Michael Gettys has to decide whether his future in baseball will take him to the West Coast, or to the University of Georgia.
Gettys was selected 51st overall by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the First-Year Player Draft Thursday night, higher than any Gainesville player since former Red Elephants standout Micah Owings was taken by the Colorado Rockies with the 50th pick in the 2002 MLB Draft.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Gettys, who signed with the University of Georgia baseball program last year, hit .377 with 11 home runs, 53 RBIs and 31 stolen bases for the Red Elephants in 2014. He also posted a 1.85 ERA on the mound with 105 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings, but said pro teams were interested in him exclusively as a pitcher.
Gettys is considered a five-tool outfielder: a player who can hit for both average and power, possesses speed and a strong arm coupled with good defensive skills.
He’s drawn loose comparisons to 22-year-old L.A. Angels outfielder Mike Trout for his well-rounded skill set.
Gettys was in the top 10 of many mock drafts prior to the 2014 season, but ultimately slipped down draft boards due to questions about his bat.
He was selected seven spots after friend and fellow area standout Spencer Adams, the White County High right-hander drafted by the Chicago White Sox with the 44th pick.
Gettys appeared to be leaning toward going straight to the pros in the days prior to the draft.
“I want to want play major league baseball,” Gettys said last week, “so that’s what I’m focused on.”
Gettys could not be reached for comment before The Times’ press deadline Thursday night.
The First-Year Player Draft resumes at 1 p.m. today with coverage of rounds 3-10 on MLB.com.