Van Belle, Keysor Sign Free Agent Deals

Van Belle, Keysor Sign Free Agent Deals

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami right-handed pitchers Brian Van Belle and Tyler Keysor have signed as free agents following the 2020 MLB Draft.

Van Belle, who signed with the Boston Red Sox organization, was Miami’s ace in 2020 and one of the best pitchers in all of college baseball before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.

The 6-foot-2 right-hander went 2-0 with a team-leading 0.68 ERA and tied with Chris McMahon for a team-best 38 strikeouts while walking just four batters over team-high 26.1 innings pitched. Van Belle was voted team captain by players and coaches ahead of the 2020 season.

A dominant force every time he took the mound, Van Belle did not allow an earned run over his first 26.1 innings pitched in 2020. The redshirt senior posted a career-best 14 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings in a win over Towson on Feb. 28. He earned two preseason All-American nods and was named to Collegiate Baseball‘s 2020 All-America second team. Van Belle was also selected the NCBWA Pitcher of the Month for February and was ranked the top senior pitcher by D1 Baseball following the 2020 season.

Van Belle proved to be one of the top pitchers in the ACC in 2019, earning second team All-ACC honors in his debut season at Miami. A transfer from Broward College, Van Belle opened the season as the Sunday starter and climbed up to the front of the rotation and continued his excellence on the mound. The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native led all starters with a 3.30 ERA and posted a team-high 10 wins, becoming the first Hurricane since Michael Mediavilla in 2016 to earn double-digit victories in a season.

The right-hander struck out 84 batters over a team-leading 95.1 innings pitched a year ago and earned a spot on the All-Starkville Regional Team after he threw eight excellent innings in an NCAA tournament win over Central Michigan, fanning eight Chippewas.

Van Belle started 20 games for the Hurricanes, going 12-2 with a 2.74 ERA. He struck out 122 batters and walked just 28 over 121.2 innings pitched at Miami.

Keysor, who signed with the Cincinnati Reds organization, is a versatile arm who was successful as a starter and reliever at Miami.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander made eight appearances out of the Miami bullpen in shortened 2020 college baseball season, posting a 5.87 ERA and fanning nine batters over 7.2 innings pitched. Keysor did not allow a run in five of his eight appearances in 2020.

Selected in the 40th round with the 1,213rd overall pick by the Brewers a year ago, Keysor was a valuable member of Miami’s pitching staff in his first season in Coral Gables. He threw important innings as a starter and reliever in 2019, finishing the season 6-1 with a 3.78 ERA and 38 strikeouts over 47.2 innings pitched.

A native of Windermere, Fla., Keysor stepped up in a big way in 2019 when two of three weekend starters missed time due to injury. The powerful right-hander made two starts in their absence and won both games, allowing just two unearned runs over 10.2 combined innings against Virginia Tech and Bethune-Cookman.

In two seasons at Miami, Keysor went 6-1 with a 4.07 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 30 appearances, including five starts. Opponents hit .264 against him over 55.1 innings pitched.

Three Hurricanes were selected in the 2020 MLB Draft, held on June 10-11. Sophomore right-hander Slade Cecconi was taken with the 33rd overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, while junior right-hander Chris McMahon went in the second round to the Colorado Rockies and junior shortstop Freddy Zamora was taken in the second round by the Milwaukee Brewers.

With three players drafted, Miami tied with Mississippi State and Texas A&M with the most selections among the top 60 picks in the 2020 MLB Draft.