Local players sampling first taste of pro ball
by Adam Carrington
July 07, 2013 10:59 PM | 2530 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Of the 10 local players drafted in June’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, nine have signed and are either playing Single A or rookie ball for their respective organizations.

Former Lassiter High School standout Stephen Janas heads the list of four Kennesaw State pitchers who were drafted a month ago.

He was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the sixth round and was sent to Danville for rookie ball. Janas had one of the nation’s lowest ERAs of 1.14 and it hovered below one until the final game of the season.

Janas had 9-1 overall record with his only loss coming in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship.

He would have preferred a better start, however. He has a 5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings pitched with four walks and three strikeouts, but he may not be because he’s in a slump.

Janas is now done for the season because of soreness in his shoulder and said that the team wanted to take precautions on his rehabilitation.

Still, the experience he had playing pro ball in the Braves organization was worthwhile.

“It was awesome,” Janas said. “It’s a different type of baseball with wood bats. I didn’t pitch as well as I would like to, but it was an awesome experience. I hate it got cut short but I hope to get back out there.”

Other Kennesaw State Kevin McCoy was taken in the 24th round by the Seattle Mariners. Alan Busenitz was snagged in the 25th by the Los Angeles Angels, and the Texas Rangers gave Travis Dean another shot in the 26th round after drafting him in the 22nd round a year ago.

McCoy is playing rookie ball with the rookie league Mariners in the Arizona League.

Busenitz is playing rookie ball for the Orem (Utah) Owlz and Dean is playing Single A for the Spokane (Wash.) Indians.

Southern Poly pitcher Nick Blount, who was taken in the ninth round by the Chicago White Sox, is playing rookie ball for the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers out of the Pioneer League. He’s got a 4.76 ERA in 5 2/3 innings pitched and has given up six runs on eight hits.

The Loganville native and South Gwinnett graduate came to Southern Poly after pitching three seasons at Tennessee. He was second in the Southern States Athletic Conference with eight saves

Former Wheeler standout Sam Bragg, who pitched at Georgia Perimeter, was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 13th round, is off to a solid start in rookie ball for the AZL Athletics. In 7.1 innings pitched this season, he’s given up just two hits and two walks while striking out 14.

Another Wheeler product, Evan Mitchell, signed with the Cincinnati Reds just five days ago after getting drafted in the 13th round from Mississippi State.

Jared Breen from Sprayberry High School, the only hitter of the bunch, was drafted in the 24th round by the Baltimore Orioles out of Belmont University. He currently plays Single A ball for the Aberdeen (N.Y.) IronBirds of the New York-Penn League.

Breen is in the same league with former Wheeler pitcher Sam Agnew-Wieland, who was drafted in the same round by the New York Yankees out of Appalachian State University. Agnew-Wieland is playing for the Single A Staten Island (N.Y.) Yankees where he has a 3.52 ERA.

Stephen Wrenn, who led Walton to the Class AAAAAA state semifinals, was drafted by the Braves in the 28th out of high school, was the lone draftee who didn’t sign.

He chose to start his collegiate career at Georgia, where he will be playing on a full scholarship.

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