MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s middle-infield combination faces a decision after the MLB draft.
Second baseman Kyle Gray, selected in the 14th round by the Yankees on Wednesday, and shortstop Jimmy Galusky, chosen in Round 20 by the White Sox, have started 50-plus games across each of the past three seasons. Whether one or both return for their senior seasons could depend on the bonus money their ballclubs can offer. Signing bonuses outside the top 10 rounds vary wildly.
The 5-foot-10 Gray enjoyed a breakout season this spring, ranking third in Big 12 hitting (.374), fourth in homers (14), second in slugging (.622) and third in on-base pct (.462). He had batted .265 with three homers over his first two college seasons at WVU.
While Galusky’s batting average this season dipped to .253 — nine percentage points off his career mark — he set personal highs with seven homers and 30 RBIs. The 6-foot-3 homegrown prospect from Preston High has started 171 of 173 games since redshirting his first year for the Mountaineers.
Draftees face a July 6 deadline to sign with their pro teams.
West Virginia is almost certain to lose junior pitcher Michael Grove, who is slotted to command a $900,000 signing bonus after being taken in the second round by the Dodgers at No. 68 overall. Grove didn’t pitch this season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Senior pitcher BJ Myers became the fourth Mountaineer drafted when he was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 35th round. The right-hander opened his final season as WVU’s ace but finished 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA after temporarily shifting to the bullpen.
West Virginia is in danger of losing top high school signee Lawrence Butler, a first baseman/outfielder from Atlanta who became a sixth-round pick of Oakland.
Among other recruits, outfielder Theo McDowell of Essex Junction, Vermont, was drafted in the 14th round by the Rangers and junior college catcher Paul McIntosh was selected by the Angels in Round 34.