Teel selected by Red Sox with 14th pick in MLB Draft

By Scott Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia’s Kyle Teel had to wait a little bit longer than most expected to hear his name called during the opening round of the Major League Baseball Draft Sunday night, but the third-year catcher was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the 14th overall pick.

Teel, the ACC Player of the Year, becomes the latest in a long line of Cavaliers drafted in the first round in the Brian O’Connor era. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound native of Mahwah, N.J., led the conference with a batting average of .407, which ranks sixth on UVA’s all-time, single-season list. All season long, Teel kept his batting average above the .400 mark.

Teel set the program’s single-season doubles record, but was surpassed by his teammate, Ethan Anderson, who finished with 26 to Teel’s 25.

A consensus All-American, Teel was the first Virginia catcher to win the Buster Posey Award for college baseball’s top backstop. He will soon be honored as the Top NCAA Male Catcher at the Johnny Bench Awards Luncheon in Cincinnati.

He was also a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, the top two individual honors in college baseball, as well as a first-team All-ACC choice.

Teel established the UVA single-season hits record as well, becoming just the second Wahoo ever to reach the century mark in one year. He finished with 105 hits on the season (236 in his stellar, three-year career), and again was ultimately overshadowed by another Cavalier, as Griff O’Ferrall edged him out with 108.

Teel reached base in 60 of his 65 games as a junior, including in the first 38 of the season. He started all 65 contests this season and the last 175 of his UVA career. Defensively, Teel allowed just 25 stolen bases in 44 attempts by the opposition, and registered a fielding percentage of .995.

He will be joining the Red Sox, who are in need of a solid young catcher in their farm system. Boston Director of Scouting Devin Peterson loves Teel’s upside and can’t wait to bring him into the organization.

“Kyle is a guy that we had very high on our board for obvious reasons,” said Peterson. “He had an unbelievable 2023 season offensively and is arguably one of the best college athletes in the draft. We think he’s going to be really valuable for us. We’re excited to add an athletic catcher to the system, and we were thrilled to get him with the 14th pick.”