Big league bound: These 5 N. Fulton natives taken in 2017 MLB draft

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Big league bound: These 5 N. Fulton natives taken in 2017 MLB draft

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Matt Stamey/AP
Connor Johnstone, pitching here for Wake Forest on June 11, was one of four North Fulton natives taken in the 2017 MLB draft.

Major League Baseball’s farm system got a new influx of talent this week when hundreds of players were picked up by teams through its first-year player draft.

There were many Georgians selected, but five players happened to be from north Fulton County.

Here are the five North Fulton natives you might see in the big leagues soon:

Jason Delay, Pittsburgh Pirates, Fourth Round

The 5-foot-11 catcher was drafted by the Buccos with the 118th overall pick. Delay grew up in Johns Creek and played at Northview High School before going on to Vanderbilt where he started for four seasons and was teammates with Kyle Wright, the Atlanta Braves’ first round pick. In 59 games for the Commodores in 2017, Delay hit for a .309 average with 41 RBI’s.

Tony Dibrell, New York Mets, Fourth Round

After a three-year career at Kennesaw State, this Alpharetta native was scooped up by the Mets in the fourth round, just nine picks after Delay was taken. A 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher, the Chattahoochee High School graduate went 7-4 this past season for the Owls, notching a 2.45 ERA and striking out 103 batters over 95 innings. Dibrell’s KSU teammate Austin Upshaw was drafted 13th overall by the Cubs. Another Owl, Ward Mason, was taken in the 34th round by the Pirates.

Ryan Gridely, Oakland A’s, 11th Round

A Milton High School graduate, Gridley was plucked from Mississippi State University by the A’s after a junior season in which he scored 50 runs and drove in 39 more. The 5-foot-8 shortstop helped the Bulldogs reach the NCAA Super Regionals this season, where they fell to LSU. Gridely had the second best batting average on his college team with a .327 mark.

Connor Johnstone, Atlanta Braves, 21st Round

This metro Atlanta native is staying close to home. The 6-foot-1 Roswell High School graduate was drafted by the Braves after a four-year career at Wake Forest. A right-handed pitcher, Johnstone went 8-0 over 15 starts in his senior campaign, notching an ERA of 3.61. He fanned 69 batters and held opponents to a .248 batting average.

Bryce Conley, Oakland A’s, 22nd Round

Conley was the last North Fulton native to hear his name called, getting nabbed by the A’s with the 651st overall pick. After graduating from Alpharetta High School, the 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher made stops at Mercer and Chattahoochee Valley before landing at Georgia State University. He went 2-7 over 13 starts during his senior season, but struck out 59 batters. As a junior, he struck out 70 batters over 59 innings of work.

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