Former University of Tennessee pitcher Luke Hochevar was selected with the first pick overall by the Kansas City Royals in the Major League Baseball free agent draft.
Hochevar went to the Los Angeles Dodgers at No. 40 a year ago but the two were unable to finalize a deal. The former Vol's agent, Scott Boras, scared away several teams in the previous draft but the combination of new management in Kansas City and the reality of how sitting out consecutive seasons could ruin a career made Hochevar worth the risk.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
Ironically, the Dodgers went back to the Volunteer State well with a high pick in this year's draft as well by taking former Tullahoma prep star and current Motlow State Buck Bryan Morris with the No. 26 pick of the first round.
Morris fanned 108 in 79 innings pitched for the Bucks this season and compiled a minuscule ERA of 0.91. The Coffee County kid showcased a major-league caliber curveball en route to being tabbed by several scouts and publications as the premiere junior college pitcher in the country.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted Morris a season ago but a change of management helped prevent his signing.
A foe of Shelbyville Central's this past season, Oooltewah's Kyler Burke, went No. 35 overall to the San Diego Padres.
Another former Vol, Sean Watson, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round with pick No. 52. Watson struck out 47 and walked 17 in 41 innings pitched on Rocky Top this year.
Middle Tennessee State catcher Michael McKenry was snatched up with selection No. 198 in the seventh round by the Colorado Rockies.
Another backstop, UT's Kelly Edmondson, went to the Cleveland Indians in round 11.
Chapel Hill's Mikie Minor, a 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher who's been a thorn in Cascade's side for years, fell to the Devil Rays in the 13th round.
Vanderbilt right-hander Matt Buschmann went to the Padres in round 15.
MTSU senior and former Golden Eagle third baseman Josh Horn could see his name called today as the draft concludes.
Numerous ballclubs will be looking for "senior signs" to fill out their rookie level teams. These are players that franchises know will be thirsty to play without strenuous contract negotiations and can help them fill out rosters for the rest of the season with a chance to climb the minor league ladder. Horn is such a prospect.