clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tar Heels in the MLB Draft


The incredibly long Major League Baseball Draft was held at the end of last week with multiple Tar Heels getting calls from teams including several recruits. First up, here are the current Tar Heels who were drafted.

Round Overall Pick Player Position Team
5 157 Michael Russell SS Tampa Bay
15 448 Benton Moss RHP San Francisco
28 833 Landon Lassiter 3B Colorado
31 941 Luis Paula RHP Pittsburgh

Michael Russell will certainly be moving onto the professional baseball now and taking this piece on at face value it would appear Benton Moss is also done at UNC. That leaves a question of whether Landon Lassiter or Luis Paula will also leave. The answer is probably no and yes. There likely isn't enough money for Lassiter to jump when he can probably improve his stock with another season. Paula on the other hand simply hasn't seen enough innings and given how little UNC loses from the pitching staff he might not see much next season either. At this point it may make sense for him to go ahead and start his professional career.

As for the 2014 recruiting class this is what UNC has coming in and who was drafted.

Round Overall Pick Player Position Hometown Team
1 32 Braxton Davidson 1B Asheville, NC Atlanta
1 34 Jake Flaherty SS Burbank, CA St. Louis
CB A 35 Forrest Wall SS Winter Park, FL Colorado
2 53 Joseph Gatto RHP Hammonton, NJ Los Angeles(AL)
2 60 Cameron Varga RHP Cincinnti, OH Tampa Bay
2 64 Mitch Keller RHP Cedar Rapids, IA Pittsburgh
20 600 Jacob Bukauskas RHP Ashburn, VA Arizona
32 958 Hunter Williams 1B Chesterfield, VA San Francisco
40 1200 Zach Gahaghan INF Hendersonville, NC Arizona
40 1208 Ryder Ryan
3B Hunterville, NC Cleveland
N/A N/A Jackson Bellenkes RHP Greensboro, NC N/A
N/A N/A Hansen Butler RHP High Point, NC N/A
N/A N/A Brett Daniels 3B/RHP Fuquay-Varina, NC N/A
N/A N/A Brooks Kennedy SS Charlotte, NC N/A
N/A N/A Jason Morgan RHP Fredericksburg, VA N/A
N/A N/A Nick Raquet LHP State College, PA N/A
N/A N/A Logan Warmoth INF Altamonte Springs, FL N/A

Chances are players in the top two rounds are never coming to Chapel Hill. Ashurn, VA pitcher Jacob Bukauskus let it be known before the draft he intended to come to UNC and announced on Twitter following his selection that was still the case. Bukauskas is said to be an elite pitcher and UNC getting him to campus would be a major boost. In all likelihood Hunter Williams, Zach Gahaghan and Ryan Rider will end up at UNC given the meager value at those slots in the drafts.

In case you are wondering, SB Nation has a rundown of how the MLB Draft works and the structure used for signing players. Baseball Americas has this list of the slot values for the top ten rounds. It is a year old but it gives an indication for what kind of money is involved in the top ten rounds and a basis to guess what kind of salary is available beyond the tenth round.

Two notable Tar Heel players not drafted over the weekend were pitchers Taylore Cherry and Chris McCue. Cherry hasn't necessarily pitched great but is physical makeup made him a possible selection. McCue's injury was clearly enough to scare teams off from even using a low round pick on the rising senior. McCue pitched 11.2 innings in 2014 with a 0.77 ERA and fourteen strikeouts before having a procedure to remove a blood clot from his shoulder which ended his season. Assuming McCue can return to form, UNC will have a very deep pitching staff with plenty of options to fill Moss' spot in the rotation.