Three Jackets Taken on Day 2 of MLB Draft - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Three Jackets Taken on Day 2 of MLB Draft

ATLANTA - Georgia Tech juniors Matt Skole, Mark Pope and Jacob Esch were all taken on the second day of selections during the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft.

All three players join junior pitcher Jed Bradley, a first round selection on Monday, as Tech players selected in 2011.

Third baseman Matt Skole was the first Jacket taken on day two of selections, as the Washington Nationals drafted him in the fifth round with the 157th overall pick.

The Woodstock, Ga. native concluded his third season on the Flats with a team-leading .348 batting average, having belted 10 home runs with 58 RBIs. Skole also held a .545 slugging percentage and a .445 on-base percentage. He has 47 career home runs, tying for the fifth-most all-time in school history.

A freshman All-America selection in 2009, Skole earned All-ACC honors in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

"It was real exciting," said Skole of hearing his name called. "It has been a life-long dream of mine to get drafted, and my family and I are real excited. I am glad the Nationals have given me the opportunity to pursue my goals, and hopefully everything will work out."

Right-hander pitcher Mark Pope was taken later in the same round going to the San Diego Padres with the 173rd overall pick. Pope was previously selected in 2009 as an 18th round pick by the Atlanta Braves out of high school.

The Marietta, Ga. native was one of the top pitchers in the ACC this season after going 11-4 with a 1.74 ERA in 113.2 innings. The Jackets' Friday starter earned Louisville Slugger All-America honors, was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award (nation's top amateur player) and was named to the All-ACC First Team.

He is 24-6 with a 3.00 ERA in three seasons, having tossed six career complete games. Pope's four career complete game shutouts are a Georgia Tech modern day record, while the 3.00 ERA is the 10th-best in the school record books.

The Florida Marlins took shortstop Jacob Esch in the 11th round (343 overall) on Tuesday. Despite playing most of his career in the infield, Esch was drafted as a pitcher by the Marlins.

The St. Paul, Minn. native started all 63 games for the Jackets, batting .319 with six home runs, 41 RBI and nine stolen bases. Esch led the entire ACC with 23 doubles on the year. The multi-talented player made six appearances on the mound (5.0 IP) in 2011, holding a 1.80 ERA with one save.

Esch earned Capitol One Academic All-America honors and was a quarterfinalist for the Brooke's Wallace Award, given to the nation's top shortstop.

All four Yellow Jackets maintain a season of eligibility.

Three Tech signees were also taken in the draft – Dwight Smith (Peachtree City, Ga.), Jake Burnette (Buford, Ga.) and Tyler Gibson (Macon, Ga.). Smith went in the compensation round (53rd overall) to the Toronto Blue Jays, Burnette in the seventh round (212 overall) to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Gibson in the 15th round (467th overall) to the Detroit Tigers.  Burnette is the younger brother of former Tech outfielder Chase Burnette (2008-2010).

The draft will conclude on Wednesday.

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