The 2019 MLB Draft signing period concluded on Friday, July 12. With that milestone passing, we now have some clarity on the size of the roster heading into the 2020 season. It's now a good time to dive into the numbers to see where the Hoos stand versus NCAA roster limitations for D1 programs.
First, the rules...
Division 1 Baseball Roster Rules
The maximum roster size is 35 players. Teams certify their 35-player roster with the NCAA by the day before their first game of the season in February. Last season, the roster on VirginiaSports.com listed 37 players when it was updated just before the start of the season. It's possible that up to two players received waivers that allowed them to be on the official roster due to injury reasons. Last season, for example, the Hoos had four players that did not play due to season long injuries: pitchers Brandon Neeck, Cristian Sanchez, Sen Kenneally, and outfielder Christian Hlinka.
It's also equally as possible that the roster the public saw on the official site was not the actual roster submitted to the NCAA per requirements.
UVA Players And Recruits Drafted
The 2019 MLB draft saw three current players drafted and three incoming recruits drafted.
All three current players drafted signed MLB contracts. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Tanner Morris in the 5th round. Morris signed for $397,500. The Kansas City Royals drafted Noah Murdock in the 7th round. Murdock signed for $230,500. The Chicago White Sox drafted Cameron Simmons in the 20th round. Simmons signed for $85,000.
The Los Angeles Angels drafted incoming recruit Jack Kochanowicz in the 3rd round. Kochanowicz signed for $1,250,000. The Chicago Cubs drafted incoming recruit Jayson Hoopes in the 36th round. Hoopes did not sign and will enroll at Virginia. The Saint Louis Cardinals drafted incoming recruit Chris Newell in the 37th round. Newell did not sign and will enroll at Virginia.
In our estimation, the draft signings went as expected without any real surprises.
During Senior Day activities, the program honored another six seniors that are departing the program as well. That list includes Grant Donahue, Jack Weiller, Evan Sperling, Riley Wilson, Cameron Comer, and Nate Eikhoff.
Senior Chesdin Harrington was honored as well but he has elected to return as a graduate student to finish his remaining season of eligibility.
One other player was honored in those ceremonies but will be covered in the next section.
Five other players departed the program for various reasons.
Jalen Harrison left during the season to join the football program.
Bryce Greenly also left during the season. He recently announced a transfer to Delaware.
Jack Dragum will be transferring to Louisburg College, a junior college in North Carolina, where he will be a pitcher.
Ben Harris will be transferring to Georgia.
And finally, the other player recognized at Senior Day, Drew Blakely, will transfer to Richmond to complete his eligibility.
If you have not read our introduction to the 2019 class of incoming recruits, you can find that here.
Initially, thirteen new players were expected to join the program as freshman. That number is down to eleven.
We know about Jack Kochanowicz electing to sign with the professional ranks. But recruit Jacob Gooch will not join the program as well. An injury setback forced his hand. Gooch will now enroll at Seminole State College, a junior college in Florida, as he continues his rehab.
The Hoos appear to be set on adding four incoming transfers to the program.
Two of those transfers are from the junior college ranks. Marc-Antoine Lebreux, originally from Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec in Canada, will arrive from Seminole State College, a junior college in Oklahoma. This is not to be confused with the school in Florida with the same name. Lebreux is an outfielder.
Also joining the Hoos from the junior college ranks is middle infielder Walker Jenkins. Jenkins arrives from Madison College of Madison, Wisconsin. This is the same junior college that produced current UVA catcher Logan Michaels and former pitcher Cody Winiarski
Left handed pitcher Kyle Petri will transfer in from Division 3 University of Chicago. Petri is originally from Lighthouse Point, Florida. Despite our best research efforts, we've been unable to determine if Kyle is eligible for the upcoming season or if he'll have to take a redshirt year due to the transfer.
Finally, the Hoos will add one graduate transfer. Relief pitcher Stephen Schoch will transfer to UVA from U..M..B..C (gulp). Schoch is the rare sidearm pitcher at UVA and earned thirteen career saves for the Retrievers.
Now The Math
Consolidating all the above into numbers looks like this...
Start: 37 (players on VirginiaSports.com roster to open the 2019 season)
Subtract: 3 (2019 MLB draft departures)
Subtract: 6 (departing seniors)
Subtract: 5 (other departures)
Add: 11 (incoming recruits)
Add: 4 (incoming transfers)
Total: 38 players
We can expect three known names among returning players, incoming recruits, and incoming transfers to not be on the official roster submitted to the NCAA. Whether that comes in the form of additional players leaving the program, expected recruits not enrolling or joining the team, or players required to sit out due to transfer rules is anyone's guess.
But the hard math dictates that the Hoos are currently three players over the limit based on all publicly known information.