June 13, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia junior Ernie Clement (Rochester, N.Y.) and senior Alec Bettinger were selected Tuesday in the second day of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Clement was chosen in the fourth round (No. 132 overall) by the Cleveland Indians, while Bettinger was selected in the 10th round (No. 294) by the Milwaukee Brewers.
This marks the fourth time Virginia has had at least five top-10 MLB Draft picks in a season (2008, 2011, 2014). Clement and Bettinger join UVA teammates Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.), Adam Haseley (Windermere, Fla.) and Tommy Doyle (Vienna, Va.) as 2017 draftees. Smith and Haseley were selected seventh and eighth, respectively, in the first round on Monday, while Doyle was picked in the Competitive Balance B portion following the second round.
A Third-Team All-ACC honoree for the second straight year in 2017, Clement batted .315 with a pair of homers, 34 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 58 games this season. He primarily played shortstop in 2017, but has spent time the bulk of his UVA playing time at second base while also getting some time in center field.
Clement has played in 180 career games at Virginia, racking up 228 hits. He has been a part of three NCAA tournament teams at Virginia, and his walk-off single in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2015 Super Regional against Maryland sent the Cavaliers to the College World Series, which they went on to win in the program’s first national championship. In 745 career at bats, Clement has struck out just 31 times. With seven strikeouts in 254 at bats in 2017, he ranks the toughest to strike out of any player nationally.
Clement also was named the 2016 MVP of the Cape Cod Summer League.
Bettinger concluded his UVA career with his best season as a Cavalier in 2017, going 8-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 63 innings over the course of 21 relief outings. He is just the third pitcher in program history to record at least eight wins in an undefeated season, joining Jacob Thompson (11 in 2007) and Tyler Wilson (10 in 2011).
Bettinger tied for sixth in ACC in wins (8), third in opponent batting (.170) and fifth in ERA (2.43) in 2017. Five of his wins came in ACC play.
Over the course of his four years at UVA, Bettinger made 82 appearances, which is seventh most in program history, and recorded 22 wins, tied for fourth in school history. He went 22-10 in his career and racked up 219 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings. He was part of four straight NCAA tournament teams, including back-to-back College World Series Finals teams in 2014 and 2015, while winning the national title in 2015.
The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 11-40.