ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs had seven current players and 11 members of its incoming class selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.
On Wednesday, four Bulldogs and four signees were drafted bringing the final tally to 18 this year. Georgia saw 11 out of its 20 signees drafted this year. The 2011 wrapped up Wednesday with rounds 31 through 50.
"This is a very busy time for us catching up with everybody, and we're happy with the way everything went," said Georgia coach David Perno. "It looks like we'll have the nucleus of our team back including some great veterans like Levi Hyams and the guys that went today and hopefully a good portion of our high school signees too. I think we've got some momentum and I'm excited about what's ahead."
A memorable day began for the Bulldogs in the 33rd round when the Texas Rangers selected junior outfielder Johnathan Taylor. Currently, Taylor is undergoing rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta after sustaining a broken neck in an outfield collision with teammate Zach Cone in a game earlier this season.
"We thought selecting Johnathan was the right thing to do," said Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg. "We would have drafted him either way, regardless of any other circumstances involving his injury or Zach's draft status. Our area scout in Georgia, Ryan Coe, has had a relationship with Johnathan since he was a high school player. The club has always liked his passion and ability as a player.
"A few weeks ago, myself and a couple other members of our department visited Zach Cone in Georgia in the course of normal pre-draft activity. We presented Zach with a Rangers jersey for Johnathan that had been signed by the entire club, and asked if Zach could deliver it to his teammate.
"As an organization, I think all of us are always trying to do the right thing in any situation. Taking Johnathan in the draft today, it was something we felt was right."
In the 34th round, redshirt-sophomore pitcher Tyler Maloof was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. Junior outfielder Peter Verdin went in the 39th round to the Washington Nationals. Junior outfielder Chase Davidson was a 41st round pick of the Houston Astros. Maloof ranks among the national leaders in saves with 18, going 2-2 with a 7.16 ERA in 28 relief appearances. Verdin batted .258-1-15 in 63 games including 52 starts while Davidson hit .278-7-31 in 51 games including 38 starts.
Verdin, a 6-0, 196-pound native of Alexandria, Va., said he was excited to learn of his selection by Washington.
"When I heard I'd been drafted by the Nationals I thought that was cool because that's my hometown team," said Verdin. "I wasn't sure if I was going to get drafted and going in the 39th round, I'm not expecting too much so I'll probably be coming back to school. I was really happy for J.T. (Johnathan Taylor), what the Rangers did to show that support."
In the later rounds Wednesday, Georgia signees Mike Mancuso, David Sosebee, Hunter Cole and Heath Holder were drafted. Right-hander Mancuso (Breksville, Ohio, Breckvsille HS) was a 46th round pick of the Chicago White Sox. Right-hander Sosebee (Cleveland, Ga., White County HS) was drafted in the 48th round by Boston. Washington selected Cole, an outfielder (Moore, S.C., Dorman HS) in the 49th round while Holder (Loganville, Ga., Loganville HS), an outfielder/pitcher was drafted by Colorado in the 50th round.
Current Georgia Bulldogs In the 2011 MLB Draft
Zach Cone, OF, Texas, 1st Round Compensation, 37th overall
Cecil Tanner, RHP, Oakland, 23rd Round, 706th overall
Michael Palazzone, RHP, 24th Round, 731st overall
Johnathan Taylor, OF, Texas, 33rd Round, 1,014th overall
Tyler Maloof, RHP, Cleveland, 34th Round, 1,028th overall
Peter Verdin, OF, Washington, 39th Round, 1,177th overall
Chase Davidson, OF, Houston, 41st Round, 1,240th overall
2011 Bulldog Recruiting Class In the 2011 MLB Draft
Dante Bichette, Jr., INF, N.Y. Yankees, 1st Round Compensation, 51st overall
Tyler Palmer, INF, Florida, 4th Round, 133rd overall
Patrick Leonard, INF, Kansas City, 5th Round, 156th overall
Matthew Taylor, LHP, Baltimore, 5th Round, 155th overall
Nick Delmonico, C/INF, Baltimore, 6th Round, 185th overall
Tyler Greene, INF, Philadelphia, 11th Round, 361st overall
Jarrett Brown, LHP, Boston, 23rd Round, 712th overall
Mike Mancuso, RHP, Chicago White Sox, 46th Round, 1,401st overall
David Sosebee, RHP, Boston, 48th Round, 1,462nd overall
Hunter Cole, OF, Washington, 49th Round, 1,477th overall