Andre Tarver has a tough choice to make over the next few weeks after being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball draft.
The former Ringgold High School standout, a senior this past school year, was one of three northwest Georgia athletes picked Wednesday. Tarver was joined by former Dade County High School and Jacksonville State University star Nic Gaddis (16th round by the New York Mets) and pitcher Nolan Letzgus (34th round by the Chicago Cubs), a Heritage High School senior in 2018-19.
Tarver, a 6-2, 210-pound outfielder who batted .561 (with a .662 on-base percentage) with 10 home runs, 36 RBIs, 55 runs scored and 21 stolen bases this season, has been committed to Southeastern Conference power Mississippi State for three years and can use that leverage in negotiations with the Padres.
While he was central to another playoff run for the Ringgold baseball program this spring, Tarver also stood out on the football field during high school as a two-way threat for the Tigers.
Gaddis was an integral part of Jacksonville State winning the Ohio Valley Conference championship this season. The senior catcher/third baseman earned All-OVC first-team honors for the Alabama program after hitting .330 with 14 homers in 2019 and ended his Gamecocks career with 192 hits, including 29 home runs and 42 doubles.
Letzgus, a two-sport star at Heritage who was a standout receiver for the Generals this past fall, shot up the baseball prospect ranks this season. In his first season as a full-time member of Heritage's rotation, he was 5-1 with a 0.46 ERA, allowing three earned runs and striking out 75 batters in 45 innings.
He also batted .420 with four homers, 11 doubles, 28 RBIs and 38 runs scored to help the Generals earn Region 6-AAAA's No. 2 seed for the state playoffs.