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Local talent selected in MLB draft

Three baseball players with ties to Williamson County were drafted in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.

Former Centennial High School standout Tony Kemp was selected by the Houston Astros in the fifth round, 137 overall, June 7.

A junior second baseman for the Vanderbilt Commodores, Kemp has the option of signing a contract with the Astros’ organization or returning to school for his senior season. If he chooses to return, Kemp will go back into the draft in 2014.

Houston drafted Vanderbilt’s right side of the infield with two picks on Friday, drafting first baseman Conrad Gregor in the fourth round.

Kemp was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 2013, posting a .398 batting average, .490 on-base percentage, 58 runs scored, and 27 stolen bases – all SEC bests.

Andy Hillis, a 2009 graduate from Brentwood High School, was taken with pick No. 332 by the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 6-foot-7 relief pitcher originally signed to the University of Tennessee but never played after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010. He transferred from UT to Lee University where he earned nine saves and three wins, striking out 66 batters while having a 0.96 earned run average in 2013.

Sam Dove, a product of Brentwood Academy, was drafted No. 421 overall by the Philadelphia Phillies.

A senior second baseman, Dove led BA to back-to-back state championships before walking on at Georgia Tech in 2010. Dove earned a starting spot in 2011 for the Yellow Jackets, starting 173 of 179 games in his final three years in Atlanta.

At 6-foot-2, Dove had a .313 batting average with 82 runs batted in and 25 stolen bases in his college career.

Noticeably missing from the list of draftees was Brentwood Academy slugger Will Haynie.

The 2013 BA graduate, Haynie went into the process knowing the draft round, and financial offer, would determine whether he went to the pros are accept his scholarship to the University of Alabama.

Haynie was active on Twitter throughout the draft.

“Well, didn’t get what I wanted tonight,” he tweeted after Friday’s first round. “Looking forward to rounds 2-10 tomorrow. Thanks for the support.”

Midway through the draft, it became obvious teams were steering clear of the slugger because they feared being able to sign the 6-foot-5 catcher. Hanyie took to Twitter again.

“Well it’s official, I’m heading to Tuscaloosa July 1!,” he said. “Can’t wait to get to work with my boys!”


Posted on: 6/10/2013


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