Morris could face decision following MLB Draft

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Tanner Morris has hit a combined .324 the past two baseball seasons at Virginia. Depending on what happens this week, that could end up being the infielder's career batting average.

Since he's 21 years old, Morris is eligible for selection in this week's MLB Draft as a sophomore. MLB.com has Morris at No. 104 overall on its prospect rankings list; the Miller School product is at No. 124 overall on Baseball America's rankings. Morris is the highest-ranked UVA player on either list.

Morris was an All-ACC third team selection at shortstop this season, after leading UVA in batting average (.353), runs scored (54) and doubles (21). After adding roughly 30 pounds after his freshman season, Morris raised his home run total from two to five, his doubles total from nine to 21, and his slugging percentage from .374 to .511.

Morris also hit .331 with eight doubles and 24 runs scored for the Harwich Mariners last summer in the Cape Cod league, earning both all-star and team MVP honors.

Depending on when he's selected -- and how much money the team that drafts him is willing to offer to get him to sign -- Morris could either turn pro, or return to UVA for a third college season. Based on those rankings, Morris is projected to come off the board at some point during the MLB Draft's second day on Tuesday.

The Wahoos have had at least one player selected on the first day of the MLB Draft every year since 2014. UVA is the only program in the country with at least one first-round pick in each of the past five drafts.

Junior right-hander Noah Murdock (No. 304 overall) is the only other UVA player on Baseball America's top 500 list of prospects. Murdock is also ranked as the No. 52 college pitcher in the draft pool by D1Baseball.com. That website also has Morris (No. 46) and outfielder Cam Simmons (No. 70) on its list of the top 100 college hitters in the draft.

Two UVA recruits from the Philadelphia area -- right-hander Jack Kochanowicz and outfielder Chris Newell -- are both regarded as two of the top 100 players in this year's draft class. Baseball America has Kochanowicz at No. 61 overall and Newell at No. 85 overall. MLB.com has Kochanowicz at No. 75 and Newell at No. 96.



 
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