UVA baseball players Whit Mayberry (R-Sr., Alexandria, Va.) and Nate Irving (Jr., Yonkers, N.Y.) each were selected Saturday in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Virginia had eight players chosen in the draft, tying the 2011 class for the second most in program history. UVa had nine players drafted in 2010.
Mayberry was a 21st-round selection (No. 640 overall) of the Detroit Tigers, while Irving was taken in the 34th round (No. 1020 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Mayberry and Irving join six Cavalier teammates who were chosen in the MLB Draft. Nick Howard (Jr., Olney, Md.), Derek Fisher (Jr., Rexmont, Pa.) and Mike Papi (Jr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) each were selected in the first round. Brandon Downes (Jr., South Plainfield, N.J.) and Branden Cogswell (Jr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) were seventh-round selections, while Artie Lewicki (Sr., Wyckoff, N.J.) was taken in the eighth round.
Mayberry is 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA out of the bullpen this year. Opponents have batted just .178 against him. He fired 4 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday in UVa’s NCAA Super Regional opener against Maryland. He owns an 18-3 career record and 2.99 ERA in 85 games; he ranks sixth in program history in games pitched.
A third-team All-ACC selection, Irving is batting .236 this season in 50 games. He owns a home run and 17 RBI. He has been strong in slowing the opposing run game, throwing out 12-of-26 runners attempting to steal. He is a .268 career batter in 159 games.
Neither Mayberry nor Irving previously was drafted out of high school.