June 7, 2013
THE FLATS – Three current Georgia Tech players, and one commitment, were selected during the first five rounds of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Rounds 6-10 continue on Friday, with rounds 11-40 on Saturday.
Junior OF Daniel Palka was the first Jacket off the board, being selected in the third round with the 88th overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the fourth round, junior C Zane Evans went to the Kansas City Royals with the 114th overall selection. Senior RHP Buck Farmer was taken in the fifth round by the Detroit Tigers with the 156th overall pick. Josh Hart, a senior at Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., who signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Tech, was drafted in the second round (37th overall pick) by the Baltimore Orioles.
This season marks the second time in the last three years that Tech has produced three top-five-round picks. In 2011, it was LHP Jed Bradley (first round), 3B Matt Skole (fifth round) and RHP Mark Pope (fifth round). All-time, Georgia Tech has produced 53 selections in the top-five rounds, with 37 coming under head coach Danny Hall.
In the last three seasons (2011-13), eight of Tech’s 13 draft selections have been top-five picks. In the four years prior (2007-10), six of the 31 picks were in the top-five rounds.
Daniel Palka – 3rd round (88th overall) Arizona Diamondbacks
Palka, a first-team All-ACC pick and Louisville Slugger All-American in the outfield, was one of the nation’s most-feared power hitters. The junior from Lyman, S.C., leads the ACC with a career best 17 homers, and hit .342 this season with 13 doubles, three triples and tied for the team lead with 66 RBI. The power-hitting lefty was also a force on the mound, pitching 13.0 innings in eight appearances with a sterling 0.69 ERA. Palka was 2-1, with his wins coming in relief over No. 1 North Carolina and in the ACC Tournament versus No. 7 Florida State.
Notes: Palka becomes Tech’s highest-drafted position player since current Marlins’ 2B Derek Dietrich was picked in the second round (79th overall) in 2010… He is just the fourth Tech player drafted all-time by the Diamondbacks, and the first since Matt Murton in 2008.
Zane Evans – 4th round (114th overall) Kansas City Royals
Evans, one of three national finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, was a first-team All-ACC pick at catcher and earned mention on the Louisville Slugger All-America Team. He paced the Yellow Jackets offensively and finished three home runs shy of winning Tech’s first Triple Crown since Mark Teixeira in 1999.
The junior from Roswell, Ga., led Tech in batting average (.361), was tied for the team lead in RBI (66), led the team with nine game-winning RBI, was second in home runs (14), second in hits (88), second in slugging (.590) and second in on-base percentage (.430). All of those numbers were career highs for Evans, who started every game, including 40 behind the plate as one of the ACC’s best defensive catchers. On the mound, Evans was 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA and a team-high three saves. His two wins came in relief over No. 1 North Carolina and in an NCAA Regional elimination game versus Illinois. He was named to the NCAA Nashville Regional All-Tournament Team.
Notes: Evans is the highest drafted Tech catcher since first-rounder Matt Wieters by Baltimore in 2007… He is the ninth Tech player drafted by the Kansas City Royals, and the first since pitcher Blake Wood in 2006.
Buck Farmer – 5th round (156th overall) Detroit Tigers
Georgia Tech’s two-year ace, Farmer earned his second straight first-team All-ACC honor and was a semifinalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award. The senior went 9-5 with a 2.78 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 113.1 innings – the ERA, innings and strikeouts were all career bests for Farmer and he was second in the ACC in strikeouts. He lost just once in five starts against top-five ranked teams, beating then-No. 5 Virginia and then-No. 5 Florida State. The righty from Conyers, Ga., pitched two complete games, was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week twice this year and earned National Pitcher of the Week honors in February.
Notes: This season marks the fourth straight year at least one Tech pitcher has been selected in the top five rounds… Farmer is the eighth all-time Tech player drafted by the Tigers, and the first since Tony Plagman and Jeff Rowland in 2010… Farmer was drafted in the 15th round last year by Milwaukee, but returned for his senior year and improved his draft position by 10 rounds.
Georgia Tech Players In 2013 MLB Draft (thru 5 rounds)
Rd. (Pick), Name, Year, Pos., Team
3 (88) Daniel Palka, Jr., OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
4 (114) Zane Evans, Jr., C, Kansas City Royals
5 (156) Buck Farmer, Sr., RHP, Detroit Tigers
Georgia Tech Signees In 2013 MLB Draft (thur 5 rounds)
Rd. (Pick), Name, Pos., Team
2 (37) Josh Hart, OF, Baltimore Orioles