Three years ago, Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith each came from Florida to the University of Virginia to play baseball. Fast friends bonded by their devout Christian faith, they’ve shared an apartment for the past two years. They even batted third and fourth in the Cavaliers’ lineup for most of this season.
So it was only fitting that their names were called on consecutive picks Monday in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, with Smith, a slugging first baseman, taken seventh overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Haseley, a talented outfielder and pitcher, going eighth to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Later on Monday, relief pitcher Tommy Doyle, who served as UVA’s closer for the past two seasons, was picked 70th overall by the Colorado Rockies as part of the Competitive Balance B portion of the second round.
On Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians selected shortstop Ernie Clement in the fourth round (No. 132 overall), while the Milwaukee Brewers used its 10th-round choice to make pitcher Alec Bettinger the 294th overall selection.
This marks the fourth straight year in which UVA has produced at least one first-round draft pick – one of just two college programs with that distinction. Smith and Haseley are the first set of position players from the same team to be selected in the top 10 of an MLB Draft since Oklahoma State’s Monty Fariss and Robin Ventura in 1988.
Smith and Haseley are the 11th and 12th first-round draft picks in UVA baseball history, and are the fourth and fifth UVA players ever chosen among the top 10 picks, joining Seth Greisinger (No. 6 in 1996), Ryan Zimmerman (No. 4 in 2005) and Danny Hultzen (No. 2 in 2011).
The two were key figures on three straight NCAA tournament teams at Virginia, including the 2015 national championship squad.
In 187 career games, Smith hit 28 career home runs, tied for sixth in program history, and racked up 178 career RBI, which is second-most in school history. A two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree, including a first-team selection in 2017, Smith was a semifinalist for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award. This spring he batted .342 with 13 home runs and drove in a UVA single-season record 77 runs; he batted .325 for his UVA career. At the conclusion of UVA’s season, he ranked second in the ACC and fourth nationally in RBI.
Smith had an incredible rate of contact in 2017, with more home runs (13) than strikeouts (12). He recorded more than three times more walks (38) than strikeouts and ranked fourth-toughest nationally to strike out (19 at bats/strikeout).
A two-time All-American, Haseley batted an ACC-best .390 this season with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in earning first-team All-America honors from Baseball America as well as first-team All-ACC laurels. He was a finalist for the second straight year for the John Olerud Two-Way Player Award and was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy. When UVA ended its season, Haseley was leading the ACC in batting, runs (66) and on-base percentage (.496) and ranked third in slugging (.676) fourth in hits (85), sixth in walks (41), seventh in home runs and ninth in RBI. He also was 7-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 65 1/3 innings over 11 starts on the mound.
Haseley was just the third player to bat .400 in the regular season since head coach Brian O’Connor’s arrival in 2004, joining Keith Werman (.446 in 2010) and Mike Papi (.408 in 2013). A .310 career batter, Haseley ranks third at UVA in career runs (185), ninth in triples (10) and 10th in walks (111) and total bases (360).
Doyle was 3-1 with a 1.87 ERA and 14 saves in 23 relief outings in 2017. Opponents batted just .228 against him, and he struck out 38 while walking just 10. He has made 61 career appearances and owns 17 career saves, which is tied for sixth in school history. He earned third-team All-ACC honors in 2017 as he recorded the fifth-most saves in a single season at UVA. He ranked second in the ACC and ninth nationally in saves. Eight of his saves came in league play.
Clement, the Cavaliers' leadoff hitter for most of the 2017 season, was a third-team All-ACC selection for the second straight year after batting .315 for the season. His walk-off single in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2015 Super Regional against Maryland sent the Cavaliers to the College World Series, which they went on to win in the program’s first national championship. In 745 career at bats, Clement has struck out just 31 times. With seven strikeouts in 254 at bats in 2017, he ranks the toughest to strike out of any player nationally.
Bettinger concluded his UVA career with his best season as a Cavalier in 2017, going 8-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 63 innings over the course of 21 relief outings. He is just the third pitcher in program history to record at least eight wins in an undefeated season, joining Jacob Thompson (11 in 2007) and Tyler Wilson (10 in 2011).
Bettinger tied for sixth in ACC in wins), third in opponents' batting avrage (.170) and fifth in ERA (2.43) in 2017. Five of his wins came in ACC play.
The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40.