Michael Grove Picked on First Day of MLB Draft

Michael Grove Picked on First Day of MLB Draft

In baseball, pitching trumps everything. That’s why WVU junior Michael Grove was selected in the second round of Monday’s Major League Baseball Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite not having thrown a pitch in a live game since April of 2017.

Grove, who underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after an aborted start against Kansas State 14 months ago, displayed everything major league clubs are looking for in a pitching prospect. Making nine starts as a sophomore in 2017  before his season was ended, he  posted a 2.87 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 47.0 innings pitched while holding opposing batters to a .174 batting average. As a true freshman in 2016, Grove had 56 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 45.0 innings while moving into the starting rotation.

WVU pitcher Michael Grove sports a futuristic-looking brace on his surgically-repaired arm

His rapid rise was curtailed by the surgery, which is rarely career-ending. A number of players on the major league level have gone on to outstanding careers after undergoing the procedure, which involves replacing the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow with another one, typically from a donor.

Thus, it’s no surprise that Grove was picked by the Dodgers with the 68th overall selection, even though the placement might have been a bit higher than expected. Reactions from around the baseball world credited Los Angeles with getting in on him early, with some calling it a steal.

A native of Wheeling, W.Va., Grove is the 11th Mountaineer to be drafted in the top 10 rounds and the fourth to be picked in the top two.  He is WVU’s 87th draft selection in program history, since the first draft was held in 1965. He is West Virginia’s highest draft pick since 2010, when Jedd Gyorko was selected in the second round with the 59th overall pick by the San Diego Padres.

In coach Randy Mazey’s six seasons, Grove is WVU’s 17th draft selection and the first to be picked above the eighth round. The righthander is the sixth Mountaineer picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the first since right-hander Vance McCracken in 2001 in the 18th round. WVU’s first-ever draft pick, in 1965, saw left-hander John Radosevich get selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round.

Along with Grove and Gyorko, WVU’s draft picks in the top two rounds include outfielder Darrell Whitmore, who was selected in the second round by the Cleveland Indians in 1990, and righty Chris Enochs, who was drafted in the first round by the Oakland Athletics in 1997.

Grove has until July 6 to decide whether or not to begin his pro career or return to WVU for his senior season, but given his high spot and the amount of money he can expect to make in a signing bonus, the decision might not be a difficult one. The assigned value for his draft slot is $917,000, although he could be offered a higher or lower amount, depending on how the Dodgers wish to use their allocated bonus pool money. Los Angeles can spend $5,288,200 on its first ten selections without paying a tax or penalty.

The MLB Draft continues on Tuesday, with the third-10th rounds, while the draft concludes with rounds 11-40 on Wednesday.

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    Michael Grove Picked on First Day of MLB Draft In baseball, pitching trumps everything. That’s why WVU junior Michael Grove was selected in the second
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    Good payday for being picked on the first day. $1Million is nothing to sneeze at. But….. Could he improve significantly enough next year to go in the 1st? More than double the money if he gets picked at the bottom of round 1. Tripple if he’s round #22 or better.

    Take it now or see what you’re worth if you can put up the numbers next year. This is a hard decision. Hard to pass up 1st day draft pick.


    That’s a great question, and the only one that really would push him toward staying. A lot would depend on when he is released to throw again. If it’s relatively soon, he could begin that process in the pros now. If it’s later, is that a point in favor of returning?

    All that said, I agree this will be very tough for him to turn down.


    Coming off of Tommy John surgery I would be signing that pro contract. Sucks for WVU


    WVU’s anticipated starting rotation for this year was Grove, Myers and Dotson. Two of those never started a game, Grove never pitched, and Dotty got just 7.2 innings. Myers was out of the rotation for a bit as well.

    As a WVU fan, it is tough that we might not get to see Grove again. He was going to be a dominant workhorse in the Big 12.

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