Five Canes picked in 2019 MLB Draft

Five Canes picked in 2019 MLB Draft

Stefan Adams
Miami had five players taken in the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft, beginning with junior right-hander Evan McKendry being selected in the ninth round by Tampa Bay on Tuesday, the second day of the draft.

McKendry, who was selected in the ninth round by the Rays with the 278th overall pick, was a team captain in 2019 and Miami’s Friday night starter to open the season. The junior right-handed pitcher went 7-2 over 13 starts in his third season with the Hurricanes, striking out 72 batters over 67.1 innings pitched. He made his NCAA tournament debut on June 1 against Southern University, allowing just one hit over four shutout innings in an elimination game the Hurricanes won, 12-2, before making a run to the Starkville Regional final.

A native of Pembroke Pines, Fla., McKendry had some of his best 2019 performances against Miami’s biggest rivals. The junior threw seven strong innings in a win at Florida, striking out nine Gators while allowing just two runs on four hits. He also was outstanding against Florida State, holding the Seminoles to just three hits and striking out nine over seven shutout innings en route to being named ACC Pitcher of the Week.

McKendry put together a breakout season on the mound in 2018, where he led the Hurricanes staff in wins (seven) and strikeouts (114), as well as compiled a 3.52 ERA – second-best among weekend starters – while earning Third-Team All-ACC honors. McKendry did not miss a turn in the rotation, making 14 starts and posting the first 100-strikeout season by a Hurricane hurler since Bryan Radziewski accomplished the feat in 2014. He was a three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week selection in 2018, winning the award outright on Feb. 26 and March 12 and sharing the honor on March 26.

In three seasons at Miami, McKendry has made 45 appearances and 34 starts compiling an 18-10 record with a career 3.96 ERA and 250 strikeouts over 218.0 innings pitched.

Four University of Miami baseball student-athletes were selected on the third and final day of the draft on Wednesday. Right-hander Gregory Veliz (15th round, Los Angeles Angels), catcher Michael Amditis (21st round, Cleveland), right-hander Mark Mixon (26th round, Los Angeles Dodgers) and right-hander Tyler Keysor (40th round, Milwaukee) all heard their names called on Day 3 of the draft.

Veliz was picked in the 15th round by the Angels, who used the 451st overall pick to select the junior right-hander. Miami’s closer in 2019, Veliz was outstanding out of the bullpen for the Hurricanes. The power right-hander went 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA and nine saves, while striking out 69 batters in 42.1 innings pitched.

A native of Key West, Fla., Veliz began his career as a starting pitcher but was dominant as a reliever in his third season in Coral Gables. Veliz made 47 appearances, including 15 starts, in his career, compiling a record of 8-6 with a career ERA of 3.05 and 161 strikeouts over 121.0 innings pitched. Opposing hitters batted just .179 against him in three seasons as a Hurricane.

Amditis was the 640th overall pick in the draft, selected in the 21st round by the Indians. A team captain in 2019, the redshirt sophomore had a breakout campaign in his first full season with the Hurricanes. Amditis was named Second Team All-ACC after hitting .3-8 with six doubles, seven homers and 24 RBI in the regular season.

A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Amditis played in just 30 games while battling injuries in his first two seasons in Coral Gables. But the third-year player made 48 starts for the Hurricanes in 2019, delivering several key hits and playing outstanding defense behind the plate, throwing out 36 percent of base stealers.

Mixon was selected in the 26th round with the 791st overall pick by the Dodgers. He was a key reliever in his first season with the Hurricanes, posting a 2.33 ERA over 27 innings pitched. The sidewinding right-hander went 31 and struck out 28 batters in his 26 appearances.

A native of Ponte Vedra, Fla., Mixon threw two scoreless innings of relief at the Starkville Regional. He held Southern University to one hits and struck out three in an elimination game that helped propel the Hurricanes on a path to the regional final.

Keysor was selected in the 40th round with the 1,213rd overall pick by the Brewers. A valuable member of Miami’s pitching staff in his first season in Coral Gables, Keysor threw important innings as a starter and reliever in 2019. He was 6-1 with a 3.78 ERA, striking out 38 batters over 47.2 innings pitched.

A native of Windermere, Fla., Keysor stepped up in a big way when two of three weekend starters missed time due to injury. The powerful right-hander made two starts in their absence and won both games, allowing just two unearned runs over 10.2 combined innings against Virginia Tech and Bethune-Cookman.

Comments (9)

Ya ok I love guys that talk out of there butts,you have no clue.
He’s probably right. 4 of the 5 are almost guaranteed to go. Amditis already agreed to terms. McKendry and Veliz are for sure gonna go barring something crazy. Mixon and Keysor are the only two with a shot to return but probably won’t
Out of those, Keyser should be the only one we have a shot at getting back.
Well it looks like my mistake. My apologies straight talk I guess I may be in the minority. I do hope they all stay but I am sure we will lose at least 2.
Well it looks like my mistake. My apologies straight talk I guess I may be in the minority. I do hope they all stay but I am sure we will lose at least 2.
I hope they stay too. But keeping 3 year guys is tough. MLB does view older age as a negative in going through the minors. And if a draftee gets a 4th college payment guarantee, it usually makes sense for them to give MLB a shot.
Out of those, Keyser should be the only one we have a shot at getting back.

Will be interesting to see what happens with him. I think he’s talented, but he hasn’t put it together yet. They won’t offer him that much to sign which will leave coming back as a real option, but it’ll all depend on what Gino has in store for him next year. No sense in coming back if he won’t get innings