Top UVa Recruit Drafted; Another Undecided on Future

A day after graduating from Spotswood High School, Virginia baseball recruit Austin Nicely was headed to Florida for vacation.

When he gets back, the left-handed pitcher will have a decision to make.

Nicely was taken by the Houston Astros Friday night with the first pick in Round 10 of the major league draft. Nicely has until 5 p.m. on July 12 whether to sign a pro contract or honor his commitment to the Cavaliers.

On Saturday, Nicely said he had no idea which direction he'd go.

"I'm still in a whirlwind," he admitted.

Another in-state pitching recruit, right-hander Connor Jones of Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, became the second Virginia commit to be selected when he was taken by the San Diego Padres in Saturday's Round 21.

But the decision is expected to be easier for Jones, ranked by Baseball America as the top prospect in the state, and the No. 34 overall prospect in this year's class. Jones slid to No. 628 overall because he warned teams in advance of the draft that he intended to honor his Virginia commitment.

Baseball America ranked Nicely as the No. 8 draft prospect in the state of Virginia in this year's draft class, and the No. 342 prospect overall. Houston took Nicely with the 287th pick overall, the first in Friday's Round 10.

Nicely was at James Madison University for his high school graduation when he got the news that he was the Astros' selection.

"It was an unreal feeling," Nicely said. "Definitely the most memorable moment I've ever had."

Nicely said he was putting any decision on his baseball future on the back burner until getting back from vacation later this month. But then he says it will get his full attention.

"Definitely the sooner the better," Nicely said.


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