ATHENS — With the 2007 Georgia baseball season complete, attention now turns to Major League Baseball’s annual First-Year Player Draft set for June 7-8. A handful of current Bulldogs and members of Georgia’s recruiting class should hear their name called this week.
Georgia junior pitcher Joshua Fields, senior pitcher Adam McDaniel, senior outfielder Jonathan Wyatt and redshirt sophomore pitcher Stephen Dodson should draw interest from among the 30 Major League organizations.
“The draft is an exciting time for college and high school players who are presented an opportunity to play professional baseball,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “We do our best to help our players and recruits make an educated decision on their future. We are excited about the potential of our team next season, and we’ll see where we stand after the draft.”
For the first time in the history of the draft, a portion of it will be televised live. ESPN2 will televise the first four hours of the draft (2-6 p.m.) from Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. After the completion of ESPN2’s coverage, the first day of the draft will proceed until approximately 8:30 p.m. Also, MLB.com will go on the air live from Florida at 6 p.m., providing full coverage after ESPN2’s telecast.
The entire draft can be followed online at MLB.com. On Friday, the draft will resume at 11:30 a.m.
The draft will have 50 rounds and will end after all 30 teams have passed on a selection or after the final pick of the 50th round, whichever comes first. Teams retain the rights to sign a selected player until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 15, or until the player enters, or returns to, a four-year college on a full-time basis.
Recently, Baseball America released a “National Top 200 Prospect List,” and Fields ranked 58th, which would equate to a supplemental first round pick. Along with the 30 first round picks this year, there will be 34 supplemental first round picks for teams as compensation for players lost due to free agency.
Last year, Georgia pitcher Brooks Brown was a supplemental first round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks. As the 34th overall pick in the draft, he received a $900,000 signing bonus from Arizona. Brown is pitching for the Visalia Oaks in the California League (High-A), posting a 5-1 mark with a 2.85 ERA in 11 starts.
In his three-year Bulldog career, Fields ranks third in school history with 23 saves and sixth in appearances with 78. He is 7-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 150 strikeouts and 47 walks in 115 1/3 innings pitched. For the second year in a row, Wyatt led the Bulldogs in hitting and finished with a .328 career batting average.