Miami Hurricanes tie program record in 2023 MLB Draft

Miami Hurricanes MLB Draft

Miami, Florida – The Miami Hurricanes had six of its players selected during the 2023 MLB Draft with another pair signing as undrafted free agents. Yohandy Morales was the first of this year’s crop to be chosen as the 40th overall pick to the Washington Nationals. Yoyo was initially thought to go in the first round but fell on the draft board. Morales was selected by the Nats to kick off the second round giving them both power potential and an impressive glove.

First night

The accomplished All-American led the team in batting average (.408), home runs (20), RBIs (70), hits (98), OBP (.475), slugging percentage (.713), and OPS (1.187) for the 2023 season. He wrapped up the campaign by etching himself into the record books. Morales capped off the year with the seventh-best average, sixth-most hits, and eighth-highest slugging percentage in a single season. Yoyo also tied for the 10th most dingers in a single season in program history.

Andrew Walters was next as the 62nd overall pick in the Competitive Balance Round B. Recognized as one of the best relievers in the country, the two-time consensus All-American is heading to the Cleveland Guardians. Wrapping up his college stint, Walters finished the season with a career-best 1.21 ERA in 28 appearances notching 12 saves. Totaling 102 innings pitched in his tenure at The U, Walters recorded a 1.41 ERA complemented with 170 strikeouts and 26 saves, the sixth most in program history.

Rest of the way

He was joined by CJ Kayfus who was also chosen by the Guardians in the third round as the 93rd overall pick. Kayfus slashed .347/.464/.581 for 2023, notching 13 home runs and 41 RBIs while drawing 46 walks. Alejandro Rosario went next in the fifth round getting nabbed by Texas Rangers as the 144th pick. Pipo finished his college career 12-13 with a 6.53 ERA in 37 starts within 47 appearances. Zach Levenson came next. His destination is the St. Louis Cardinals with the 158th pick. Levenson was a solid member of a potent lineup making contributions in the 2022 and 2023 campaigns slashing .292/.397/.554 for the latter with 14 homers and 45 RBIs.

Dominic Pitelli rounds out the grouping getting drafted in the seventh round. As the 198th overall pick, he’s going to the Cincinnati Reds. Pitelli significantly improved across the board completing the year hitting .294 including 13 dingers with 54 RBIs in 238 at-bats. Although Carlos Lequerica went undrafted the Florida International transfer signed with the Detroit Tigers. Lequerica went 5-1 with a 4.71 ERA in 30 appearances including one start. Ronaldo Gallo is the latest Cane to sign with a major league team going with the Pirates. Gallo struggled for much of the season finishing 2-4 with a 7.55 ERA in 24 appearances including nine starts.

Impressions

Miami continues to show it still produces talent for the bigs. I initially predicted five players beginning their big league journies so the result is a welcome surprise. What I didn’t expect was Yohandy falling into the second round. I held out a vague hope that maybe the Marlins would select him. However, his journey to The Show begins within the Washington Nationals farm system. As J.D. Arteaga assembles his staff, he now knows what to look for in the transfer portal and future recruiting. There were also four commits that had their name called.

Shortstop Adrian Santana went to the Tampa Bay Rays as the 31st overall pick and outfielder TayShaun Walton went to the Philadelphia Phillies at number 130. There’s a very high chance they’ll sign. For the other two signings, things are less certain. Wooyeoul Shin was slated to transfer over from Miami Dade College. The South Korean first baseman went as the 483rd overall pick by the Rays. Then there’s ESB Academy third baseman Daniel Cuvet. He is pick number 497 for the Pirates. Cuvet might actually still head to Coral Gables. He’s a top 250 prospect. This means Pittsburgh will have to offer a lot more than slot money.

Regardless of these outcomes, with the departure of Karson Ligon to Mississippi State, this will be a radically different team next year. Arteaga has his work cut out for him but there’s quite a lot of talent in the transfer portal. Not to mention the incoming recruits. Congratulations to all those who signed with a big-league team.

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