As expected, UVA junior lefthander Nathan Kirby signed with the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday in advance of the 5 p.m. deadline set by Major League Baseball for 2015 draft picks to make a final decision.
The good news for Virginia baseball fans is that shortstop Daniel Pinero will return to school after declining to sign with the Detroit Tigers, who had drafted him in the 36th round.
Kirby, a 2014 first-team All-American, agreed to terms on a contract with the Brewers organization that includes a $1.25 million signing bonus. After missing more than two months in 2015 due to a lat injury, Kirby, a first-round draft pick, returned to the mound for UVA in the 2015 College World Series, and got the save in the deciding Game 3 win in the CWS Championship Series over Vanderbilt, striking out five batters in two innings of relief.
Kirby was 5-3 with a 2.53 ERA and one save in 12 games, 11 starts, in 2015, with 82 strikeouts and 32 walks in 64 innings, allowing 55 hits and an opponent batting average of .233.
He finishes his UVA career with an 18-7 record and 2.87 ERA in 54 games, 31 starts, in three seasons, with 230 strikeouts and 78 walks in 210 innings, allowing 166 hits and an opponent batting average of .219.
Pinero, a draft-eligible sophomore, had a .308/.409/.419 slash line in 2015, with six homers and 29 RBI, and nine stolen bases in 11 attempts.
– Story by Chris Graham