Three Tar Heel baseball players went on the first night of this year’s MLB Draft with J.B. Bukauskas, Logan Warmoth, and Brian Miller all hearing their name called before the second round. The second day of business didn’t feature any Carolina blue, but two more Heels were selected before it was all over with.
Catcher Cody Roberts got the call in the 38th round by the Miami Marlins, where he will be joining teammate Miller with the Fish. Somewhat surprisingly, the Marlins decided to list Roberts as a right-handed pitcher instead of a catcher. It seems as though they intend to try and develop him on the mound instead of behind the plate as a professional.
Roberts did make it onto the mound in his time as a Tar Heel, but was almost exclusively used as a catcher. It will be interesting to see how he progresses as he transitions into a pitcher at the next level.
Zack Gahagan, who was used all over the infield in his time with the Heels, got the call in the 39th round as a pick of the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds have him listed as a third baseman for the purpose of the draft, but it’s quite possible that he can help them at second or first base down the line.
Despite being a draft-eligible sophomore and appearing in Baseball America’s Top 200, Kyle Datres was not picked by any MLB team. That was a bit unexpected, but Datres seemed set on returning to UNC for his junior year regardless of what happened with the draft. If teams knew that he wouldn’t be willing to sign, that would likely make them look elsewhere instead of wasting the draft pick.
Datres will be returning to a team that still has plenty of talent for next season, including Luca Dalatri, Brandon Riley, and Josh Hiatt, among others. Hopefully those guys can build off the momentum of this past season in a continued goal of getting Carolina baseball back to where it belongs.