16 N. Fulton natives playing major, minor league baseball in 2017

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16 N. Fulton natives playing major, minor league baseball in 2017

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tyler Flowers and the Braves got a scare when the catcher was hit by a pitch while battig in the sixth inning Wednesday night and immediately had a grotesquely large welt develop on his forearm. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

When someone from north Fulton County watches a pro baseball game this summer — whether it be in Atlanta, Rome, Augusta or Gwinnett County — there’s a decent chance they’ll see a familiar face on the diamond.

According to baseball-reference.com, there are 16 players from metro Atlanta’s north side playing in Major or Minor League Baseball this season. These folks hail from Roswell, Milton, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta and Johns Creek.

Here’s a guide to the North Fulton boys playing pro ball in 2017:

Brandon Gold, 27, Johns Creek High School

Gold, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher, was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2016 draft out of Georgia Tech. Gold is now playing with the Rockies’ Advanced-A affiliate in Lancaster, California. Through four starts this season he has a 3.91 ERA, 20 strikeouts, zero walks and a 3-0 record.

Dexter Fowler, 31, Milton High School

Fowler captured his first World Series title last season as an outfielder with the Chicago Cubs. He tallied two home runs in the World Series and notched three hits in Game Seven. Fowler was drafted in 2004 by the Rockies and made his major league debut in 2008. The 6-foot-5 centerfielder signed a five-year $82.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals after the 2016 season. Through 80 games with the Cardinals in 2017, he had a .244 batting average, 70 hits, 14 home runs and 37 RBI’s.

Dustin Beggs, 23, Centennial High School

The Colorado native played at the University of Kentucky and Georgia Perimeter College after his career at Centennial, and now plays in the Miami Marlins organization. The 6-foot-3 right handed pitcher was the Marlins’ 16th round pick in 2016. Through 19 starts for the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers this season, he’s 8-5 with a 3.33 ERA and 79 strikeouts.

Dylan Cease, 21, Milton High School

After being picked right out of high school by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, Cease has slowly climbed the minor league ranks. In 2017, he started the season with the Cubs’ Single-A affiliate, but was traded to the White Sox in July. Through 61.1 combined innings with the South Bend Cubs and Kannapolis Intimidators, the 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher had a 2.93 ERA with 85 strikeouts, 30 walks and just two home runs allowed.

Jahmai Jones, 19, Wesleyan

Jones went to high school in Norcross, but was born in Roswell. The Los Angeles Angels plucked him straight from high school in 2015, taking him with their second round pick. The 6-foot outfielder began has bounced between two Angels’ affiliates in 2017. So far he’s tallied 101 hits, 32 RBI’s and .280 batting average through 90 games.

Jalen Miller, 20, Riverwood High School

The Sandy Springs resident has been promoted each season he has played minor league baseball and begins 2017 with the San Francisco Giants’ Advanced-A affiliate in San Jose. Miller, a 5-foot-11 middle infielder, was the Giants’ third round pick in 2015. So far in 2017, he’s got 70 hits, six home runs, 31 RBI’s and a .219 batting average through 85 games.

Lucas Herbert, 20, Milton High School

Herbert left Milton after his sophomore season and finished up his high school ball in California, but he’s back in Georgia playing for the Braves’ Single-A affiliate in Rome. The 6-foot catcher was drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft by the Braves. Through 69 games, he has 66 hits, six home runs, 37 RBI’s and a .261 batting average for Rome.

Matthew Gorst, 22, Johns Creek High School

Gorst was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round of the 2016 draft after playing at Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher posted a 2.67 ERA in rookie ball and now plays for Boston’s Single-A affiliate in Greenville, South Carolina. So far in 2017, he has a 5-3 record over 48 innings pitched to go along with a 3.38 ERA and 42 strikeouts.

Randolph Gassaway, 21, Riverwood High School

The 6-foot-4 outfielder from Sandy Springs was a 16th round pick straight out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles in 2013. After performing well in a 50-game stint with the Delmarva Shorebirds last season — where he batted .330 with seven home runs — Gassaway was bumped up to the Orioles’ Advanced-A affiliate, the Frederick Keys, for the 2017 season. So far this year, Gassaway has played in both Frederick and Double-A Bowie for the Orioles and he’s batting .295 with 46 RBI’s through 90 games.

Reggie McClain, 24, Northview High School

McClain is a 6-foot-2 University of Missouri product who was taken in the 13th round of the 2016 draft by the Seattle Mariners. With Seattle’s Advanced-A club in 2017, the right-hander has a 8-7 record, a 4.99 ERA and 88 strikeouts through 20 starts.

Sean McLaughlin, 22, Northview High School

The 5-foot-11 right-handed pitcher has stayed in the southeast for his baseball career. After a stint at the University of Georgia, McLaughlin was drafted by the Braves in the 19th round of the 2015 draft. This season, he is with the Florida Fire Frogs, Atlanta’s Advanced-A affiliate in Kissimmee, Florida, and he has a 3.19 ERA with 44 strikeouts over 48 innings pitched.

Tyler Carpenter, 25, Milton High School

The 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher is in his fourth season of minor league ball, beginning 2017 with the Angels’ Double-A affiliate in Mobile, Alabama. The Alpharetta native and Gwinnett College product had a 4.07 ERA last season with 77 strikeouts over 20 starts. His production has dipped a bit this season as he has posted a 4.43 ERA and just 37 strikeouts over 13 starts.

Tyler Flowers, 31, Blessed Trinity High School

The Roswell native was drafted by the Braves in 2005, but was traded to the White Sox in 2008. In 2015, he came back to Atlanta and is under contract with the Braves through the 2018 season. In 2017, Flowers is on pace to hit personal career-high’s in hits and RBI’s. He has a .297 batting average and is fourth on the team with an OPS mark of .835. Flowers was also the subject of an article which called him baseball’s “most improved” player.

Tyler Krieger, 23, Northview High School

Krieger was first drafted in 2012, straight out of high school by the Seattle Mariners. But the 6-foot-2 second baseman opted for college, playing at Clemson, before being drafted again in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians in the fourth round. The Johns Creek product begins 2017 with the Indians’ Double-A affiliate in Akron, Ohio, where he’s batting .221 with 31 RBI’s through his 85 games.

Tyler Thornburg, 28, Riverwood High SchoolThe 5-foot-11 right-handed pitcher is starting the 2017 season on the 60-day disabled list after a shoulder injury, but should bolster the Boston Red Sox bullpen when he returns. Thornburg had an 8-5 record and a 2.15 ERA over 65 appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers last season. The 2010 third round pick was traded to Boston in December. As of July 24, he had not yet made his 2017 debut.

Zane Evans, 25, Roswell High School

After a short stint in Triple-A last season, the 6-foot-2 catcher begins 2017 in Double-A ball, with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Evans was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of Georgia Tech by the Kansas City Royals. In 2017, he started with Texas’ Double-A affiliate in Arkansas, but after hitting just .205 through 33 games, MiLB.com reports that he has retired.

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