Two More Vols Sign MLB Contracts

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(Photo via Maury Neipris/Tennessee Athletics)

Tennessee had six player selected in the 2019 MLB Draft last week. A handful of those players were taken in the later rounds of the draft, which means there isn’t a guarantee they’ll forgo their final seasons at UT to go pro. Center fielder Jay Charleston has already come to a decision, signing with the Kansas City Royals after being drafted by them in the 26th round. Now, two more Vols have officially signed with the MLB teams that drafted them.

Both Andre Lipcius and Andrew Schultz have signed with their respective MLB teams. They both will go ahead and pursue their professional careers rather than returning to UT.

Andre Lipcius signed with the Detroit Tigers for the full slot value of $733,100. The Tigers drafted him with the 83rd overall pick in the 3rd round of last week’s MLB Draft.

As a junior for the Vols, Lipcius led the team in hits (73), home runs (17), RBI (58), plate appearances (237), and total bases (139). He was second on the team in runs (51), doubles (15), and walks (31).

Lipcius started at third base in all 61 games for Tennessee this season and helped lead the Vols to the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2005.

The Williamsburg, Virginia native earned SEC Player of the Week on May 13th after going 6-for-13 in a road series win over Florida. Lipcius also hit his 14th home run of the season against the Gators.

Coming into the season, Lipcius was ranked the No. 56 overall draft prospect by D1 Among SEC players, Baseball America rated him the No. 17 draft prospect for the 2019 MLB Draft.

As a freshman in 2017, Lipcius was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball after hitting .275 in 52 starts. He also earned SEC All-Freshman honors.

Lipcius finishes his career with a .300 batting average and 25 career home runs at UT. In 633 at-bats, he scored 122 runs, tallied 190 hits, collected 126 RBI, hit 37 doubles, and drew 90 walks. His slugging percentage sits at .483, and he finishes with an on-base percentage of .393 in his UT career.

Having played both third base and shortstop during his time in Knoxville, the 6-foot-1 infielder holds a fielding percentage of .968.

Coming out of high school, Lipcius was ranked as the No. 3 shortstop and the No. 19 overall player in the state of Virginia by Perfect Game. At Tennessee, he majored in Nuclear Engineering.

Lipcius’ twin brother, Luc, will be a redshirt junior for the Vols next season after redshirting this year due to a foot injury.

Tennessee has been a pipeline of late for the Detroit Tigers.

Christin Stewart, an outfielder for the Vols from 2013-15, was selected by the Tigers with the 34th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Stewart made the 2019 Opening Day roster for the Tigers and starts in left field. This season, he’s hitting .241 with four home runs and 20 runs driven in.

Former Tennessee infielder A.J. Simcox is a current members of the Tigers’ organization as well. Simcox was drafted in the 14th round of the 2015 draft and currently plays for Detroit’s Double-A affiliate.

Will Maddox, another former infielder for the Vols, was drafted by the Tigers in the 18th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

Lipcius is the first Vol to be selected in the first three rounds of the MLB Draft since Nick Senzel was taken No. 2 overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2016 MLB Draft. He’s the sixth Vol since the 2009 draft to be taken in the first three rounds.

Hard-throwing relief pitcher Andrew Schultz signed with the Philadelphia Phillies after they drafted him with the 180th overall pick in the 6th round of last week’s MLB Draft. Schultz signed for $225,000 despite the slot value of the pick being $272,500.

Schultz broke out in 2019 after barely being used out of the bullpen his freshman and sophomore seasons. This season, the junior set career-highs in appearances (26), wins (3), innings pitched (25.0), ERA (3.24), saves (2), strikeouts (39), and opponent batting average (.191). In 17 of his 26 appearances this season, he did not allow a hit.

Despite his best season as a Vol, Schultz struggled with command at times. He walked 22 batters, but he still managed to hold opponents to a batting average of .191.

Schultz can hit 100 MPH on his fastball, and he finally started to reach more of his potential this past season with UT. After a disastrous sophomore campaign, Schultz was a highly effective reliever out of the bullpen for the Vols this season.

As a sophomore for UT in 2018, Schultz appeared in eight games, pitching just 15.0 total innings. He struck out nine and had an ERA of 11.25.

During his freshman campaign, the right-hander appeared in 17 games, going 1-0 with one save, a 3.31 ERA, and 19 strikeouts through 16.1 innings of work.

In high school, the 6-foot-4 flame-thrower was a four-year letterman from Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, Georgia. Schultz was named the No. 22 right-handed pitcher among Baseball America’s Top 500 Prospects entering the 2016 Major League Draft. He was also rated as the No. 4 right-hander and the No. 114 overall player in the state of Georgia entering his senior season by Perfect Game and tabbed as the No. 34 right-handed pitcher in the nation.

While at Tennessee, Schultz majored in business analytics.

He finishes his career as a Vol with a 4-3 record and a 4.56 ERA. In 49.1 innings of work, Schultz struck out 67 hitters. He picked up three saves over the course of his career.

Schultz joins former Tennessee pitcher Zach Warren in the Phillies organization. Warren, who was drafted in the 14th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, plays for Philadelphia’s Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers.

Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.