June 8, 2015
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia junior left-handed pitcher Nathan Kirby (Jr., Richmond, Va.) and junior right-hander Josh Sborz (McLean, Va.) each were selected in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Monday. Kirby was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers Monday with the 40th overall pick as part of the Competitive Balance A Round, which is sandwiched between the first and second rounds. Sborz was taken 74th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of the Competitive Balance B Round, which comes between the second and third rounds.
Kirby is the ninth Virginia player to be selected as part of the MLB Draft’s first round/competitive balance A round. Three Virginia players were selected among the MLB Draft’s first 40 picks last year — Nick Howard (19 overall), Derek Fisher (37) and Mike Papi (38).
Kirby is 5-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 10 starts this season, although he has missed the last eight weeks after suffering a strained lat muscle on April 17. At the time of his injury, Kirby led the ACC with 75 strikeouts. Despite the injury, Kirby was named First-Team All-ACC for the second consecutive season. A 2014 First-Team All-American, Kirby was the ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year last season.
Kirby is 18-6 with a 2.76 ERA in 52 career games at Virginia (30 starts). In 205 1/3 innings, Kirby has struck out 224 batters and limited his opponents to a paltry .218 batting average. He was 9-3 with a 2.06 ERA in 18 starts last season as he held his foes to a .175 batting average.
A 2015 Second-Team All-ACC pick, Sborz is 4-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 60 innings this season and was named to the midseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award. He is tied for the ACC lead with 14 saves and has limited opponents to a .164 batting average.
Sborz has made 76 career appearances, which is tied for seventh most in program history. In 187 career innings, he has allowed just 128 hits while striking out 171 and holding his foes to a .195 batting average. He ranks sixth in school history with 16 career saves.
The draft continues Tuesday with rounds 3-10. Rounds 11-40 will be conducted on Wednesday. Virginia plays in the College World Series at 3 p.m. Saturday against Arkansas.