LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The amazing thing is that the University of Louisville baseball team had eight players selected in the just-completed Major League Baseball draft.
The even more amazing thing is that Louisville baseball has had eight players drafted in each of the past four seasons, and five of the past six. It's an incredible run for the program and coach Dan McDonnell.
Not every player drafted will elect to leave the program. A few might well. Here’s a rundown of the eight players chosen, and where they were drafted. Bios and stats are courtesy of the U of L sports information department.
LOGAN WYATT (First baseman, Round 2, Pick 51, San Francisco Giants): Wyatt is the 10th Cardinal taken in the second round or higher, all of which have occurred since McDonnell took over the program in 2007. Louisville has had a player chosen in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft in four straight seasons and five of the last six.
The Louisville native has spent three seasons with the Cardinals, hitting .310 in 145 career games. Wyatt has tallied 51 extra-base hits, including 15 home runs and driven in 125. His patient approach at the plate has resulted in 134 career walks, with 68 during the 2019 season. Wyatt is just one free pass shy of Louisville's single-season record of 69 set by Kevin Malone in 1980.
He is a two-time All-ACC selection, earning second team honors at first base this season. He was also recognized by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as an All-American in 2018, along with being an All-Lubbock Regional selection as a sophomore.
MICHAEL McAVENE (Pitcher, Round 3, Pick 103, Chicago Cubs): McAvene has blossomed as Louisville’s closer in his junior season, dominating opponents at the end of games. The second team All-ACC selection is 2-0 on the season with seven saves. He has a 2.67 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. McAvene had arguably his best moment in a Cardinal uniform last Friday night in the NCAA Regional opener against UIC, entering the game with the tying runs on second and third and nobody out in the ninth inning. The Camby, Ind., native proceeded to strike out three consecutive hitters to secure the win for the Cardinals. For his career, McAvene has pitched in 39 games, striking out 87 in just 58 innings of work.
TYLER FITZGERALD (Shortstop, Round 4, Pick 116, San Francisco Giants): The Rochester, Ill., native has started 159 games over his three-year career with the Cardinals. The junior shortstop has made strides offensively each year, culminating in his best season in the program. Fitzgerald currently leads Louisville with a .321 average, with 78 hits and 62 RBIs. He also has 14 doubles, seven homers and 18 stolen bases on the year. He earned third team All-ACC honors this season and was a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, which recognizes the top shortstop in the country. Fitzgerald was previously selected in the 30th round of the 2016 draft by the Boston Red Sox before enrolling at U of L.
NICK BENNETT (Pitcher, Round 6, Pick 193, Milwaukee Brewers): Bennett has been a staple in the Louisville weekend rotation in each of his three seasons. The southpaw was thrown into the fire early in his career and was a freshman All-American in 2017. He’s also a two-time All-ACC selection and is planting his name alongside some of the best pitchers to play in the Louisville program. Bennett is ninth on Louisville’s career wins list with 20 and games started with 38. The Cincinnati product has a career 3.49 ERA with 206 punchouts in 211.2 innings. Bennett took the ball twice for the Cardinals during the NCAA Regional last weekend, picking up the win over UIC in Friday’s opener before tossing two shutout frames in Monday’s regional final. Bennett was taken in the 40th round by the Giants in 2016 before he joined the Louisville program.
BRYAN HOEING (Pitcher, Round 7, Pick 201, Miami Marlins): Hoeing has now had his name called in the MLB draft on three separate occasions. The senior was selected in the 32nd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 before he came to Louisville, then was drafted by the Giants in the 36th round last season before electing not to sign and return to school. Working as both a starter and reliever, Hoeing has made 55 career appearances for the Cardinals. The right-hander holds a 10-5 career record with a 3.12 ERA in 150 innings. He opened the 2019 season in the weekend rotation, but has since moved to the bullpen and been a large part of Louisville’s success. As a reliever this season, Hoeing has a 2.13 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 38 innings. Hoeing was the first in relief in Monday’s regional-clinching victory over Illinois State, tossing five innings of one-hit baseball.
JAKE SNIDER (Outfielder, Round 20, Pick 604, Pittsburgh Pirates): Snider has played in 161 games over his three-year career at Louisville. The junior outfielder is a career .292 hitter with 74 RBIs, 121 runs scored and 39 stolen bases. Snider has been at his best in the postseason, going 25-for-52 (.481) in 14 career NCAA Championship games, including three of his four career home runs, 11 runs scored and 14 RBIs. Snider was just named the Louisville Regional Most Outstanding Player and on the All-Lubbock Regional Team in 2018.
DREW CAMPBELL (Outfielder, Round 23, Pick 697, Atlanta Braves): After one season in junior college, Campbell joined the Cardinals for the 2018 season and has played in 115 games during the last two seasons. The outfielder is hitting .298 for his career with 26 extra-base hits, 47 runs and 74 RBIs. Campbell has started 46 games this year as a junior, and is fifth on the team with 33 RBIs. The Jeffersonville, Ind., native was 4-for-11 last weekend and named to the All-Louisville Regional Team.
SHAY SMIDDY (Pitcher, Round 36, Pick 1,088, Tampa Bay Rays): Smiddy has worked primarily out of the bullpen in three seasons with the Cardinals. The junior has made 57 appearances, with 51 coming in relief. Smiddy is 7-1 overall with a 2.91 career ERA, recording 105 strikeouts in 89.2 innings. The righthander is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 2019, striking out 28 in 23.1 relief innings.
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