With two picks, the Hokies extend their streak to nine straight years with multiple selections
On the final day of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Virginia Tech pitcher Aaron McGarity was selected by the New York Yankees in the 15th round with the 452nd overall pick which extended the Hokies’ streak of at least two players chosen in the MLB draft to nine straight years.
McGarity, a redshirt-junior from Richmond, Virginia, is just the second player ever picked by the Yankees, with the other being pitcher Bean Stringfellow during the 1984 draft. In that draft, the lefty was chosen with the 440th selection after his junior season, but chose to go back to Tech and was again drafted in 1985, so never played in the Yankees’ organization.
This is the second time McGarity has been drafted, as the righty was a 34th-round selection of the Boston Red Sox in 2016. After returning to Blacksburg for another season, he improved his stock by 566 picks, which is the second-best improvement for a Hokie in their draft history. Kevin Kurilla went from the 1,418th pick in 1996 to the 326th choice in 1997, bettering his selection by more than 1,000 picks.
Only three other Hokies have ever improved their pick by more than 400, and those include Jay Phillips, 664 to 246 (418), and Brian Rupe, 596 to 162 (434), between the 1981 and the 1982 drafts, and Ronnie Shaban, 1,475 to 1,020 (455) in the 2011 and 2012 drafts. In all, 13 Hokies have been drafted, returned to Tech and were drafted again and the baker’s dozen have combined to improve their selection by an average of 186 picks.
Tech’s string of nine straight years with multiple choices in the MLB draft is the longest stretch ever in program history. The longest prior to the current streak was a pair of three straight drafts with at least two picks – the 1981 through 1983 drafts and the 1988 through 1990 drafts. In all, Tech has had multiple players chosen in 24 of the 52 years of the draft.
Also, during their current run (since 2009), Tech has seen 26 different players chosen in the draft with 20 of them never being drafted prior to their arrival in Blacksburg, which includes McGarity and yesterday’s ninth-round selection Packy Naughton. In the 52 years of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, Hokies have been chosen a total of 86 times.
— Courtesy of VT Athletics