliers were not awarded an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Brian O’Connor might have also lost a future player to the draft. Right-hander Jack Kochanowicz, a Harriton High School (Pennsylvania) product and a UVa commit, was selected in the third round (No. 92 overall) by the Los Angeles Angels. Kochanowicz went 6-0 with a 0.32 ERA this past season.