Perry continues to plug away in minors

By Doug Gorman

There has never been a shortage of baseball talent in the Southern Crescent.

With the selection of two local prospects during Monday's Major League first-year draft, the pipeline to the pros continues.

The Atlanta Braves picked Trae Wiggins, who played his senior season at Mt. Zion Academy after getting cut from the Stockbridge baseball team, in the seventh round after a stellar career at Brewton Parker College.

Henry County left-hander Michael Rozier got the call he had been waiting on as the Boston Red Sox selected the high school all-star in the 12th round as the 365th overall pick.

With the two left-handed pitcher's selection, the Southern Crescent draft tradition continued.

At least one player from Henry or Clayton County has been selected in the pro baseball draft since 2001.

Henry County head coach Chuck Campbell, who coached Rozier in high school, isn't surprised so many local players have been drafted in recent years.

"I think the level of baseball is really good around here," said Campbell. "So many of these players have played on traveling teams and other showcases. I think that exposure has helped."

Former Stockbridge pitcher Kyle Davies is the veteran of the group, now entering his third year in professional baseball. Davies is now with Myrtle Beach, an advanced Class A team of the Atlanta Braves organization. Davies was selected as the 135th overall pick in 2001.

In 2002, Jason Perry left the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets after his junior season, and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization as the 176 pick of the draft.

Perry played high school ball for Jonesboro head coach Don Corr before embarking on an all-ACC career with the Yellow Jackets.

A trade made Perry the property of the Oakland Athletics, and he began playing in their farm system last season.

A year ago, Perry's former college teammate Matt Murton became a first round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox organization after getting selected as the 32nd pick.

Like Perry, Murton racked up several college accolades.

All three players are making strides toward eventually making it to the Major Leagues.

Perry began the year at Class AA Midland, Texas where he hit four home runs. Now, he has been moved back to Modesto, Calif., where he is has hit a home run and driven in three RBIs through four games for the Class A squad.