Baseball Recruiting - 2020 Class

The Hoos will have 11 new first year players beginning fall workouts soon. If you’d like to get a head start on learning about the newest members of the baseball program, check out my extensive review of each player.

I believe this is the third year I’ve done this article. It’s a lot of fun to research and pretty time consuming to pull together. This year was a challenge because most the players haven’t played any competitive baseball since the fall or summer of 2019. The lack of a senior season leaves some players without much fresh info to consider. But with the exception of maybe a player, or two, I think there was still enough background available to get a good read on the class.

The 2021 team is going to have a loaded roster, however. So most of these guys are going to end up soaking for a year. That won’t be the worst thing in the world for them if they’re willing to work hard and bide their time.

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Nice rundown @KarlHess… Seems like a great class coming in.

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It’s going to be a fascinating class to watch develop for a few reasons.

Fall and the first season have become something of a de facto tryout for the fit and expectations between the players and the program.

With so little playing time available for the class due to all the established players returning, the players and coaches will have to make those evaluations largely away from live action where the cream rises. What they do in the classroom, on the practice field, and in conditioning will take on much more weight.

If the pandemic had not taken place and a normal MLB draft occurred, there are a good number or returning players that would be playing in the minors right now instead of gearing up for a run to the CWS. Instead, we can expect a larger than normal exodus of players to the professional ranks after the 2021 season assuming MLB goes forward with a longer draft (should be 20 rounds vs 5).

That should be plenty of incentive for the incoming class to bide their time because the on field jobs will be opening. We stand to lose Gelof, Kent, Michaels, McGarry, Vasil, Abbott, Schoch, Whitten, Kosanovich, Rivoli, Bales, Lebreux, Hlinka, Ortiz, Messinger, Sullivan, and Price.

Not all of those in that list that can return will depart but some certainly will. It’s going to be a ridiculously deep draft in 2021, so some players will have to do the math between 2021, 2022, and their personal signing bonus requirements. I personally know of two players on that list that would have departed this offseason had they been drafted and offered the right amount of bonus.

So the 2020 class will have plenty of opportunity during the 2022 season with lots of expected holes to fill.

But the next two classes (2021, 2022) are currently monster classes with lots of star power. Perfect Game has the 2021 class ranked 10th at the moment and the 2022 class 3rd. We won’t get all those players to school, but I’d bet on getting more than a healthy share at the moment. The competition for playing time is going to be fierce in the future.

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This is an awesome read. Well done @KarlHess. Hoos baseball is something i only follow casually but really enjoy.

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My Grandfather was a scout for the Phillies for 25 years (he unfortunately died while I was a 3rd Year in college, so he missed out on our National Championship as he started following us and used to converse with Dennis Womack when he came down to visit me in Charlottesville)… so baseball always has a special place in my heart. My HS won the Virginia State 3A Championship while I was a senior and the coach used to find me and ask if my grandfather was down to visit any time soon. He was in charge of Eastern PA… so it was just funny since he didn’t even cover my HS.

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starting to become clear that @jazznutUVA is the most interesting dude on LRA forums

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@DFresh11 If you peel back the layers on anyone on this site… everyone’s story is awesome. No matter what Virginia site I’ve been involved on… the folks have always had amazing backstories… I’m not any more unique than anyone else.

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Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

I think the 2020 team was going to be an enjoyable one. The offense was coming together quickly, they had great chemistry as a team, and the pitching staff was really taking to new pitching coach Dickinson. They were also playing with absolutely no pressure.

That pressure is going to be their biggest challenge in 2021. They’re getting a ton of hype in the offseason as a fringe national title contender and a top 5 team. None of the players in the program right now have dealt with those sorts of expectations. But if they can maintain their chemistry and stay loose, it shouldn’t be too much to handle. It’s no coincidence that the 2015 team that won it all was a carefree bunch.

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I agree… we had a great chance to make the College World Series after not being projected pre-season. The ACC series wins to start the season cemented that.

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We went to school together. Never knew your granddad scouted for the Phils. I grew up listening to Harry Kalas on the radio on clear summer nights when the signal would travel down to where we were. We won that state title your sophomore year. The year after Joe Carter and Mitch Williams.

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Nice… I used to have an AM radio next to my bed in HS trying to listen to Harry Kalas’ play-by-play on 1210 AM through the static as it only came through after the sun went down in Richmond/Charlottesville. It was the time of Daulton, Kruk, Pete Incaviglia, Jim Eisenreich, Kevin Stocker, Rollins, etc. Loved those teams… even Dykstra until he imploded personally after he retired! LOL!

Was it really my sophomore year? Man I’m getting old… I remember going to that state championship game! It was surreal that they won. I guess my memory has failed me in my old age.

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I love Karl’s baseball stuff. Tried to steal him away for LRA. To his credit he’s loyal to his friends at HoosPlace.

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Thanks HGN, I appreciate it!

We’re in the process of transitioning the Hoos Place site to the Substack platform. I ported over the baseball recruiting article tonight. Here’s the link to it over there. I think it turned out well.

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Great write up. Makes me optimistic about Hoos baseball being back among the best. Future looks bright and I’m keeping my eye on Omaha