MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia pitcher Michael Grove, 13 months removed from his last appearance, nonetheless became a second-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers during Monday night’s MLB draft.
The Wheeling Park High School product underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2017, cutting short a promising sophomore season in which he posted a 3-1 record and 2.87 ERA across nine starts. He fanned 61 and walked 15 in 47 innings, while holding hitters to a .174 batting average.
Grove redshirted this season and retains two years of college eligibility, though he’s unlikely to pass up the approximate $900,000 signing bonus linked to the 68th draft slot.
“We feel very comfortable and confident in our player development and medical staff’s ability to get these pitchers back to where they were,” said Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino. “The Walker Buehler example is a good one, and we hope to repeat it with Grove.”
Los Angeles drafted Buehler with the 24th overall pick in 2015 knowing he was headed for Tommy John surgery. Buehler made his major-league debut as a September call-up in 2017 and has started eight games this season.
A 6-foot-3 right-hander, Grove showed a mid-90s fastball before the injury, along with a plus slider. He will turn 22 next season.
Among the West Virginia players selected higher in the draft than Grove are first-rounders Chris Enochs (Oakland, 1997) and Joseph Honce (Minnesota, 1973) and second-rounders Jedd Gyorko (San Diego 2010) and Darrell Whitmore (Cleveland, 1990).
The MLB Draft continues Tuesday and Wednesday with rounds 3 through 40.