Georgia pitchers Connor Jones, Bo Tucker, Heath Holder and catcher Skyler Weber plus three signees were selected Saturday on the final day of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Jones, a 6-2, 194-pound left-hander from Johns Creek, Ga., was drafted in the 11th round (338th overall) by the New York Yankees. He went 5-6 with a 4.66 ERA in 15 appearances including 13 starts for the Bulldogs as a junior this past season. In 75.1 innings, he struck out 74 and had 37 walks. One of Jones’ best outings in 2016 came on April 16 when he defeated No. 2 South Carolina, going 6.2 innings and allowing one run with four strikeouts in a 13-4 victory. Also, he went a career-high 7.2 innings to clinch an SEC series over No. 21 Alabama. In his career, Jones is 5-8 with one save and a 5.13 ERA in 31 appearances including 13 starts for a total of 87.2 innings. He is a three-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Tucker, a 6-3, 202-pound left-hander from Rome, Ga., was drafted in the 12th round (366th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels. He went 3-4 with three saves and a 3.71 ERA in 19 appearances including four starts as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2016. In his two-year career, he has made 38 appearances including four starts, going 4-5 with four saves and a 3.09 ERA. He has pitched 84.1 innings with 39 walks and 79 strikeouts. This past season, he provided excellent relief versus No. 10 Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament, tossing 3.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. He notched a two-inning save to clinch the Missouri road series in Columbia on May 15. He earned wins over Wright State, Lipscomb and at No. 10 Miss. State. Tucker was a 38th round selection of the Cincinnati Reds following his senior year at Rome High School in 2014.
Weber, a 5-10, 176-pound left-handed hitter from Gainesville, Ga., was drafted in the 18th round (532nd overall) by the Oakland A’s. He led the Bulldogs this season, batting .314 with 77 hits, 13 doubles, 13 stolen bases plus tallied four home runs and 33 RBI. He started all 57 games with 14 starts behind the plate, 42 in right field and one as a designated hitter. He batted in the leadoff spot 22 games including 10 times when catching, and that was a first in the modern era of Georgia Baseball, and the only catcher in the SEC to do it in 2016. As a right fielder, he registered 10 putouts in a game against Ga. Tech at Turner Field on May 17th, the most putouts by a Bulldog outfielder in more than 12 years. In his three-year career, Weber has played in 154 games with 138 starts (121-outfielder, 17-catcher). He owns a .279 batting average with 22 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 81 RBI and 20 stolen bases.
Holder, a 6-6, 211-pound native of Loganville, Ga., was drafted in the 25th round (740th overall) by the Colorado Rockies. In his first season as a starting pitcher in 2016, Holder led the Southeastern Conference in holding opponents to a .174 batting average, surrendering just 43 hits in 71 innings. He posted a 4-5 mark, 3.68 ERA and one save in 19 appearances with 11 starts. He notched his first career win with 3.2 scoreless innings of relief and seven strikeouts at No. 2 Florida in a 2-1 win in 12 innings on April 21. He carried a no-hitter to the eighth inning against Lipscomb on March 12 and got a no decision as Georgia eventually won 1-0. He defeated No. 7 Ole Miss on May 8th, going seven innings and allowing one run with seven strikeouts. He missed the 2015 season while recovering from “Tommy John” surgery and began his Georgia career as a position player/relief pitcher. The Rockies drafted Holder in the 50th round in 2011 following his senior year at Loganville High School. During his Bulldog career, he made 38 appearances on the mound with 11 starts, going 4-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 91.2 innings. He struck out 94 and had 58 walks. He batted .224 with 11 RBI in 98 at-bats, appearing in 53 games with 25 starts in the field as either an outfielder or first baseman for the Bulldogs.
The aforementioned Bulldogs join pitcher Robert Tyler who went 38th overall to the Rockies Thursday as a first round supplemental pick, and junior centerfielder Stephen Wrenn, who went in the sixth round to the Houston Astros on Friday. Also, Bulldog signees Just Glover, a left-handed pitcher from Buford High School, was drafted in the 26th round by the Tampa Bay Rays while shortstop Cam Shepherd (Peachtree Ridge HS) was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round. In the 37th round (1,099th overall), Georgia signee right-handed pitcher Zac Kristofak (Walton HS) was selected by the Atlanta Braves.
Annually, the Bulldogs have a handful of players and signees who will have a decision to make regarding their baseball future. Georgia has a string of 43 straight seasons with a least one player signing a professional contract. In 2015, seven Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.
The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the 2016 First-Year Player draft is July 15.
Bulldogs In The 2016 MLB Draft
Robert Tyler, RHP, 1st Round supplemental (38th overall), Colorado Rockies
Stephen Wrenn, CF, 6th Round (187th overall), Houston Astros
Connor Jones, LHP, 11th Round (338th overall), New York Yankees
Bo Tucker, LHP, 12th Round (366th overall), Los Angeles Angels
Skyler Weber, C, 18th Round (532nd overall), Oakland A’s
Heath Holder, RHP, 25th Round (740th overall), Colorado Rockies
*Justin Glover, LHP, 26th Round (780th overall), Tampa Bay Rays
*Cam Shepherd, SS, 29th Round (868th overall), Boston Red Sox
*Zac Kristofak, RHP, 37th Round (1,099th overall), Atlanta Braves