Virginia’s Kyle Teel is ACC Baseball’s Player of the Year

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

Kyle Teel was sitting alone in the dugout, waiting to do a group interview with media on Monday morning, when Brian O’Connor approached him, gave him some good news, followed by an emotional, congratulatory hug.

The Virginia coach broke the news to his all-star catcher that he had been selected as the ACC Player of the Year.

“[O’Connor] said, ‘Hey, K.T., just want to let you know you’re gonna win ACC Player of the Year and I’m really proud of you,’” Teel said when asked how his coach broke the news. “It still hasn’t really set in yet, but I mean it’s just such an honor to win that accolade. I just want to thank my teammates and coaches. It’s a real honor.”

While Teel was blown away with the ACC Player of the Year honor, it wasn’t one of his goals.

“To be honest with you, all I really care about is winning games and having fun,” Teel said. “Whatever comes along with that is awesome, but right now our goal is to win an ACC Tournament and then after that, our goal is to go to Omaha and win the whole thing. So that’s what we’re striving to do as a team, and there’s going to be a lot of fun things that come along with that.”

O’Connor was excited to break the news to Teel, who is enjoying one of the best seasons ever by a Cavalier player.

“Kyle Teel is one of the best players in college baseball,” O’Connor said. “First and foremost is that he catches every inning for us. I think he’s caught every inning but maybe four or five all year, and that’s so rare in baseball.

“You know a lot of times people give a catcher a day off and they DH him, but he’s ready to play every day. The energy he has, what he’s done to win the ACC batting title is incredibly impressive. We’re just so proud of him and fortunate that he’s in our uniform.”

Teel has 11 home runs and 58 RBI this season (seventh among ACC players), with his .480 on-base percentage placing him fifth in the conference heading into postseason play. Ranked the No. 1 catcher in the country by, Teel won the ACC batting title.

A semifinalist for the Dick Howser award, symbolizing college baseball’s top player, Teel has started all 55 games for the Cavaliers this season and a staggering 113 consecutive games going back to last season at the catcher position. He is also on the Buster Posey Award Watch List.

Joining Teel with All-ACC First Team honors were third baseman Jake Gelof, shortstop Griff O’Ferrall and outfielder Ethan O’Donnell, while first baseman Ethan Anderson along with pitchers Connelly Early and Brian Edgington were named to the Third Team.

Virginia, the Coastal Division champion and No. 2 seed in this week’s ACC Championships in Durham, begins pool play on Wednesday at 3 p.m against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets (No. 11 seed) take on (No. 7 seed) North Carolina in pool play on Tuesday at 3 p.m. UVA is set to face the Tar Heels on Thursday at 3 p.m. (see complete bracket below).

Player of the Year – Kyle Teel, Virginia, Jr., C
Pitcher of the Year – Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest, Jr., RHP
Freshman of the Year – Cam Cannarella, Clemson, Fr., OF
Defensive Player of the Year – Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina, So., OF
Coach of the Year – Tom Walter, Wake Forest

All-ACC First Team
Billy Amick, Clemson, So., DH/UT
Cam Cannarella, Clemson, Fr., OF
Alex Mooney, Duke, So., SS
Stephen Reid, Georgia Tech, Jr., OF
Yohandy Morales, Miami, Jr., 3B
Andrew Walters, Miami, So., RP
Jake Gelof, Virginia, Jr., 3B
Ethan O’Donnell, Virginia, Jr., OF
Griff O’Ferrall, Virginia, So., SS
Kyle Teel, Virginia, Jr., C
Jack Hurley, Virginia Tech, Jr., OF
Josh Hartle, Wake Forest, So., SP
Justin Johnson, Wake Forest, Jr., 2B
Nick Kurtz, Wake Forest, So., 1B
Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest, Jr., SP
Sean Sullivan, Wake Forest, So., SP

All-ACC Second Team
Chris Flynn, Boston College, Gr., SP
Caden Grice, Clemson, Jr., SP
James Tallon, Duke, Fr., RP
Jack DeLeo, Georgia Tech, Jr., OF
Angelo Dispigna, Georgia Tech, Sr., OF
Jackson Finley, Georgia Tech, So., DH/UT
Carson Liggett, Louisville, So., SP
CJ Kayfus, Miami, Jr., 1B
Dominic Pitelli, Miami, Jr., SS
Gage Ziehl, Miami, So., SP
Mac Horvath, North Carolina Jr., OF
Jackson Van De Brake, North Carolina, Jr., 2B
Jacob Cozart, NC State, So., C
Aidan Tyrell, Notre Dame, Gr., SP
Tommy Hawke, Wake Forest, So., OF
Brock Wilken, Wake Forest, Jr., 3B

All-ACC Third Team
Travis Honeyman, Boston College, Jr., OF
Joe Vetrano, Boston College, Jr., 1B
Cooper Ingle, Clemson, Jr., C
Jackson Baumeister, Florida State, So., SP
Kristian Campbell, Georgia Tech, Fr., 2B
Christian Knapczyk, Louisville, Jr., SS
Blake Cyr, Miami, Fr., 2B
Zach Levenson, Miami, Jr., OF
Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina, So., OF
LuJames Groover III, NC State, Jr., 3B
Kyle Hess, Pitt, Gr., OF
Ethan Anderson, Virginia, So., 1B
Connelly Early, Virginia, Jr., SP
Brian Edgington, Virginia, Gr., SP
Carson DeMartini, Virginia Tech, So., DH/UT
Seth Keener, Wake Forest, Jr., RP
Camden Minacci, Wake Forest, Jr., RP
*17 players on the third team due to a tie in the voting

All-ACC Freshman Team
Cam Cannarella, Clemson, OF
Andrew Fischer, Duke, INF
James Tallon, Duke, RP
Cam Smith, Florida State, 3B
Kristian Campbell, Georgia Tech, 2B
Blake Cyr, Miami, 2B
Casey Cook, North Carolina, OF
Dominic Fritton, NC State, SP
Cannon Peebles, NC State, C
Eli Serrano III, NC State, 1B
Brody Donay, Virginia Tech, C
Garrett Michel, Virginia Tech, 1B