Marquis Grissom, Tim Borden complete Georgia Tech’s draftees

Georgia Tech’s Marquis Grissom, Jr. (9) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the Spring Classic for Kids baseball game Sunday, March 6, 2022 at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville. (Daniel Varnado/For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Georgia Tech’s Marquis Grissom, Jr. (9) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the Spring Classic for Kids baseball game Sunday, March 6, 2022 at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville. (Daniel Varnado/For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Prior to this week’s Major League Baseball draft, Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said that “you just can’t predict” how the process would go with respect to most of his team’s draft candidates.

As it turned out, it went well for many of them. The draft finished Tuesday and two more Yellow Jackets – pitcher Marquis Grissom and infielder Tim Borden – were selected, bringing the team’s total to eight for the 20-round draft. Grissom was selected in the 13th round by the Washington Nationals (who also took fellow starting pitcher Chance Huff in the eighth round) with the 381st pick. Borden was drafted in the 16th round by the Houston Astros with the 493rd pick.

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With that, eight of the 10 Jackets players with eligibility remaining whom Hall tabbed as possible draftees were selected, with outfielder Stephen Reid and third baseman Drew Compton the only players not picked. The eight picks were the most in a draft for Tech since the 2010 team had 10 players drafted.

Grissom, the son of former Braves outfielder Marquis Grissom Sr., was ranked the No. 261 draft prospect by Baseball America. He was 4-5 for Tech this season with a 5.75 ERA and a 57/42 strikeout/walk ratio in 61 innings.

Borden, a transfer from Louisville, primarily played as a designated hitter, finishing with a .335 batting average and 20 home runs in 206 at-bats, nearly the same rate as Kevin Parada, Tech’s All-American catcher and the No. 11 pick to the New York Mets. Borden was top 10 in the ACC in on-base percentage (.466), slugging percentage (.689) and home runs and also led the league in hit by pitch with a school-record 25 plunks. He was not ranked among the Baseball America’s top 500 prospects.

Both players may have stay-or-go decisions upcoming. Players drafted in rounds 11-20 can sign for up to $150,000 without it counting against teams’ bonus pool. Both Grissom and Borden have eligibility remaining and can come back, boost their draft stock and re-enter the draft next year.

Prior to the draft, Hall mentioned Grissom specifically as someone that “if he doesn’t get a great opportunity this year, I think he can be a Friday-night starter in our league and be a high-round draft pick next year.”

Last year, of the 30 13th-round picks, 24 signed, 16 signing for $125,000 (that year’s max without counting against the pool). Of the 30 16th-round picks, 20 signed, with bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $125,000. While there is reason for both Borden and Grissom to stay for another season, either or both may be ready to make the jump and begin their professional careers.

If all eight players have played their last for Tech, it’s a sizable drain. The five position players accounted for 58% of the team’s hits and 60% of its home runs. Pitchers Zach Maxwell, Huff and Grissom threw 34% of the team’s innings. Huff and Grissom were two of the primary weekend starters.

Further, high-school signee Lamar King, a catcher who was expected to succeed Parada, was drafted in the fourth round by the San Diego Padres and told the Baltimore Sun that he plans to turn professional. (He was the only signee to be drafted.)

Draft candidates Reid (.333, 16 home runs) and Compton (.275, 14 home runs) return, and Hall is counting on improvement from four rising sophomore pitchers, Cody Carwile, Aeden Finateri, Camron Hill and Logan McGuire.