Four CAA Players Chosen On Day 2 Of MLB Draft
Four CAA players were selected on Day 2 of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
Hofstra junior pitcher Bryan Verbitsky was chosen in the third round (86th overall) by the San Diego Padres, Delaware junior first baseman Jimmy Yezzo was picked in the seventh round (226th overall) by the Washington Nationals, Delaware junior pitcher Chad Kuhl was selected in the ninth round (269th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and UNCW senior pitcher Justin Livengood was taken in the 10th round (298th overall) by the San Diego Padres.
Verbitsky is the ninth Hofstra player to be selected in the MLB Draft since its inception in 1965 and is the highest selection in the June First Year Player Draft. This past season Verbitsky posted a 3-4 record and a 2.66 ERA in 19 appearances, including three starts, for the Pride. The right-hander pitched a career-best 44 innings and posted a team-high 51 strikeouts, while walking just 10 batters. His three wins tied for the team lead, while his ERA ranked second. He also added three saves and held opponents to a .178 batting average.
Verbitsky made 57 career appearances for the Pride, starting five games. He was 4-7 overall with a 3.84 ERA and 11 saves. He tallied 87 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .243 batting average. His 11 saves rank second all-time at Hofstra, while his 57 appearances place him 12th on the all-time list. He also compiled a .257 career batting average with eight home runs and 52 RBIs in 210 at-bats.
Yezzo, who earlier this year was named the CAA Player of the Year as well as a first team All-American by Louisville Slugger, became the first UD player to be drafted since 2010 and was the highest UD pick since outfielder Alex Buchholz was a sixth round selection by Cincinnati in 2008. Buchholz is currently playing in the Texas Rangers organization.
Yezzo, who also was named the University of Delaware Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year last month and is one of 30 finalists for the Golden Spikes National Player of the Year Award, led the Colonial Athletic Association with a .410 batting average and 28 doubles during the 2013 season and also ranked second in the league with 13 home runs and with 64 runs batted in. He led the nation in batting for several weeks during the season and currently ranks No. 3 nationally in that category and No. 7 in runs batted in per game. He committed just one error in 515 chances at first base.
Kuhl was the ace of the Delaware pitching staff in 2013 and was selected to the All-CAA second team. The right-hander posted a 10-2 record with a 3.75 ERA. In 105.2 innings of work, he allowed 107 hits and struck out 76. He threw a pair of complete game and his win total was the highest for a Blue Hens' pitcher since 2001.
Livengood was one of the top relievers in the CAA this season. The hard-throwing right-hander made 29 appearances out of the bullpen and was 1-3 with two saves and a 2.94 ERA. In 33.2 innings of work, Livengood gave up 28 hits and fanned 48. Opponents batted just .219 against him.
The Major League Baseball Draft concludes on Saturday with rounds 11-40. Coverage gets underway at 1 p.m. on MLB.com.