ATHENS, Ga. - Two current Bulldogs and six members of Georgia's incoming recruiting class were selected on day two of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft on Tuesday.
Junior right-hander Michael Palazzone was selected in the 24th round by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 731st overall pick while in the 23rd round, junior right-hander Cecil Tanner was taken by the Oakland A's with the 706th overall pick.
Palazzone was one of the top pitchers in the Southeastern Conference this past season, going 10-5 with a 3.15 ERA and three complete games. In 120.1 innings, the 6-2, 197-pound native of Marietta, Ga., had 78 strikeouts and just 11 walks. He was instrumental in getting Georgia to the postseason as he was named to the SEC All-Tournament team. The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Corvallis Regional final and ended the year 33-32. For his career, he is 17-11 in 55 games including 29 starts. In 215 innings, he has 170 strikeouts and 51 walks. This is the third time in his career that Palazzone has been drafted. He was an 18th round pick of Atlanta in 2008 and a 32nd round pick by Cleveland last year. Palazzone, a finance major, is an excellent student and three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
"I was glad that I got drafted, and we'll see how it goes, but I haven't really talked with anybody from Milwaukee yet," said Palazzone. "I'll keeping working hard, and I think what we did this year will be a good confidence boost for next season. If you look at the way we started and how we played under pressure much of the year, what we were able to do there at the end was amazing playing against some of the top teams in the country. I'll probably be heading back to school."
Tanner made seven relief appearances for a total of 3.2 innings this year. He was 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA. A 6-6, 255-pound native of Waycross, Ga., Tanner was a 36th round pick of the Atlanta Braves following his senior year at Ware County High School. In his Bulldog career, Tanner is 4-3 with a 7.31 ERA in 59 appearances including five starts. He has pitched 64 innings with 72 strikeouts and 81 walks.
Six members of Georgia's incoming recruiting class were drafted Tuesday. In the fourth round, infielder Tyler Palmer (Wayne County HS, Odum, Ga.) was selected with the 133rd overall pick by the Florida Marlins. The fifth round saw a pair of Bulldog signees go in consecutive picks. Left-handed pitcher/outfielder Matt Taylor (Columbus, Ga.), currently playing at Middle Georgia Junior College, was the 155th overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Then, infielder Patrick Leonard (St. Thomas HS, Katy, Texas) was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the 156th pick. In the sixth round, the Orioles struck again, selecting catcher/infielder Nicky Delmonico (Farragut HS, Knoxville, Tenn.). Delmonico is ranked No. 88 on Baseball America's Top 100 hitting prospects. In the 11th round, infielder Tyler Greene (West Boca HS, Easton, Md.) was drafted with the 361st overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was ranked No. 83 on Baseball America's Top 100 hitters in the draft. In the 23rd round, left-handed pitcher Jarrett Brown (Salem HS, Conyers, Ga.) was taken by the Boston Red Sox with the 712th overall pick.
On Monday, Georgia junior outfielder Zach Cone was a first-round "sandwich" pick by the Texas Rangers as the 37th overall selection. Cone became the ninth first-round pick in school history, and the first since 2008 when the Bulldogs had two in shortstop Gordon Beckham (8th overall) and pitcher Joshua Fields (20th overall). Georgia has a string of 38 straight seasons with at least one playing signing a professional contract.
Also on Monday, Bulldog signee Dante Bichette, Jr., was selected by the New York Yankees as a first round "sandwich" pick at No. 51 overall. A 6-1, 215-pound native of Orlando, Fla., he is the son of former Major Leaguer Dante Bichette. Sandwich picks are given to teams who lose a player to free agency or fail to sign a player in that round from last year's draft.