Braves Select Young Outfielder With First Pick In Draft

Atlanta Goes For Young LHP With Second Pick

Friday, June 6, 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


Hannah Gasaway Signs Golf Commitment With Dalton State

It is a hard balance between choosing a Division I program or going the NAIA route. One offers seemingly instant fame while the other provides a lower-key environment that fosters a stronger sense of community. The latter is what Union Grove golfer Hannah Gasaway wanted. It’s what she will get at Dalton State, the North Georgia college she verbally committed to last month. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Swim League Standings & Results

CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE STANDINGS BLUE DIVISION Dalton           7-0 Signal Mountain   4-3 Stuart Heights     4-3 Ooltewah            2-5 Fairyland             ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Non-Custodial Father Who Picked Up Children At Chattanooga Daycare Is Caught In Ohio

A non-custodial father who picked up his children at a Chattanooga daycare and headed north has been caught in Ohio. T ony Thomas and the children have been located in Toledo. T homas is in custody in Lucas County and awaiting extradition. T he children were unharmed and will be in Child Protective Services custody until the mother is able to pick them up. ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)