Monday, June 6, 2011

Cone & Bichette Drafted


University of Georgia junior outfielder Zach Cone was selected by the Texas Rangers with the 37th overall pick of the Major League Baseball Draft Sunday.

“It was exciting to get the news on the plane, and it’s a great opportunity,” said Cone. “I’m sure I’ll be talking with them in the next couple of days.”

The Dawgs are en route back to Athens after reaching the NCAA Corvallis Regional final on the campus of Oregon State. Cone learned he had been drafted while on a plane in Des Moines, Iowa. The team left Eugene, Oregon Sunday afternoon and made a stop in Iowa before heading to Atlanta and ultimately returning to Athens.

Cone and his teammates were watching and listening to the draft as they boarded the charter plane. When the Rangers announced their selection on, everyone on the plane started clapping and cheering for Cone.

Cone, a 6-2, 202-pound native of Stone Mountain, Ga., was the fourth pick of the compensation round, also known as “sandwich picks” that follows each round as compensation for teams that lose players to free agency. The first round consists of 33 picks plus 27 compensation picks. Cone, who was a third round pick coming out of Parkview High School in 2009, is a three-year starter for the Dawgs. Cone hit .275 with four home runs and 35 RBI this season, starting 64 games and appearing in 65.

Cone was named to the SEC All-Defensive team, fielding a perfect 1.000 in 161 total chances including five assists.

Also, at No. 51 in the compensation round, Dawg signee Dante Bichette, Jr., was selected by the New York Yankees. A 6-1, 215-pound native of Orlando, Fla., was a standout at Orangewood Christian High School and son of former Major Leaguer Dante Bichette.

Monday’s draft schedule featured just the first round and compensation picks for a total of 60 picks. The draft continues through Wednesday and includes 50 rounds.

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