published Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Lee, TWC duos, Brandon Zajac go in draft

TENNESSEE SCHOOLS’ DRAFT PICKS

Austin Peay: 837, LHP Steven Snodgrass.

Cumberland: 334, LHP Will Locante, Arizona.

East Tennessee State: 579, 1B Danny Hoilman, Cubs

Lee University: 414, OF Chris Grayson, Texas; 522, OF Jonathan Clark, New York Mets

Memphis: 315, OF Drew Martinez, California.

Middle Tennessee: 776, OF Will Skinner, Atlanta.

Tennessee: 238, LHP Steven Gruver, Minnesota; 600, RHP Matthew Ramsey; 610, 3B Matthew Duffy, Astros; 697, 2B Khayyan Norfolk, Washington.

Tennessee Wesleyan: 716, OF Sam Munson, Atlanta; 920, RHP David Bergin, St. Louis.

Vanderbilt: 18, RHP Sonny Gray, Oakland; 59, LHP Grayson Garvin, Tampa Bay; 64, 3B Jason Esposito, Baltimore; 99, RHP Jack Armstrong, Astros; 106, 1B Aaron Westlake, Detroit; 117, LHP Corey Williams, Minnesota; 187, RHP David Hill, Washington; 206, RHP Mark Lamm, Atlanta; 317, C Curtis Casali, Detroit; 446, RHP Navery Moore, Atlanta; 928, RHP Will Clinard, Minnesota.

Tennessee high schools: 74, LHP Daniel Norris, Science Hill, Blue Jays; 172, SS Markus Betts, Overton, Boston; 185, 3B Nick Delmonico, Farragut, Baltimore; 331, SS Jake Overbey, USJ, Philadelphia; 842, LHP Brandon Zajac, Walker Valley, Pirates.

Lee University junior outfielders Chris Grayson and Jonathan Clark were selected in the major league baseball draft Tuesday, leaving Flames coach Mark Brew with mixed emotions.

“It’s big for them, but it’s a good and bad situation,” he said. “You’re happy for them but now you’re [probably] looking for a No. 3 or No. 4 hole hitter and a leadoff guy.”

Grayson was selected by the Texas Rangers, Clark by the New York Mets.

Also drafted Tuesday were Tennessee Wesleyan outfielder Sam Munson, by the Atlanta Braves, and All-American designated hitter David Bergin, who was picked as a pitcher by St. Louis. Bulldogs coach Billy Berry could empathize with Brew’s dilemma.

“It’s a whirlwind for those guys right now,” Berry said. “Any time you lose somebody it’s difficult, especially guys you expect to come back and to hit again in the middle of your order. But it’s a win for them and a win for us. ... It tells me we’re signing the right kind of kid, and [them being drafted] is another good selling point for our program.”

Bergin went 9-2 as a right-handed pitcher. He also hit .430 and tied for the national NAIA lead in home runs with 23.

“It’s hard to tell where he will play,” Berry said. “I think he could do either one. He definitely did a really good job for us.”

The only area high school player taken Tuesday was lanky Walker Valley pitcher Brandon Zajac. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound left-hander was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in round 30, the final round of the day.

Scouts were all over Zajac early but then backed off in midseason when he strained an oblique muscle, which probably cost him a few rounds. However, Zajac also has a University of Tennessee scholarship in hand as a bargaining chip.

“If the money is there and if it would make [financial] sense over the next five or six years, I would really consider it, but right now I’m not leaning either way,” he said.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Grayson hit .364 with five home runs, 11 triples and 11 doubles and 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts.

“He has choices,” Brew said. “I would expect him to use his leverage [of returning to Lee] and get [a contract signing] done.”

Clark, another of Lee’s left-handed batters and also a junior this past season, started 47 games, hitting .323 with 13 home runs, three triples and 17 doubles.

Like Bergin, Munson was a junior transfer at TWC. He hit .354 with six homers, eight doubles, two triples, 31 RBIs and 51 runs. A year ago at Walters State he had 70 RBIs while hitting .399.

Major league teams resume with Round 31 at noon today in Secaucus, N.J. and the draft will continue through Round 50 unless all teams have passed before then.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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