Home Two UVA centerfielders, Jonny Farmelo and Ethan O’Donnell, sign MLB deals

Two UVA centerfielders, Jonny Farmelo and Ethan O’Donnell, sign MLB deals

Chris Graham
uva baseball ncaa tournament
Photo: UVA Athletics

UVA baseball’s top recruit for the class of 2023, Jonny Farmelo, is headed to the Seattle Mariners farm system, after signing with the organization on Wednesday.

Farmelo, a lefthanded-hitting centerfielder, a first-round pick of the Mariners in last week’s MLB Draft, received a $3.2 million signing bonus.

The Chantilly native was clearly thinking toward pro ball despite his UVA commitment.

“I love UVA, and I love the coaching staff there, but as soon as the first scout showed up at my game, I was hooked on pro ball, and I wanted to be a pro,” Farmelo told the Seattle Times. “I’m competitive, and pro ball offers a bigger challenge. It’s a little harder, a little more elite, and so I’m kind of drawn to those types of things. I wanted to be a pro, as much as I love UVA.”

The guy that Farmelo would have replaced in center field, Ethan O’Donnell, signed this week with the Cincinnati Reds, who took O’Donnell in the sixth round of last week’s draft.

O’Donnell signed for a $307,500 bonus.

The Gold Glove outfielder slashed .354/.448/.587, with a 1.035 OPS, 13 homers, 18 stolen bases and 57 RBIs at Virginia in 2023.

Option #3 in center for coach Brian O’Connor is Bobby Whalen, who committed to Virginia from the transfer portal earlier this month.

Whalen, as a redshirt junior at Indiana in 2023, slashed .277/.368/.383, with a .751 OPS, three homers and 39 RBIs.

On the defensive side, Whalen had five outfield assists from center in 2023.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].