Four players with Middle Georgia ties were chosen earlier this month in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
One who wasn’t has signed before two who were.
Mercer senior infielder Michael Massi was playing in the independent Frontier League — with former teammate Nick Backlund — when he signed Thursday night with St. Louis. Massi will take a physical and report to the Cardinals’ Gulf Coast League rookie team.
He might soon see a familiar face in former Bleckley County and Georgia State standout Chase Raffield.
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The Cardinals picked Raffield in the 37th round, and he signed fairly quickly and was sent to the short-season Class A State College (Pennsylvania) Spikes team in the New York-Penn League earlier this week. The outfielder got a single in his professional debut Wednesday, going 1-for-4 in a 7-3 loss to Batavia.
Eason Spivey, a catcher from West Laurens who played at North Georgia, was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 24th round. He wasted little time signing and is in the rookie Pioneer League with the Owlz of Orem, Utah. He has played in two games entering Friday night and is hitless but has scored a run.
Mercer junior third baseman Chesny Young was drafted in the 14th round by the Chicago Cubs. Young, who battled shoulder and back issues all season, is in Arizona and will sign after passing a physical. Then he’s expected to remain there on the organization’s rookie Arizona League team.
Departing senior pitcher Brandon Barker of Mercer was picked by Atlanta in the 16th round, and according to the Braves’ website Friday evening, he had not yet signed. He is expected to and then report to the rookie-level Danville, Virginia, team in the Appalachian League. Danville is managed by Randy Ingle, who managed the Macon Braves in 1993 and 2001.