Area boasts several draft hopefuls

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If all goes according to plan, Josh Adams will get a call from a Major League Baseball team sometime over the next three days to begin a career as a professional baseball player.

But if the 2008 Midland Valley High School graduate isn't selected in this week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, he has a backup plan.

"I signed with Georgia Southern," the 6-foot-2, 185-pound starting pitcher said. "But hopefully I'll get drafted."

Adams is one of several athletes with local ties hoping to hear his name called this week, as the annual draft begins tonight at 7. Former Greenbrier standouts Brandon Cumpton and Jeff Rowland, now stars at Georgia Tech, are among the draft hopefuls, along with Augusta Christian product Josh Whitaker, now at Kennesaw State, and Jake Smith, a homeschooler from North Augusta who played at Darton College in Albany, Ga., this past spring.

Zach Hayden, a pitcher from Lakeside High School, leads an otherwise small pool of high school candidates likely to get drafted.

It's unlikely any local talent will hear their name called tonight, when Major League Baseball conducts the first round in Secaucus, N.J.

Rounds 2-30 will take place on Tuesday, a more likely scenario for local prospects, including Adams and Cumpton, who could be the first two local names called out in this year's draft.

Adams was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 49th round two years ago. But instead of signing, he went to junior college and played at Spartanburg Methodist, where he posted a 7-1 record this past spring.

He said he's worked out for scouts from multiple teams, including the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, showing off a fastball consistently in the 88-92 miles per hour range.

Cumpton, who helped Greenbrier win two Class AAAA state championships before signing with Georgia Tech, has a 9-3 record this season in 14 starts for the Yellow Jackets.

Players who are drafted have until mid-August to decide to sign with the team that drafted them or return to play college ball.


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