Gabe Howell, of Trion High School, has been drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round of the MLB draft today.
The call-up won't surprise his coaches, family and fans in his small North Georgia hometown.
"Everybody in Trion, Georgia, is a Gabe Howell fan," Bulldogs baseball coach Jason Lanham told the Times Free Press in April.
Lanham has seen the shortstop go from excellent high school player to pro prospect. "He's a great teammate, a phenomenal kid. That's why we're all rooting for him."
At that time, Howell was hitting .650, a mark that put him in the top five in the nation according to MaxPrep's statistics. The rest of the numbers are also eye-popping: eight home runs, four triples, 10 doubles, 32 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and 32 runs scored.
He has a .750 on-base percentage, is slugging at a 1.377 rate, has struck out only four times and left just six runners on base for the 17-4 Bulldogs.
Howell played in front of scouts from all 30 MLB franchises lin April, hitting a home run.
"He almost hit Chipper Jones' truck with his homer," mom Lori Howell said.
Since then the interest in the hometown hero has increased.
Football coach and athletic director Justin Brown said there is no big secret to Howell's success — he just works harder than everyone else and has an inner drive few possess.
"The thing with Gabe is, and it holds true for every aspect in his life, any talent he's been blessed with he's always worked to enhance that talent," Brown said. "He's never satisfied with just being good; he's always pushed himself to be better.