Georgia Tech’s ACC Coastal Division champion team placed three of its players into the first seven rounds of the Major League Baseball draft. Shortstop Luke Waddell, third baseman Justyn-Henry Malloy went in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, to the Braves, while pitcher Brant Hurter was taken in the seventh round by Detroit, all among the draft’s top 200 selections.
The selections extended Tech’s streak of having multiple players drafted to 21, while also marking the third year in a row that coach Danny Hall’s team had multiple players selected in the first 10 rounds. All three are expected to sign and begin their professional careers.
The draft’s final 10 rounds will be held Tuesday.
Waddell was the 157th player selected with the Braves’ fifth-round selection. A four-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, Waddell was a first-team All-ACC selection, hit .309 and was sixth in the country at 14.4 at-bats per strikeout.
Malloy, a transfer from Vanderbilt, hit .308 with 11 home runs and led Tech in RBI with 43. He was named third-team All-ACC. Malloy also tied for the most walks in the ACC with 46. Waddell and Malloy are the first Tech players selected by the Braves since 2016 (Matt Gonzalez). The last time the Braves took two or more Jackets players in a single draft was 2007 (Michael Fisher, Tim Ladd and Eddie Burns).
After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019 and missing the 2020 season, Hurter, a Woodstock High grad, earned second-team All-ACC honors with a 3.90 ERA in 81 1/3 innings.
For the final 10 rounds, pitcher Luke Bartnicki has perhaps the best chance of any Tech player to be drafted.
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Credit: Mark McKay, Channel 2 Action News