IMG Academy Baseball Program has Nine Alumni Selected in the 2023 MLB Draft
BRADENTON, Fla. (July 14, 2023) – IMG Academy’s baseball program had nine former student-athletes selected in the 2023 MLB Draft between July 9-11 including 53rd overall pick in University of North Carolina outfielder Mac Horvath to the Baltimore Orioles. He was joined by collegiate baseball IMG Academy alumni University of Virginia third baseman Jake Gelof (60th, Los Angeles Dodgers), University of Florida shortshop Josh Rivera (81st, Chicago Cubs), Chipola College two-way player JeanPierre Ortiz (498th, Cincinnati Reds), Florida Southern College catcher Drew Cavanaugh (510th, San Francisco Giants) and Eastern Kentucky catcher Will King (609th, Atlanta Braves).
Directly drafted from IMG Academy, outfielder TayShaun Walton was selected 130th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was joined by catcher Stone Russell (529th, Kansas City Royals) and pitcher Cam Johnson (605th, St. Louis Cardinals).
The 2023 MLB Draft marked the 17th time in the last 19 years IMG Academy had a draft selection, and 16th time in the last 17 years the baseball program had multiple alumni drafted in the same draft. It was the third time since 2019 where IMG Academy had five or more alumni selected in a single draft and with the selections of Horvath, Gelof and Rivera, IMG Academy has had 10 alumni picked in the top-three rounds of the MLB Draft in that same time span.
“Having nine IMG Academy alumni selected in this year’s MLB Draft was an honor for the baseball program and shows the caliber and commitment of the student-athletes we have here as every one of these young men excelled in the classroom and on the field,” said Dan Simonds, Director of Baseball at IMG Academy. “This has been a very special year for the baseball program as our current IMG Academy student-athletes won a national championship, we had 14 alumni play in the College World Series, and to have nine MLB Draft picks on top of that, it speaks volumes to what we’ve built.”
Overall, IMG Academy has had 64 alumni drafted in the MLB Draft to 27 different organizations with 37 selections directly from IMG Academy and 23 from collegiate baseball programs. Read more about the IMG Academy MLB Draft selections below.
Mac Horvath, Outfielder – University of North Carolina (No. 53 – 2nd Round | Baltimore Orioles)
Horvath attended IMG Academy in 2020 and played college baseball at the University of North Carolina. In 2023, he led the Tar Heels in slugging percentage (.711), runs (73), RBIs (66), triples (2), home runs (24), sacrifice flies (4), and stolen bases (25).
Jake Gelof, Third Baseman – University of Virginia (No. 60 – 2nd Round | Los Angeles Dodgers)
Gelof graduated from IMG Academy in 2020 and played Division I baseball at the University of Virginia. While at UVA, Gelof became UVA’s all-time home run leader, tallying 38 career home runs. He was named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and a First Team All-ACC selection at third base.
Josh Rivera, Shortstop – University of Florida (No. 81 – 3rd Round | Chicago Cubs)
Rivera graduated from IMG Academy in 2019, where he hit .352 with 25 RBI in 25 games, earning a place on Perfect Game’s Florida Region All-High School Senior First Team. At the University of Florida, Rivera received various SEC distinctions, including First Team All-SEC (2023). He was a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding shortstop.
During the 2023 campaign, Walton played in all 25 games for IMG Academy, recording a team-high 37 RBIs, .473 batting average and 1.297 OPS. Walton was named a First Team All-American by MaxPreps and a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Ortiz graduated from IMG Academy in 2022 and went on to play at Chipola College where he collected 37 hits and nine home runs at the plate, and three wins and four saves as a pitcher during the 2023 season.
Drew Cavanaugh, Catcher (No. 510 – 17th Round | San Francisco Giants)
Cavanaugh graduated from IMG Academy in 2020, where he was named Most Valuable Player his senior year. At Florida Southern College, Cavanaugh finished his 2023 campaign with a .316 batting average and led the team with 12 home runs.
Stone Russell, Catcher (No. 529 – 18th Round | Kansas City Royals)
Russell played in all 25 games for IMG Academy during the 2023 season and recorded 35 RBIs, a .442 batting average and a 1.240 OPS. Russell, a Bradenton, Florida native, is the only student-athlete in the history of IMG Academy to complete every grade at the school from kindergarten to high school.
Cam Johnson, Pitcher (No. 605 – 20th Round | St. Louis Cardinals)
As a senior, Johnson recorded 43 strikeouts in 27 innings on his way to six wins, with a 0.78 ERA. He was named a First Team All-American by MaxPreps and a Second Team All-American by Baseball America.
Will King, Catcher (No. 609 – 20th Round | Atlanta Braves)
King graduated from IMG Academy in 2020 and batted .425 during his junior season and earned all-section honors as a sophomore. At Eastern Kentucky University, King earned several collegiate honors including Midwest All-Region Second Team and Second Team All-ASUN Conference.
It’s been a banner year for IMG Academy baseball program overall. After a program-best 25-0 season, MaxPreps named IMG Academy Baseball national champions. Fourteen IMG Academy alumni played in the NCAA Division I College World Series, including three alumni in the championship between Louisiana State University (Tommy White, Brady Neal) and the University of Florida (Rivera). White and Neal became the first IMG Academy alumni to win the College World Series.
About IMG Academy
IMG Academy is the world's leading sports education brand, providing a holistic education model that empowers student-athletes to win their future, preparing them for college and for life. IMG Academy provides growth opportunities for all student-athletes through an innovative suite of on-campus and online experiences:
Boarding school and camps, via a state-of-the-art campus in Bradenton, Fla.
Online coaching via the IMG Academy+ brand, with a focus on personal development through the lens of sport and performance
Online college recruiting, via the NCSA brand, providing content, tools, coaching and access to a network of 40,000 college coaches
To learn more about IMG Academy and its on-campus and online experiences, visit www.imgacademy.com.