Braves Select Young Outfielder With First Pick In Draft

Atlanta Goes For Young LHP With Second Pick

Friday, June 06, 2014
After taking power-hitting outfielder Braxton Davidson in the first round, the Braves extended their tradition of filling early draft picks with pitching. Garrett Fulenchek learned he was taken with the 66th overall selection while hosting friends and family members at his home in Howe, which has a population of slightly more than 3,000.

The Braves had taken a pitcher with their first selection in five of the previous six Drafts.

"It's nice to have two 17-year-olds that have huge upside," DeMacio said in reference to Fulenchek and Davidson.

Fulenchek, who turns 18 on Saturday, was not on the radar of many clubs until he impressed scouts at Perfect Game's World Bat Association World Championship in October. The hard-throwing hurler has a live fastball that has been clocked at 90-94 mph and a slider that improved as he spent his senior season at Howe High School.

The Braves believe Fulenchek's projectable 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame will allow him to add velocity as he goes through the early portion of his professional career.

Fulenchek is committed to play at Dallas Baptist University. But if the Braves extend their near perfect record of signing their early draft picks, the young hurler will likely agree to a signing bonus worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $866,000.

Dodgers (parent club of the AA Chattanooga Lookouts)

The first selection was right-hander Grant Holmes out of Conway (S.C.) High School. Holmes has a fastball in the mid-90s and a power curve that Logan White said was "the best breaking ball I saw in the country." Holmes had 82 strikeouts and 16 walks in 40 innings with a 0.52 ERA and is committed to attend the University of Florida. The Dodgers have $4,947,700 to spend on their first 10 picks, ranking 25th in MLB, with $1,980,500 designated for the first-round pick. White said he was cautiously optimistic of signing Holmes, while acknowledging the pitcher is undoubtedly disappointed he wasn't selected higher.

The second selection was Arizona high schooler Alex Verdugo selected as an outfielder. Even though Verdugo was viewed by many clubs as a left-handed pitcher, the same was true of James Loney coming out of high school a dozen years ago. The 18-year-old Verdugo, who is 6-foot-1 and weighs 180 pounds, attended Sahuaro High School near Tucson and committed to attend Arizona State University. He was the 62nd player taken overall on Day 1.

The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10.

--- Source: MLB.com


Signal Mountain Falls In State Volleyball Semis

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been a ... (click for more)

Braves' Craig Kimbrel Named Top National League Reliever

ATLANTA -- Major League Baseball Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred presented Craig Kimbrel with the Trevor Hoffman Award as the NL's Reliever of the Year and Royals closer Greg Holland with the Mariano Rivera Award as the American League's Reliever of the Year before the Royals and Giants played Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium. This marks the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)