Wieters & Payne Highlight 10 Yellow Jackets Selected in 2007 MLB Draft

June 7, 2007

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters and center fielder Danny Payne were selected on the first day of 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. SS Michael Fisher, LHP Tim Ladd, OF Wally Crancer, RHP Eddie Burns, LHP David Duncan, RHP Jared Hyatt, 1B/OF Luke Murton and LHP Ryan Turner were selected on day two of the draft.

The 10 Tech players selected ties the previous school record, which was set in 2004.

Wieters, the fifth overall pick to the Baltimore Orioles, became just the third player in school history to be selected in the top five in the Major League Baseball Draft, joining Ty Griffin, the fourth pick in the 1988 MLB Draft, and Mark Teixeira, the fifth pick in 2001.

He is the seventh Georgia Tech player selected in the first round of the MLB Draft, joining Kevin Brown (1986), Griffin, Jason Varitek (1994), Nomar Garciaparra (1994), Teixeira and Tyler Greene (2005). A first-team All-America selection in 2006 and 2007, Wieters, who was undrafted out of high school, hit .358 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI this season.

Payne, the Yellow Jackets’ fifth supplemental selection in history, was the 64th player selected in this year’s draft when he was taken by the San Diego Padres. He joins Jay Payton (1994), Mark Fischer (1997), Richard Lewis (2001) and Matt Murton (2003) as Georgia Tech’s supplemental selections. The junior center fielder led Tech in average (.370), on base percentage (.509), runs (68), hits (81), doubles (20), walks (62) and stolen bases (20) in 2007.

The last time the Yellow Jackets had at least two players selected before the second round of the draft was 2001. This marks the second-straight year that Georgia Tech had at least seven players selected.

The second day of selections began in the sixth round after just five rounds were completed Thursday due to the three-hour first round, which was televised (on ESPN2) for the first time in history.

Fisher was the 14th player drafted on the day two of the draft, going in the sixth round as the 198th overall pick to the Atlanta Braves. The Yellow Jacket shortstop hit .330 on the season with 14 doubles, three home runs and 38 RBI.

Ladd was also selected by the Atlanta Braves, taken in the ninth round with the 288th overall pick. The left-handed pitcher has made 59 appearances in his career on the Flats, posting a 6-3 record with two saves in 86.2 innings

Crancer became the fifth Yellow Jacket selected in the 2007 MLB Draft when he was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th round with the 369th overall pick. The senior, who played just two seasons at Georgia Tech after transferring from Riverside Community College in California, finished second on the team with a .363 average in 2007, and had eight home runs and 52 RBI on the year.

Burns became the third Georgia Tech player selected by the Atlanta Braves when he was taken in the 16th round. The redshirt sophomore posted a 3-3 record in 2007, pitching in 18 games while making 12 starts.

Duncan, the ace of the Yellow Jacket pitching staff in 2007, was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 23rd round. The true sophomore, a 14th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2005, posted a 7-4 record with 86 strikeouts and a 3.72 ERA this season.

Hyatt was the fourth Yellow Jacket pitcher to be selected in the 2007 MLB Draft when he was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 33rd round. The redshirt senior finished his stellar career on the Flats with a 15-3 record, which tied him for seventh in the Tech career annals for highest winning percentage. His 82 career appearances also stands tied for eighth, and he struck out 9.38 batters per nine innings pitched, which ranks 12th in the Yellow Jacket record books.

Murton, who played outfield and first base as well as spending time as the DH in 2007, was taken in the 40th round by the New York Yankees. The true sophomore has hit .282 in his career, with 15 home runs and 87 RBI.

Capping the Yellow Jackets’ draft picks was Turner, a senior from Dahlonega, Ga. The left-handed pitcher went in the 45th round to the Texas Rangers after wrapping up his career with a 17-13 record in 67 games pitched, 39 of which were starts.

Overall, all three of the Yellow Jackets’ weekend starters, as well as two key members of the bullpen were selected, while Tech had five position players taken in this year’s draft class.

Georgia Tech Players in the DraftPlayer          Class   Pos.    Round/Pick      TeamMatt Wieters Jr.     C       1st/5           OriolesDanny Payne   Jr.     OF      1st*/64         PadresMichael Fisher     Jr.     SS      6th/198         BravesTim Ladd         Jr.     LHP     9th/288         BravesWally Crancer       Sr.     OF      12th/369                OriolesEddie Burns   So.-R   RHP     16th/498                BravesDavid Duncan So.     LHP     23rd/700                NationalsJared Hyatt   Sr.-R   RHP     33rd/1008               RangersLuke Murton   So.     1B/OF   40th/1217               YankeesRyan Turner   Sr.     LHP     45th/1337               Rangers

Georgia Tech Signees in the Draft Player Pos. Round/Pick Team Jarrod Parker RHP 1st/9th Diamondbacks Neil Ramirez RHP 1st*/44 Rangers Derek Dietrich 3B 3rd/111 Astros * denotes supplemental first round draft pick

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