Brandon Zajac, Myles Smith considering pro deals

Brandon Zajac, Myles Smith considering pro deals

June 21st, 2013 by Ward Gossett in Sportlocal

Brandon Zajac throws to the plate at Walker Valley High School in this file photo.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Myles Smith

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Chase Brookshire is in Pennsylvania, Brandon Zajac is in Cleveland awaiting a decision from the San Francisco Giants, and Myles Smith has been in negotiations.

Drafted in the 20th round of the major league baseball draft by St. Louis on June 8, Brookshire talked with the Cardinals the next day, a Sunday, and was on a flight for State College, Pa., the next day.

"We play literally on the campus at Penn State," the left-handed pitcher said. "If you're out in center field, Beaver Stadium towers over the press box."

Brookshire, a four-year starter at first McCallie and then Belmont University, isn't the only area player who has signed and moved on.

From Lee University, Jose Samayoa has signed with the Rangers and now is with their Arizona League affiliate and fellow pitchers Alex Moore, Andy Hillis and Clint Terry all signed with Milwaukee. Lee coach Mark Brew said Moore and Terry were assigned to the Brewers' Arizona League team and Hillis to their short-season Class A team in Helena, Mont.

Lee's Smith, another pitcher and a fourth-round draft pick, is at home in Michigan while his agent negotiates with the Boston Red Sox.

Zajac, a left-hander from Walker Valley who pitched for Cleveland State, was the TCCAA pitcher of the year this past season. He remains at Cleveland State for summer school in preparation for a move to Middle Tennessee State.

"It's a waiting game with thoughts of going to MTSU, and it looks as if that's where I'll end up," he said. "If [the Giants] come up with the money, I'm willing to go. They understand what I want. We've been in contact and they're deciding if they can work that out. They have to see what happens with the first 10 guys they drafted."

Zajac said he was very happy with the thought of moving on to Murfreesboro.

"I love the fit and I love the staff. I felt really comfortable there," he said. "There's not a bad option. If I get the money, I'm a professional. If not, then I'll be in a great situation."

Dakota Hudson, the right-handed pitcher from Sequatchie County, was drafted in the 37th round by Texas but said he has decided to decline the option and follow through with a commitment to Mississippi State.

"It's the right thing for me to do right now," Hudson said. "I feel I will get in more quality work with quality coaches. I'm going to a good baseball program, and I can't do anything but get better."

Hudson was named most valuable player in the Tennessee-Georgia all-star game Wednesday, allowing one hit and striking out six batters in three innings of work. He was the winning pitcher in Tennessee's 5-4 victory.

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