After being selected in the 20th round of the MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians, Virginia Tech pitcher Nic Enright told us that he will be signing with the Indians, forgoing his final year of eligibility with Virginia Tech.
Enright was one of three Hokies selected in the 2019 MLB Draft along with Kerry Carpenter and Jack Dellinger. Mark Berman of the Roanoke Times reported last week that Carpenter and Dellinger would be turning professional while Enright still hadn’t reached a final decision at that point.
Nic Enright had this to say about his reasoning for signing with the Indians instead of returning to Virginia Tech.
“I felt that this was the right time to start my professional career, because if I chose to stay another year I would have no negotiating leverage in the draft next year,” Enright said.
That issue of leverage is a significant one with many MLB teams picking seniors in the latter portion of the first 10 rounds simply because they usually will sign significantly under slot due to that lack of leverage, creating more room to sign other players over their slot value.
After injuries limited him in 2016 and forced him to redshirt during the 2017 season, Enright showed improvement over the past few years as he moved into a swing man/part-time starter role with his best season coming this past season. During this season, Enright made 5 starters among his 21 appearances with a 1-3 record, 3.93 ERA, and 63 strikeouts in 50.1 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .210 batting average. Enright was previously selected in the 19th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, but chose to attend Virginia Tech instead of signing with the Mets out of high school.
The departure of Nic Enright and Jack Dellinger along with Luke Scherzer exhausting his eligibility leaves a hole in the Virginia Tech bullpen while leaving a hole in the Sunday starter spot behind Ian Seymour and Chris Gerard. Expect Ryan Okuda, Jaison Heard, and Peyton Alford to be among the top candidates to fill in those spots not only in the bullpen but also possibly in the rotation with Okuda having some starting experience in the past.