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Local standouts picked in eighth round of MLB Draft
by Greg Oshust
June 11, 2013 04:25 PM | 3421 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Danny Karnik / GT Sports Information<br>
Georgia Tech center fielder Brandon Thomas, a former Pace standout, was selected by the New York Yankees in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball draft.
Danny Karnik / GT Sports Information
Georgia Tech center fielder Brandon Thomas, a former Pace standout, was selected by the New York Yankees in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball draft.
Riverwood’s Terry McClure, former Marist star Kyle Farmer and ex-Pace standout Brandon Thomas each took a step forward towards a professional baseball career after all three were drafted in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball draft last Friday.

McClure – an outfielder — was selected with the 229th overall pick of the draft by the Colorado Rockies, while Farmer – a senior shortstop this season at Georgia – went to the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 244th pick and Thomas – a senior center fielder at Georgia Tech – was chosen by the New York Yankees with the 254th pick.

McClure signed a letter-of-intent to play on the college level at Georgia Tech, but the Riverwood outfielder said he is moving straight to the professional level and was scheduled to sign his contract with Colorado later this week.

He was not assigned to a minor league team in the Rockies’ system at press time.

“I’m so excited,” McClure said. “I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

McClure hit .395 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs in 26 games with Riverwood, leading the Raiders to the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs.

“Terry is a player that possesses all five tools,” Riverwood coach Mike Santoro said. “He is a tremendous athlete who has a very high baseball IQ. Terry’s work ethic and focus on the team is going to allow him to be a very successful player. It’s always good to see good things happen to a great kid and a great family.”

Farmer earned his eighth-round pick by the Dodgers after batting .290 with three homers and a team-leading 44 RBI in his senior season at Georgia.

The Buckhead resident and former NYO standout is scheduled to sign his contract with the Dodgers sometime this week. His destination in the team’s minor-league system was not known at press time.

He played shortstop at Georgia during his four-year career, but was drafted by the Dodgers as a catcher after impressing team scouts with his performance at that position during a workout earlier in the year.

“It’s a dream come true,” Farmer said. “It’s what I always wanted to do. I always liked the Dodgers and they want me to catch, so I’m looking forward to that, too. I want to make a good, solid transition. I’m going to work really hard at it and keep being positive and having fun – just play the game that I love.”

Marist coach Mike Strickland said he is excited for his former standout.

“Kyle is an exceptional young man,” Strickland said. “He’s going to be a success in whatever follows and comes up for him. He’s a hard worker and he has a phenomenal knack and instinct for the game. With the way he works and with his passion for excellence, I’m excited to see what lays ahead for him.”

Thomas begins his professional career with the Yankees after hitting .321 with one homer and 30 RBIs in 53 games at Georgia Tech, helping lead the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Regionals.

He was scheduled to sign his contract with the Yankees at their training camp headquarters in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday and will be assigned to the team’s short-season minor-league team in Staten Island, N.Y.

“Obviously, playing professional baseball was a goal of mine and it’s exciting to accomplish that goal,” Thomas said.

Riverwood’s Randolph Gassaway was drafted in the 16th round by the Baltimore Orioles.

Which player will make it to the major leagues first?

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