#18 Virginia Baseball 2018 Preview

Virginia Cavaliers
Overall Rank: #18
Conference Rank: #5 ACC
Virginia Logo
The Virginia Cavaliers continued their run of being a ridiculously consistent program in 2017 as they won 43 games and went to the Fort Worth Regional. However, off the field is where perhaps the biggest impact has been made for Virginia as they are going to be playing this season at a newly renovated Davenport Field after it went under a $18.76 million-dollar renovation and expansion. This project will set up the Virginia program with some elite level facilities that will allow them to grow as a national power in the sport of college baseball.
2017: 43-16, 18-12
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Brian O’ Connor
Key Departed Players:
Adam Haseley, OF/P, .390 BA, 14 HR, 56 RBI, 10 SB, 3.58 ERA, 65.1 IP, 18 BB, 53 SO
Robbie Coman, C/IF, .347 BA, 5 HR, 40 RBI
Pavin Smith, IF/OF, .342 BA, 13 HR, 77 RBI
Ernie Clement, IF/OF, .315 BA, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 14 SB
Alec Bettinger, P, 2.43 ERA, 63.0 IP, 31 BB, 71 SO
Tommy Doyle, P, 1.87 ERA, 33.2 IP, 10 BB, 38 SO
Key Returning Players:
Cameron Simmons, OF, .352 BA, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 9 SB
Jake McCarthy, OF,.331 BA, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 27 SB
Andy Weber, IF, .278 BA, 2 HR, 43 RBI
Caleb Knight, C, 301 BA, 4 HR, 20 RBI
Justin Novak, IF/C, .295 BA, 1 HR, 14 RBI
Derek Casey, P, 3.79 ERA, 71.1 IP, 21 BB, 58 SO
Daniel Lynch, P, 5.00 ERA, 77.1 IP, 29 BB, 45 SO
Chesdin Harrington, P, 2.41 ERA, 37.1 IP, 12 BB, 38 SO
The non-conference schedule has been a point of contention for the NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Committee at the times when seeding Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Cavaliers were sent to the Fort Worth Regional in part because the non-conference schedule was rated 235th in the country. That number should take a bit of a jump in 2018 as Virginia will play teams like UCF, Rice, and Yale, along with their usual matchups with in-state opponents like Liberty, VCU, and Old Dominion. There is a lot of offensive production to replace with the losses of Adam Haseley, Pavin Smith, Robbie Coman, and Ernie Clement. It will be up to Cameron Simmons and Jake McCarthy to lead the way offensively until the rest of the lineup comes together as the season goes along. Derek Casey and Daniel Lynch should be part of the weekend rotation and both guys will need to elevate their performances for the Cavaliers to make another deep run to Omaha. The closer position must be addressed as well since Tommy Doyle was darn effective last year in finishing off games. Overall, with a balanced lineup and a conference schedule that is evenly split with tough series at home and on the road, look for Virginia to hover around 40 wins and be in the mix to host a regional at Davenport Field in June.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#45 Jake McCarthy