Chasing the big league dream; 3 local players drafted out of high school
Three Tennessee Valley baseball players heard their names called on the final day of the MLB draft. Now they have a chance to play the sport they've always loved on baseball's biggest stage.
From little league, to high school, and now to the big leagues. Three Tennessee Valley baseball players heard their names called on the final day of the MLB draft. Now they have a chance to play the sport they've always loved on baseball's biggest stage.
Gabe Howell of Trion High School was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round, 589th pick overall. Howell helped lead the Bulldogs to Georgia's Class A Public State Championship where they finished runner up to Treutlen High School. He has always been a Braves fan, and now he gets to play for the team he knows and loves.
"It's a tremendous feeling, just knowing you get to go play with those guys you grew up watching" says Howell. "And then the fact that you get to play with your hometown team, it's very special. I told my dad when I was in the seventh grade that I was going to be a major league baseball player and he bought into it and look where we are now."
Former right-handed Heritage High School pitcher, Dylan Bice, was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 23rd round, 699th pick overall. Bice was ranked 61st in Georgia and in the top 500 nationally in the class of 2016 by Perfect Game. He always knew he would make it to the next level, and Texas seemed like they were the right fit.
"I went to their pre-draft (Rangers) workout and fell in love with them" recalls Bice. "I just loved the way they were. They were very organized with everything and they made me fit in. They said they loved the way I threw and for a big kid I was smooth in my motion."
Soddy Daisy's Tre Carter went the earliest of the three in the draft Saturday, taken the 11th round, 324th overall by the San Diego Padres. Like Howell and Bice, Carter also passed up a scholarship. But as much as the center fielder wanted to become a Diamond Vol, he had his family to consider.
"A lot of the decision had to do with my family, being able to take care of them and everything" says Carter. "I needed to help around the house and help my dad out. I told him I'd take it and help as much as possible. So in the end I think I made the right decision."
Howell and Bice left Tuesday for training camp. Meanwhile, Tre, who is still working out the details of his contract, will leave sometime next week.