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Four Tar Heels Taken in MLB Draft's Second Day

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Via UNC press release:

North Carolina's Skye Bolt, Trent Thornton, Benton Moss and Reilly Hovis were selected on day two of the 2015 MLB Draft Tuesday. Bolt was taken in the fourth round by Oakland, Thornton in the fifth round by Houston, Moss in the sixth round by Tampa Bay and Hovis in the ninth round by Miami. This year marks the sixth time since 2000 that at least four Tar Heels were selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft.

A third-team All-ACC outfielder as a junior, Bolt was the 128th overall pick and the 23rd player taken in the fourth round. The Woodstock, Georgia, native hit .259 with 10 homers and a team-best 45 RBIs in 2015. In three seasons in Chapel Hill, Bolt has tallied 20 home runs, 32 doubles, 128 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in addition to playing outstanding outfield defense.

Thornton struggled at times during his junior season but still struck out a team-best 81 batters and limited opponents to a .240 average in 62.0 innings. A native of Charlotte, Thornton becomes the fourth Tar Heel to be taken by Houston in the last five years. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 22-12 record in three seasons at UNC and a 2.82 ERA over 249.1 career innings.

Moss, who was selected in the 15th round by San Francisco a year ago, improved his draft position by 270 places when he was taken 178th overall by Tampa Bay. A four-year weekend starter for Carolina, the Enfield, North Carolina, native finished his Tar Heel career ranked second in school history in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched, seventh in winning percentage, and eighth in wins. As a senior in 2015, Moss went 7-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 appearances and earned third-team All-ACC honors.

Hovis was a first-team All-ACC reliever as a sophomore in 2014 but was limited to just two appearances as a junior before undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Despite the injury, Hovis was picked 266th overall by the same Miami Marlins franchise that took former Tar Heel Colin Moran in the first round in 2013. The Gastonia righty holds a 14-1 career record and a 2.75 ERA at UNC.

In addition to the four Tar Heels selected Tuesday, a pair of UNC commits were taken in Monday's second round. Desmond Lindsey, an outfielder from Brandenton, Florida, was picked 53rd overall by the New York Mets, while Jahmai Jones, an outfielder from Roswell, Georgia, was taken 70th overall by the Los Angeles Angels.

As Paul noted, two of the four taken, Skye Bolt and Reilly Hovis were expected to leave if drafted. Hovis is coming off Tommy John surgery and still has a long way to go before he pitches again. Bolt has always been highly rated, however his numbers over the past two years have not bore that out. Benton Moss turned down the San Francisco Giants last season as a 15th round pick last season and after his senior season improved to the sixth round.

Trent Thornton struggled this season after two very good years prior to that. Despite the down year, Thornton went in the 5th round to Houston probably opts to leave Chapel Hill now.

Landon Lassiter has not been selected but should be at some point. Given his late season suspension, he will likely be gone.

Two highly rated UNC commits went in the second round. OF Desmond Lindsey went 53rd and OF Jahmai Jones went 70th. Obviously being such high picks diminishes the chances these two will ever step foot on the field at Boshamer Stadium.