Four current West Virginia Mountaineers and one in-state commit are expected to participate in the inaugural MLB Draft league season, set to begin on Monday. Rosters have not yet been announced for the newly-formed six-team league, but potential players have been spotlighted on MLB.com over the last few months.
Current Mountaineers Austin Davis, Tyler Doanes, Madison Jeffrey and Paul McIntosh have already been spotlighted as well as WVU commit Grant Hussey from Parkersburg South High School. The MLB Draft League will give draft-eligible players the opportunity to play in a high-level wood bat league leading up to and following this summer’s MLB Amerature Draft.
Davis, a junior outfielder, is hitting .316 for WVU this season with 10 extra-base hits, 17 RBI, 25 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. Prep Baseball Report (PBR), who handles scouting responsibilities for the Draft League, highlighted Davis’s speed as his best tool, calling him the “most electric player on West Virginia’s squad”. Davis played at Conrad Academy in Orlando, Florida before coming to WVU.
Doanes is a senior infielder from Fayetteville, Georgia. A three-year starter, Doanes has hit .295 across four seasons as a Mountaineer. In 2021, Doanes is hitting .243 with six doubles, 20 RBI and 16 runs scored. Like Davis, PBR lists speed as Doanes’s top tool. Doanes was an All-Big 12 honorable mention in 2019.
McIntosh, a senior, is the only one of these four players to have been drafted previously. Coming out of Motlow State Community College in 2018, McIntosh, another Florida native, was selected in the 34th round by the Los Angeles Angels. In the three seasons since, McIntosh has hit .262 with 20 career home runs for West Virginia. He has played catcher and left field for WVU this season while hitting .263 with 16 extra-base hits and 24 RBI. PBR questions if McIntosh will stay behind the plate as a professional or transition to the outfield.
Jeffrey, a junior relief pitcher, was the top high school recruit in West Virginia coming out of Cabell Midland in 2018. He has a 5.94 ERA with four saves as WVU’s closer this season. PBR likes Jeffrey’s 94-96 mph fastball, saying it had “elite late life”. They also like his curveball and newly-added changeup.
Finally, Hussey is a first baseman and outfielder who signed with WVU in November. He committed to WVU all the way back in 2018 as a freshman at Parkersburg South. Last summer, Hussey played for a North Carolina-based travel team that competed in tournaments all across the country.
“Grant has a classic, left-handed swing that projects to hit for average, as well as power in the Big 12,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey when Hussey signed in November.” He has continued to develop as a player and has made himself into one of the top players in the country for the 2021 class.”
Although the Draft League is scheduled to begin on Monday, neither WVU’s nor the WV high school seasons will be done by then. The Mountaineers are finishing their regular season with a three-game series in Texas this weekend with the Big 12 tournament set to begin next Tuesday. Parkersburg South is scheduled to finish its season on May 25 with the state tournament scheduled to begin on June 24. Per the MLB Draft League guidelines, players will be permitted to finish their college or high school seasons before reporting to their Draft League team.
The West Virginia Black Bears, who share Mon County Ballpark with WVU, is one of the six inaugural Draft League teams. The Black Bears are scheduled to play their season-opener on Monday against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.