Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Signing Deadline Passes


Ace pitcher Michael Palazzone, closer Tyler Maloof along with outfielders Peter Verdin and Johnathan Taylor will return to the University of Georgia as the deadline to sign professional contracts passed at midnight Monday.

Palazzone (24th round/Milwaukee), Verdin (39th round/Washington) and Taylor (33rd round/Texas) enter their senior seasons while Maloof (34th round/Cleveland) will be a junior. Also, senior second baseman Levi Hyams and junior shortstop Kyle Farmer round out the nucleus of what will be an experienced team in 2012. Georgia advanced to the final of the NCAA Corvallis Regional in 2011, posting a 33-32 record. The Dawgs finished fourth in the rugged Southeastern Conference that featured national champion South Carolina, CWS finalist Florida and No. 3 Vanderbilt.

Additionally, the Dawgs saw five out of their 11 signees that were selected in the draft opt to come to Georgia.

Left-handed pitcher Jarrett Brown (23rd round/Boston), right-handed pitcher Mike Mancuso (46th round/Chicago White Sox), right-handed pitcher David Sosebee (48th round/Boston), outfielder Hunter Cole (49th round, Washington), and outfielder/pitcher Heath Holder (50th round/Colorado) chose not to sign professional contracts. Also, infielder Tyler Palmer (4th round/Florida) did not sign a contract due to a serious arm injury. He is recovering at home in Odum, Georgia. The Dawgs had a school record 18 players (seven current and 11 signees) selected in the 2011 MLB draft.

Palazzone (10-5, 3.14 ERA) was one of the top pitchers in the SEC in 2011 with seven wins over ranked foes and a league-best four complete games. Also, Georgia welcomes back sophomore left-hander Alex Wood (6-7, 4.44 ERA). In his first season as a closer, Maloof finished third nationally with 18 saves which tied a school record. Verdin has been a three-year starter with a .291 career batting average and 32 stolen bases. Taylor sustained a serious neck injury last March and plans to return to school and continue rehabilitation in January.

Hyams (.332-5-38) indicated to MLB teams he would return for his senior season and was not drafted. He led the team in batting and set a school record with a .983 fielding percentage for a second baseman. Farmer (.308-8-58) ranked fifth in the SEC in RBI and led the team in home runs. Both made the NCAA Corvallis Regional All-Tournament team.

“The fact that we have several key juniors that decided to come back for their senior year is going to make a huge impact for us this coming season compared to what the freshmen who didn’t show up could’ve done for us,” said coach David Perno. “The biggest part of this recruiting class was the pitching, and we feel good about who made it. We lost some bats overall, and hoped to keep a few of those but when you look at the signing bonuses, they had their number, and they got it. Overall, our coaches did a nice job with this class. I look at the veterans we’re going to have in 2012; they know how close we were last year and they battled all season. It reminds me of the team we had in 2008 that featured a good mix of veterans with some talented freshmen.”

The Dawgs will begin fall practice on September 19th, and the college baseball season will open on February 17th.

Dawgs In the 2011 MLB Draft

Zach Cone, OF, Texas, 1st Round Compensation, 37th overall; Signed pro $873K

Cecil Tanner, RHP, Oakland, 23rd Round, 706th overall; Signed pro

Michael Palazzone, RHP, 24th Round, 731st overall; DNS

Johnathan Taylor, OF, Texas, 33rd Round, 1,014th overall; DNS-Jan.

Tyler Maloof, RHP, Cleveland, 34th Round, 1,028th overall; DNS

Peter Verdin, OF, Washington, 39th Round, 1,177th overall; DNS

Chase Davidson, OF, Houston, 41st Round, 1,240th overall; Signed pro

Ben Cornwell, RHP, Seattle, Graduated, Signed as a free agent

Dawg Recruiting Class Members In the 2011 MLB Draft

Dante Bichette, Jr., INF, N.Y. Yankees, 1st Round Compensation, 51st overall; Signed $750K

Tyler Palmer, INF, Florida, 4th Round, 133rd overall; Injured, did not sign

Patrick Leonard, INF, Kansas City, 5th Round, 156th overall; Signed $600K

Matthew Taylor, LHP, Baltimore, 5th Round, 155th overall; Signed $160K

Nick Delmonico, C/INF, Baltimore, 6th Round, 185th overall; Signed $1.525 million

Tyler Greene, INF, Philadelphia, 11th Round, 361st overall; Signed $375K

Jarrett Brown, LHP, Boston, 23rd Round, 712th overall; DNS

Mike Mancuso, RHP, Chicago White Sox, 46th Round, 1,401st overall; DNS-Jan.

David Sosebee, RHP, Boston, 48th Round, 1,462nd overall; DNS

Hunter Cole, OF, Washington, 49th Round, 1,477th overall; DNS

Heath Holder, OF/RHP, Colorado, 50th Round, 1,518th overall; DNS

DNS=Did not sign, enrolled at Georgia; DNS-Jan. Did not sign, plans to enroll in Jan.

*Signing bonus amounts according to Baseball America

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