June 11, 2009
ATLANTA – Four members of the 2009 Georgia Tech baseball team, as well as five of the Yellow Jackets’ seven signees, were selected in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which concluded Thursday afternoon.
Outfielder Luke Murton was the first Yellow Jacket taken in this year’s draft, which began Tuesday night and concluded mid-afternoon Thursday. Also selected on the second day of the draft were sophomore outfielder Jeff Rowland and junior starting pitcher Zach Von Tersch. Junior first baseman Tony Plagman gave the Yellow Jackets at least four draft picks for the ninth-straight year when he was selected Thursday afternoon.
Signees Tucker Barnhart, Crawford Simmons, Luke Bard, Brandon Thomas and Buck Farmer were also taken in this year’s draft.
The New York Yankees made Murton the 595th overall pick in the draft with their 19th round selection. The senior concluded his final season on the Flats with a team-best 20 home runs while batting .354 with 63 RBI. He is one of just 10 players in school history to eclipse the 20-home run plateau in a single season and concluded his career ranked among Tech’s career top-10 in doubles (4th, 61), home runs (4th, 47), RBI (7th, 201) and total bases (8th, 465). He was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and was a first-team All-ACC honoree in 2009.
Murton had been drafted twice before, but never higher than the 33rd round. The Yankees made the outfielder their 40th round selection in 2007, and the Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Murton in the 33rd round last year.
The Cleveland Indians selected Rowland in the 21st round as the 635th overall pick after the draft-eligible, second-year outfielder batted .340 with 84 hits and a team-high 21 stolen bases in 2009. The speedy All-ACC first-teamer led the Jackets with 66 runs scored this season and has tallied 43 stolen bases in his first two years on the Flats.
One round later, Von Tersch became the third Yellow Jacket chosen in the 2009 MLB Draft when the New York Mets took the pitcher in the 22nd round as the 674th overall selection. The right-hander concluded his third season on the Flats with a 6-2 record, tallying 52 strikeouts in his 13 starts.
Plagman, who led the Yellow Jackets with 73 RBI while batting .354 in 2009, was the Yankees’ 46th round draft pick as the 1,395th overall selection. The Alpharetta, Ga., native smacked 16 home runs this season to raise his career total to 34, which ranks tied for 19th in the Yellow Jacket career record books.
Barnhart, a catcher from Brownsburg, Ind., was the first 2009 signee drafted, going in the 10th round to the Cincinnati Reds as the 299th overall selection. Simmons, a left-handed pitcher from Statesboro, Ga., followed in the 14th round, when he was taken by the Kansas City Royals with the 422nd pick. Bard went in the 16th round to the Boston Red Sox, the same organization that his brother, Daniel Bard, pitches for, and Thomas, an outfielder from Atlanta, was the Colorado Rockies’ 37th round selection. Rounding out the list of signee selections was the right-handed Farmer, who was taken by the Braves in the 46th round.
The first three rounds of the draft took place Tuesday evening, and rounds four through 30 ran Wednesday afternoon. The draft wrapped with the final 20 rounds Thursday.
* A total of 84 former Yellow Jackets have signed professional baseball contracts during head coach Danny Hall’s 16-year tenure at Georgia Tech, 17 of which have reached the Major Leagues since 1996.
* At least one Georgia Tech player has been selected in the MLB Draft every year since 1980. Since 1965, there has only been seven seasons (1970-72, 75-76, 78, 80) that no Tech player has been selected in the draft.
* 134 different Georgia Tech players have been selected in the MLB draft, 83 of which have come during Hall’s tenure (including Murton, Rowland, Von Tersch and Plagman).
* There have been a total of 157 draft selections in Georgia Tech history, 93 of which have come since Hall’s arrival in 1994 (including Murton, Rowland, Von Tersch and Plagman).
* A total of 55 players that were drafted out of high school have chosen to attend Georgia Tech, 34 of which have played for Hall (including Von Tersch).
Georgia Tech Players in the 2009 MLB Draft
Player Class Pos. Round/Pick TeamLuke Murton Sr. OF 19th/585 YankeesJeff Rowland So. OF 21st/635 IndiansZach Von Tersch Jr. RHP 22nd/674 MetsTony Plagman Jr. 1B 46th/1395 Yankees
Georgia Tech Signees in the 2009 MLB Draft
Player Pos. Round/Pick TeamTucker Barnhart C 10th/299 RedsCrawford Simmons LHP 14th/422 RoyalsLuke Bard RHP 16th/498 Red SoxBrandon Thomas OF 37th/1111 RockiesBuck Farmer RHP 46th/1378 Braves