Gianluca Dalatri, redshirt junior pitcher for the North Carolina Tar Heels, has signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals as an undrafted free agent.
Dalatri’s collegiate career started out promising in 2017. The righty was tabbed as the Saturday starter, and finished his freshman season with a 7-3 record. He collected 85 strikeouts and turned in a 3.34 ERA. In 15 starts that season, Dalatri appeared in a team-high 97.0 innings.
One of his most memorable performances in 2017 came versus Radford. Against the Highlanders, Dalatri struck out 15 batters. He was the first Tar Heel to achieve that feat since Matt Harvey in 2010.
In 2017, Dalatri was named a Consensus first-team Freshman All-American. He was named to the All-ACC third-team, along with earning Freshman All-ACC and Academic All-ACC honors.
Unfortunately, injuries derailed the rest of Dalatri’s career at UNC. After an injury early in the season in 2018, he was able to return for the end of the ACC season in May and the following NCAA Chapel Hill Regional.
An elbow injury early in 2019 caused him to miss the rest of the season and redshirt his junior year.
In February 2020, Carolina head coach Mike Fox announced another injury for Dalatri:
Unfortunately, Gianluca had a setback. He was really throwing well in the preseason but in a scrimmage a week ago we had to take him off the field in the first inning. He had surgery last week for a small fracture in his right elbow where he had to have a screw put in. His status is certainly uncertain for the foreseeable future.
Dalatri was candid about his struggles with these unfortunate injuries in an article for UNCutChapelHill.com. I encourage everyone to read his article to better understand the pressures on these young student-athletes.
Here’s hoping Dalatri’s injuries are behind him and he can succeed on the mound in the Majors.