UVA commit Farmelo signs with Seattle Mariners; O’Donnell inks deal with Reds

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: instagram.com/jonny_farmelo

Jonny Farmelo loved everything about the University of Virginia’s baseball program, but in the end, the lure and the money of Major League Baseball was too much to overcome for the Cavaliers.

The Seattle Mariners, who drafted the UVA commit with the 29th pick in the first round, signed Farmelo with a signing bonus for a total deal of $3.2 million. The Chantilly, Va., prospect was Virginia’s top recruit for the Class of 2023.

Farmelo was in Seattle on Wednesday for a workout at T-Mobile Park where he hit three home runs in batting practice.

“I love UVA, and I love the coaching staff there, but as soon as the first scout showed up at my game, I was hooked on pro ball, and I wanted to be a pro,” Farmelo told the Seattle Times. “I’m competitive, and pro ball offers a bigger challenge. It’s a little harder, a little more elite, and so I’m kind of drawn to those types of things. I wanted to be a pro, as much as I love UVA.”

Former Virginia first-team, All-ACC star Ethan O’Donnell has agreed to terms with the Cincinnati Reds for $307,500 (a tad below his slot value of $348,400 as the No. 168 pick, sixth round).

O’Donnell, who transferred to UVA from Northwestern, won the Rawlings Division I Gold Glove Award with just one error over 65 games last season. He hit .354 for the Cavaliers, including 13 home runs, 57 RBI, 18 doubles and 90 hits.

Meanwhile, left-handed pitcher Connelly Early, who transferred to Virginia from Army and posted a 12-3 record in 18 starts this past season for the Cavaliers, signed a $408,500 deal with the Boston Red Sox (full slot value as the No. 151 overall pick, fifth round).

Also, lefty Jake Berry, the towering, 6-foot-10 reliever for UVA, has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Guardians.