GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A dream became a reality Monday night for some of the top high school and college baseball talent in Georgia.
Major League Baseball kicked off its 2018 MLB Draft with the first two rounds Monday. Players with connections to the state topped the draft.
Pitcher Casey Mize, from Auburn, was the No. 1 overall selection. Mize played high school baseball in Alabama, but played travel baseball with Team Georgia Baseball Academy. The Detroit Tigers selected Mize.
The No. 2 selection was Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart. The ACC Player of the Year was selected by the San Francisco Giants.
Anthony Seigler, from Cartersville High School, was the first high school player from Georgia selected. The New York Yankees selected him with the No. 23 pick.
Former Lambert High School standout Seth Beer was the next player with Georgia ties taken. Beer ranked as one of the best hitters in college baseball the last three years, but there were concerns about where he could play defensively. He played college baseball at Clemson and was drafted by the Houston Astros.
The #MLBDraft is underway!— Nelson Hicks (@NelsonHicksWSB) June 4, 2018
Where will @ForsythCentAD's @EthanHankins go? He's 1 of several Georgia high school players who will be drafted tonight.
Hard-throwing righty hits mid-90s with his fastball. pic.twitter.com/gzcVjVrtNe
RHP Ethan Hankins from Forsyth Central was the next Georgia player to hear his name called. Hankins was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the No. 35 pick. Scouts listed Hankins, when healthy, as having the best fastball in the draft.
That moment when your dreams turn into reality.— Nelson Hicks (@NelsonHicksWSB) June 5, 2018
Congrats to @ForsythCentAD's @EthanHankins for getting drafted by the @Indians tonight in the #MLBDraft.
More: https://t.co/p6KZkWddoT pic.twitter.com/jJCy8OBuWI
Grayson outfielder Parker Meadows was the first player taken in the second round. The Detroit Tigers selected Meadows. His brother, Austin Meadows, was drafted out of Grayson, too. The Pittsburgh Pirates recently promoted the elder Meadows to their major league club.
The final player with Georgia ties taken in the opening night of the MLB Draft was Brookwood catcher Will Banfield. The Miami Marlins selected Banfield with the No. 69 pick.
14 years ago, @bwoodbsball's @will_banfield started playing baseball.— Nelson Hicks (@NelsonHicksWSB) June 4, 2018
14 years later, he'll hear his name called in the MLB Draft!
Good luck tonight to the @Bwoodsports catcher. pic.twitter.com/pFotI1ELDv
RHP Kumar Rocker, out of North Oconee High School and RHP Cole Wilcox, out of Heritage High School in Ringold, were not selected in the first two rounds despite being ranked as two of the best players in the draft. MLB.com ranked Wilcox as the 19th best player available this year and Rocker as the 23rd best.
The Atlanta Braves selected RHP Carter Stewart of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida with the eighth overall pick.
Stewart, 18, went 6-4 with 128 strikeouts, 26 hits allowed and a 0.91 ERA (8 ER/61.2 IP) in 11 games on the mound for Eau Gallie this season, while being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound native of Melbourne also batted .313 with seven home runs to help the Commodores to the Class 6A, District 13 tournament semifinals.
“We are fortunate to add Carter to the organization,” Braves Director of Amateur Scouting Brian Bridges said. “We’ve been fortunate to select Braves-type pitchers, Braves-type players over the last couple of years, and we feel Carter is another example of that type of player.”
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