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June 6, 2008

MLB Draft Hurts Perno and Richt

Bye, bye, Brett.

Jason Eller has proved a fantastic recruiting coordinator for David Perno and the baseball program. He's made UGA the place to play for all those elite East Cobb prospects and has cherrypicked some great out-of-staters. How can you tell? The best recruiting class in recent memory was raided yesterday by the MLB draft.

I haven't poured over the draft boards yet, but I know the results weren't good for the baseball team. Signees Brett DeVall and Zeke Spruill got drafted by the Braves at spots 40 and 70 respectively. Those were the two best pitchers we signed. Chase Davidson, a huge first baseman, went to the Astros at 88. But, it could have been worse. Michael Palazzone and Cecil Tanner, two highly touted pitching prospects, are still undrafted and I'd hope they'd be in Athens next year. All of the guys mentioned are top 100 national prospects according to

Not all those drafted prospects may sign with their teams, but I'd imagine the three guys mentioned above are going to be tough to get on campus. We'd love to get them, but we still have some good players without the drafted guys. Brennan May, Jonathan Taylor, and Tyler Maloof are all talented athletes who should be on campus next year. Losing guys to the draft is routine and the coaches know not every signee is going to suit up for Georgia.

Speaking of great athletes, don't expect to see Xavier Avery between the hedges. Avery, who signed with Coach Richt back in February, went to the Orioles at pick 50. He's made no secret that his dream is to play major league baseball. Avery was recruited as an athlete for football. Sanders Commings, another two-sport star, wasn't drafted yesterday and is likely headed to Sanford Stadium rather than a baseball diamond.

Lastly, congratulations to Gordon Beckham, who went at #8 to the White Sox, and Joshua Fields, who went #20 to Seattle. Those high picks are well deserved for two of the best baseball players UGA has ever produced. Both will be impossible to replace next year.



Anonymous said...

Is there a tougher sport to recruit than college baseball? Football is tough in it's own regard because of the sheer amounts of time, energy, and money that are poured into it, but what a tough job Eller and Perno have. And yet, they continue to produce incredible teams!

I am happy for Avery and it is hard for me to see it as a big loss. I would love to see him between the hedges, but my perspective is this opens up a scholly for the smaller '09 class. We may just sign someone as good or better. Best of luck to Avery if he does baseball.

skidawg1985 said...

One never knows with baseball draftees. Maybe the Orioles will not offer him enough money. He then comes to Athens plays both and gets drafted again.

College baseball is the strangest of college sports. I believe there is no requirement to sit out a year to transfer. Players can get drafted just about any time.

macondawg said...

It's also the sport that has the most potential to play hell with a school's APR, what with the crazy transfers and repeated draft eligibility noted by skidawg. And that's before you throw in the scholarship limitations to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Actually, once a player enrolls at a Divison I school, he can't be drafted by MLB for another three years. That's why the good ones usually don't enroll.

JUCO players, on the other hand, can jump whenever.

Fisheriesdawg said...

As to the transfer rules, players will have to sit out a year starting next year when transferring within the same division...same as football, basketball, etc. It used to be that you were allowed one transfer with no punitive damages.

As to draft eligibility, the three years thing is generally the rule of thumb, but if a player turns 21 before the draft he is eligible regardless of his class standing; that just rarely ever happens.

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