Top Virginia 2019 MLB Draft Prospects
State List Talent Ranking: ⭐️
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale relative to what the state typically produces, with 1 being the weakest)
A draft-eligible sophomore, Morris has one of the more complete hitting approaches in the class dating back to his days as a high schooler, when he showed impressive barrel control and a contact-oriented look at the plate. He’s hit for high averages in both of his seasons at Virginia, but he’s filled out more physically and started to tap into more extra-base power in 2019. Morris’ swing is naturally suited toward hitting the ball the opposite way and into the left-center field gap, although he’s become a bit more pull-happy as he’s tried to hit for more power. Right now, he has a hit-over-power profile, but scouts believe more power will come in the future. Morris plays shortstop for Virginia, and he’s been fine thanks to a strong arm and high baseball IQ, but he lacks the first-step quickness and short actions necessary to handle the position in pro ball. A well below-average runner, Morris is likely better suited for third base or a corner outfield position, although a team high on his defensive ability might try to keep him in the middle infield at second base. Wherever he winds up defensively, Morris’ hit tool is his carrying trait. He has a strong track record of hitting in the ACC and a productive Cape Cod League appearance in 2018, when he hit .331/.404/.449 in 35 games.
Baylor is an athletic prep shortstop who is committed to Louisburg (N.C.) JC. The 5-foot-11, 193-pound infielder has a feel to put the barrel on the ball and makes consistent contact and last summer showed some solid raw power to the pull side as well. He doesn’t strikeout much and has a feel to steal some bases, grading out as a plus runner. While Baylor has speed and 55-grade arm strength, most scouts believe he will have to move off of shortstop at the next level, where he could be a fit at second, third or a corner outfield spot.
Murdock ranked No. 143 on the 2016 BA 500 out of high school, and scouts dreamed on his potential as a 6-foot-7 righthander who touched 94-95 and showed feel to spin a tight breaking ball. With a firm commitment to Virginia, Murdock made it to campus where a strong freshman season was cut short by Tommy John Surgery. Since then Murdock has slowly been re-discovering the stuff he flashed as a high schooler, though he usually sits in the 90-91 range and will occasionally touch 94. Now standing 6-foot-8 and 190 pounds, Murdock is a surprisingly good strike-thrower for his size, which is due in part to his athleticism (he was a standout volleyball player in high school and also played basketball). His performance this spring has been underwhelming (6.33 ERA over 13 starts with 66 strikeouts in 69.2 innings) but scouts are still hoping that as he gets further away from his surgery his stuff will continue to improve.
A 6-foot-2, 210-pound righthander, Kelly has less stuff than most pitchers ranked in the top 500, but thanks to a sidearm delivery and good control, he’s created uncomfortable at-bats for hitters over his three-year career in the Colonial Athletic Association. Kelly’s fastball sits in the mid-80s and touches 89, and he throws both a slider and a curveball that are below-average. He’s posted a 3.54 ERA this spring in 13 starts and 76 innings, with 81 strikeouts (9.5 per nine) and just 20 walks (2.36 per nine). Kelly also threw 36 innings last summer on the Cape Cod League, and while his strikeout rate wasn’t that impressive (6.75 per nine) he posted a 1.25 ERA and had success with his unconventional release point. Kelly shouldn’t be selected until day three, but he could be an interesting choice for a team that values his track record and is excited about an unorthodox reliever profile.
A physical, 6-foot-1, 195-pound catcher, Driscoll has an above-average arm and solid receiving skills to go along with raw power that comes from a strong righthanded swing. At George-Mason Driscoll calls his own game and coaches are impressed with how he handles a staff, throws and blocks behind the plate. He has a solid track record of hitting in the Atlantic 10 and posted a .339/.462/.600 line with nine home runs and more walks than strikeouts this spring. However, he struggled with a wood bat in a 28-game stint in the Cape Cod League last summer, hitting just .204/.250/.235 with 19 strikeouts and four walks.
6. Logan Michaels, C, Virginia
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
7. Zak Kent, RHP, Virginia Military Institute
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
8. Spencer Horowitz, 1B, Radford
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
9. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Old Dominion
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 230 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
10. Casey Green, RHP, Benedictine HS, Richmond, Va.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Coastal Carolina
11. Griffin Agee, LHP, Jefferson Forest
Source: HS • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 206 • B-T: R-L • Commitment/Drafted: Virginia
12. Evan Sperling, RHP, Virginia
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
13. Layne Looney, RHP, Richmond
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Cubs '18 (19)
14. Cameron Simmons, OF, Virginia
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Rangers '18 (15)
15. Zac Ching, INF, Virginia Commonwealth
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted
16. Liam Deegan, OF, Godwin HS, Richmond, Va.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Virginia
17. Kerry Carpenter, OF, Virginia Tech
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 220 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted