The Tar Heels saw several of their top players get taken in the 2017 MLB Draft. J.B. Bukauskas, Logan Warmoth, and Brian Miller were all drafted in the first round. Zack Gahagan was also selected, but ultimately decided to return for his senior year. Tar Heels catcher Cody Roberts was the last remaining unsigned Tar Heel, but according to Baseball America, it looks like he will be heading back to Chapel Hill for the 2018 collegiate season.
As a draft-eligible sophomore, Roberts was taken by the Miami Marlins in the 38th round. Considering who they took with their second pick, the organization must have noticed Roberts while they were scouting Miller. Interestingly enough, the Marlins actually drafted him as a right-handed pitcher, not a catcher. Their scouts must think he could have a future on the mound.
He has pitched for North Carolina, but it’s clear that he is primarily a position player at the moment. If Roberts were to have signed with Miami, he likely would have been worked out and developed as a reliever. Whether this had something to do with his decision is unknown, but the Tar Heels could still use his bat.
Roberts hit .268/.371/.374 over 62 games as the team’s starting catcher in 2017. He will help the team fill in for the losses of Brian Miller and Logan Warmoth on offense. The Tar Heels will also need him to stay behind the plate because they have limited options there at the moment.