Three former Cherokee County players heard their names called in this week’s Major League Baseball draft.
Left-handed pitcher Brant Hurter was selected in the seventh round with the 194th overall selection by the Detroit Tigers, while catcher Connor Pavolony was taken three picks later by the Baltimore Orioles. Justin Wrobleski, another left-handed pitcher, was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round with pick No. 342.
Hurter graduated from Woodstock in 2017 and went on to spend four years at Georgia Tech.
After missing the second half of the 2019 season and all of the shortened 2020 season following Tommy John surgery, Hurter was Georgia Tech’s top starter in 2021. He went 5-4 with a 3.90 ERA, totaling 83 strikeouts to only 11 walks across 85 1/3 innings.
He said it was “pretty cool” to be taken first from his home county in this year’s draft during a Georgia Tech post-draft Zoom call Wednesday.
Hurter could follow in the footsteps of pitcher Kent Emanuel, who made his major league debut with the Houston Astros this season, and former Atlanta Braves and Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis as the third former Woodstock High player to play in the majors.
Pavolony was a star catcher at River Ridge before moving on to Tennessee. He batted .260 with seven doubles, seven homers and 26 RBIs this past season, while earning inclusion on the Southeastern Conference’s all-tournament team.
“So beyond blessed man,” Pavolony tweeted. “Thank you @Orioles for this opportunity and everyone that has made this possible!”
Pavolony is the second River Ridge player to be drafted, following former teammate Chris Williams, a 15th-round selection of the Cincinnati Reds in 2018 who recently completed his sophomore season at William Carey University in Mississippi.
Wrobleski, an all-state player at Sequoyah three years ago, was originally drafted in the 36th round of the 2018 draft by the Seattle Mariners. After playing for Clemson and the State College of Florida, he played at Oklahoma State as a sophomore and went 3-2 with a 4.20 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings.
“Let’s go. Time to work!” Wrobleski tweeted after getting the call from the Dodgers.