Halifax County High School baseball standout and University of Virginia lefty Andrew Abbott will return to Charlottesville for his senior season after going undrafted in this year’s shortened MLB Draft.
Abbott was projected to be selected in the five-round draft, but to the surprise of many, he was not picked. This year’s draft was different than those in the past, with previous drafts going 40 rounds. Unselected players are allowed to sign with a team as an undrafted free agent if they choose, but the maximum signing bonus is only $20,000, a move by MLB to help teams save money during the coronavirus pandemic.
Late Saturday night Abbott posted on Twitter that he would be returning to UVA to finish out his college baseball career.
“More work to be done. Can’t wait to be back in Charlottesville! Go Hoos,” Abbott wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday night.
Abbott’s return to UVA makes the Cavaliers an early favorite to make it back to the College World Series in Omaha, where they haven’t been since winning the National Championship in 2015.
In the first two years of Abbott’s college career at UVA, the team did not make the NCAA tournament for the first time in over 12 years. This year’s Cavaliers team looked poised to make it back to the postseason for the first time in Abbott’s career, but COVID-19 ended the season prematurely.
Abbott was having a great start to his 2020 campaign, posting a 1.35 ERA in 13 1/3 innings of relief. Abbott struck out 28 batters and walked only eight. Abbott was one of the top relievers in all of college baseball, and will be at the top of that list again when he returns in 2021.
Abbott graduated from UVA in May with his bachelor’s degree, and now returning for his senior season he will be able to pursue a master’s degree while he finishes out his baseball career.