Baker, Lovrich taken on final day of MLB Draft

Macon East Academy's Drew Baker played catcher for the Knights when he wasn't on the mound, but was selected by the Dodgers as a pitcher in Wednesday's MLB Draft.

Former Macon East Academy standout Drew Baker was drafted in the 16th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers as the final day of the 2019 MLB Draft was held on Wednesday.

Baker, a freshman at Chipola Junior College this past season, was 2-1 with seven saves and a 5.04 earned run average in 26 appearances for the junior college team. He was one of 28 players with ties to the state who was selected in the final 30 rounds of the 40-round event.

Trinity senior Cam Lovrich was another local product taken on Wednesday by the New York Mets in the final round. The Capital City Conference player of the year, a Jacksonville State signee, was taken with the 1198th pick in the draft.

Players will entertain offers from the Major League clubs and may either sign with those clubs, remain with their college or junior college teams, or join their respective college programs if they are signees. 

The first day of the draft saw the state’s two Southeastern Conference programs each lose a heralded high school signee. C.J. Abrams, a shortstop at Blessed Trinity High and an Alabama signee, was taken with the sixth pick of the draft by the Padres. Gunnar Henderson, a shortstop at Morgan Academy and an Auburn signee, was selected in the second round with the 42nd pick by the Orioles.

The second day of the draft, featuring rounds three through 10, had five players with state ties taken, including former St. James standout Davis Daniel, who was sitting out this season with an arm injury. The Auburn junior will have two years of eligibility remaining but is expected to sign with the Angels after his selection in the seventh round.

Auburn shortstop Will Holland was drafted by the Twins in the fifth round; UAB pitcher Graham Ashcraft (Indians) and Mississippi State signee Ethan Hearn (Cubs), a catcher at Mobile Christian, were taken in the sixth round; and South Alabama pitcher Zach Green was drafted by the Yankees in the eighth round.

Among the 28 players taken on the final day of the draft were Auburn sophomore Edouard Julien in the 18th round by the Twins; pitcher Jack Owen in the 21st round by the Cardinals; and pitcher Elliott Anderson by the Royals in the 23rd round.

In addition to Henderson, signee Nate LaRue, a pitcher at McGill-Toolen, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 25th round.

Alabama didn’t have a player selected until the 20th round, but pitcher Deacon Medders’ selection by the Padres was the first of five Tide players selected on Wednesday. Pitcher Davis Vainer went in the 21st round to the Astros; infielder Morgan McCullough went to the Angels in the 22nd round; graduate transfer pitcher Jeremy Randolph was drafted by the Cardinals in the 26th; and pitcher Brock Love was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 34th round.

The Crimson Tide’s 2019 signing class was hit hard by the draft as well, including former Edgewood Academy and Park Crossing standout Jackson Tate, who was drafted out of Lawson State Community College in the 32nd round by the Mariners.

In addition to Abrams and Tate, other signees taken in the MLB Draft include Edouard Montpetit pitcher Antoine Jean, drafted in the 17th round by the Twins; Westlake High shortstop Myles Austin, drafted in the 20th round by the Brewers; Stamford Collegiate catcher Owen Diodati, taken in the 29th round by the Blue Jays; and Tomah High pitcher Connor Prielipp, selected by the Red Sox in the 37th round.

Other state college players selected include UAB shortstop Tyler Tolbert in the 13th round by the Royals; Jacksonville State third baseman Nic Gaddis in the 16th round by the Mets; West Alabama pitcher Cole Waites in the 18th round by the Giants; Montevallo catcher Tyler Krabbe in the 19th round by the Astros; Samford shortstop Branden Fryman (son of former Detroit star Travis Fryman) in the 21st round by the Mets; Samford pitcher Stephen Jones in the 21st round by the Rockies; Jacksonville State pitcher Garrett Farmer in the 25th round by the Orioles; and Samford catcher Anthony Mulrine in the 25th round by the Angels.

Wednesday’s draft wrapup also included one high school player and three junior college players from the state: Hazel Green High first baseman Jordan Beck by the Red Sox in the 14th round; Kentucky signee and Wallace State CC left fielder Oraj Anu by the Red Sox in the 16th round; Lurleen B. Wallace center fielder Bryson Gandy by the Twins in the 32nd round; and Enterprise State pitcher Jamarcus Lang by the Rangers in the 38th round.