KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee junior slugger Zach Daniels was the third Vol selected in the 2020 MLB Draft after being chosen with the final pick of the fourth round (No. 131 overall) by the Houston Astros on Thursday night.
Daniels joins fellow juniors Garrett Crochet (first round) and Alerick Soularie (second round) as UT players selected, marking the first time since 2007 that Tennessee has had three players picked in the first four rounds of the same draft. Daniels is the ninth player in program history to be selected by Houston.
Daniels was in the midst of a breakout year in 2020 prior to the season being cut short. Despite playing just 17 games, Daniels had already set career highs in runs (20), hits (20), doubles (eight), RBI (18) and stolen bases (three).
The Stockbridge, Georgia, native was leading the team in batting average (.357), runs, doubles, RBI and slugging percentage (.750) before the season was canceled. Daniels was named the Round Rock Classic Most Valuable Player after helping lead the Big Orange to a perfect 3-0 weekend against some of the country’s top competition. In the Vols’ tournament opener against then No. 1 Texas Tech, Daniels went 2-for-4 with two runs and hit an inside-the-park home run to lead UT to a 6-2 victory.
During his three seasons on Rocky Top, Daniels combined to hit 13 home runs and drive in 44 runs. He also hit 11 doubles and scored 49 runs.
The 2020 draft is currently airing on ESPN2. Follow @Vol_Baseball on Twitter and Instagram for the most up-to-date coverage on Tennessee’s drafted players.