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Local baseball stars await future as MLB Draft looms

Gettys, Adams projected to be selected in first round

POSTED: May 31, 2014 11:09 p.m.

Michael Gettys won’t be sitting in the green room Thursday night.

There won’t be any television cameras focused on the recent Gainesville High graduate as he waits for his name to be called, or any of the professional baseball scouts and radar guns that have scrutinized him so diligently over the past year.

Much like friend and former White County High pitcher Spencer Adams, Gettys is content to relax in the comfort of his own home and watch his future unfold in the 2014 MLB Draft.

For Gettys and Adams, two of the most highly-touted high school baseball prospects to ever come through this corner of Northeast Georgia, it’s a welcomed turning point in a journey that has featured a mix of excitement, pressure and uncertainty.

“We’re just ready for it to be here,” said Gettys, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound outfielder. “It’s exciting, but you just want to know where you’re going to get picked. It’s not too stressful because it’s a blessing to be picked (at all).”

Gettys and Adams, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-hander, have followed almost identical paths for the past year.

The duo became magnets for professional scouts, who crowded the fence lines of baseball fields in Hall County, White County and beyond to watch them play throughout the season.

Both players also signed baseball scholarships with the University of Georgia, though it appears increasingly unlikely that either of them will join the Bulldogs following strong senior seasons that positioned them to be taken near the top of the First-Year Player Draft.

Precisely where Gettys and Adams will be picked is anyone’s guess, but the general consensus among mock drafts is that neither player will slip past the second round.

“They’re saying (I’ll be taken) mid-to-late first,” Adams said on Thursday, two days before he was scheduled to fly to Kansas City for a workout with the Royals.

“The Royals like me a lot and they have the 17th pick. The Dodgers also like me a lot and they have number 22.”

Even if the Royals don’t take Adams at No. 17, he might still wind up in Kansas City. The team also holds picks No. 28 and 40 overall.

ESPN.com analyst Keith Law has Adams ranked No. 35 among the top 100 prospects in his latest rankings, and has Gettys slotted four spots higher at No. 31. Adams is 27th in the MLB.com rankings, while Gettys is 37th.

Adams has steadily risen in mock drafts since the fall. He posted a minuscule 0.72 ERA this past season, and held opposing hitters to a .129 batting average while racking up 90 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings.

“Spencer has a big-time arm with a fastball that can get into the low to mid 90s,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said in a December press release that announced Adams’ signing.

“He also has a swing and miss slider that is as good as we’ve seen. He is a great athlete that has a lot of upside.”

Though Gettys also posted impressive numbers on the mound for Gainesville over the past two seasons, he said teams have only expressed interest in him as an outfielder.

His draft projections have dipped slightly in recent weeks, despite the fact that he hit .370 with 11 homers, 60 RBIs and 31 stolen bases during a season in which Gainesville came within one victory short of a spot in the Class AAAAA state title series.

Many mock drafts projected Gettys to be selected among the top 10 picks of the draft earlier in the year, but most now have him going late in the first round or early in the second.

He is considered a five-tool prospect: a player who can hit for average and power, possesses speed, features a powerful arm and has strong defensive skills. He’s even drawn loose comparisons to 22-year-old L.A. Angels outfielder Mike Trout for his well-rounded skill set.

“I know a few teams that really like me,” Gettys said, “but you never know what’s going to happen with the draft.”

While Adams was scheduled for his workout with the Royals on Saturday, Gettys will spend part of today taking swings for the Nationals in the batter’s box at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

The Nationals have a pick in each of the first two rounds, including the 18th overall selection.

There’s also an outside chance that Gettys or Adams could end up with the Atlanta Braves, who hold pick No. 32 and have a history of drafting home-grown talent. Six of the Braves’ last 13 first-round picks have been plucked from Georgia high schools.

Gettys said he doesn’t have an ideal destination or draft scenario, he’s only concerned with being taken as high as possible.

“I want to want play major league baseball,” Gettys said, “so that’s what I’m focused on.”

Adams said he and Gettys have talked regularly during the recruiting process. Though they sometimes exchanged scouting tips on opposing high school players or talked about life apart from baseball, Adams was grateful to have someone who could relate specifically to the unique position of being a coveted MLB draft prospect.

“It feels good to talk with somebody else that’s in the same situation and has the same opportunity,” Adams said.

Adams was also a standout player on the Warriors basketball team last season. He averaged 18.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals as a senior, good enough to earn an honorable mention on the all-state team.

He plans to keep his mind occupied prior to the draft by taking part in yet another sport — albeit one that won’t put his prized right arm in any real danger.

“We’re just going to have a family-friend draft party,” Adams said.

“There are going to be some friends that come over, and we’re just going to hang out and play ping-pong until the draft starts.”

The first two rounds of the First-Year Player Draft will be televised live at 7 p.m. Thursday on MLB Network and MLB.com.


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