Former Virginia pitcher and infielder Nick Howard was in Cincinnati on Monday to sign his professional contract. Howard was the Reds top pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, taken at 19th overall.
"It's definitely a very fun time for my family and I," he told reporter in Cincinnati on Monday. "I'm very excited for the next chapter in my life. I think a week of rest without baseball is enough for me, so I'm ready to get back after it. That's my life. I love playing baseball, so whenever I can get a chance to go back out there I'll be ready for it."
Howard is expected to start his career with the Dayton Dragons, the Class-A affiliate of the Reds.
"It's sort of surreal," he said of his visit to Cincinnati. "It hasn't really hit me yet how the whole process is going through so far. But just being around this ballpark, being on the field and seeing those guys play, it's a lot of fun."
In the 2014 draft, Howard was the first Cavalier selected, becoming the fifth UVa player all-time to be taken in the first round.