Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position State Bonus
2 51 Seattle Mariners Rich Poythress 1B Ga. $694,800
After helping Georgia to the College World Series last season, Poythress has had an impressive follow-up season, hitting consistently as the anchor of Georgia's lineup. He recovered from a torn ACL in the fall of his freshman year to make 38 starts and hit .282. He's hit close to .390 the last two seasons with 36 home runs. Poythress does it more with strength, a polished approach and leverage in his swing rather than pure bat speed. He's more of a hitter rather than a slugger, lacking the raw power that Bulldogs shortstop Gordon Beckham showed. He ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in batting, slugging, on-base percentage and home runs while having a stellar junior season. His swing is geared to use the middle of the field, and he could hit for more power if he learns to pull for power better. Some scouts wonder if he'll hit for power against better velocity and consider him a solid hitter but more of a second-division player rather than a difference-maker. Poythress gave third base a whirl last summer in the Cape Cod League and in the fall but fits better defensively at first base, where his soft hands are an asset.
3 81 Washington Nationals Trevor Holder RHP Ga. $200,000
Holder was a 10th-round pick last season and should go in about the same range this June. He allowed 19 home runs in 92 innings as he failed to harness his improved velocity. Holder's fastball touched 95 and sat in the 91-94 mph range for much of the spring, but it's straight as an arrow at that speed, and hitters seemed to be running to the bat rack rather than being intimidated by the velocity. He has more movement when he throws it 88-91 mph, setting up a solid slurvy breaking ball and fringy changeup. Reliever Jeff Walters has a pro body at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds, and pro pitches with a 90-92 mph fastball and solid-average slider. A 30th-round pick last year out of St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC, his changeup has its moments and could help him start in pro ball. He lacks command of his stuff, and no pitch or trait separates him from the pack.
7 202 Washington Nationals Dean Weaver RHP Ga. $124,500
Weaver struggled badly as a starter earlier in his college career but started unlocking his talent in the New England Collegiate League in 2007. The league also featured Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 prospect, and probable 2009 first-rounder A.J. Pollock of Notre Dame. Weaver doesn't figure to go in the first round, but he should be the second player picked from Georgia after first baseman Rich Poythress. He was better suited to the setup role he filled last season in front of Joshua Fields, as he uses a three-quarters arm slot to fire a pair of plus pitches that nonetheless aren't strikeout pitches. Weaver throws strikes with a two-seamer that varies in velocity. At times he runs it up to 96 and pitches at 92-94 mph; in other appearances, he sits in the upper 80s. His slider can be a plus pitch at times as well, with solid tilt. He gets plenty of ground balls and has given up just seven home runs in 118 career innings. Weaver has flashed a changeup, and his 6-foot-4, 211-pound frame could possibly handle the load of starting if he ever got another shot at it. He figures into the fourth-to-sixth round range this June.
13 383 Seattle Mariners Matt Cerione OF Ga.
Bulldogs outfielder Matt Cerione has tremendous energy and plus tools, physically matching up well with Florida's Matt den Dekker (though he's a bit behind den Dekker across the board in raw tools). The problem with Cerione's energy is that it often is aimed in the wrong direction, and he sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him. Georgia coach Dave Perno benched him in regionals and criticized him publicly for showy play rather than playing hard. A bigger issue for scouts is Cerione's bat. He is an average to plus runner and defender, but he hit just .248 in SEC play, has a big swing and lacks a mature approach at the plate. He may be drafted high for his tools, or he may not be drafted as a snub for his attitude.
17 506 Baltimore Orioles Jeff Walters RHP Ga.
Reliever Jeff Walters has a pro body at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds, and pro pitches with a 90-92 mph fastball and solid-average slider. A 30th-round pick last year out of St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC, his changeup has its moments and could help him start in pro ball. He lacks command of his stuff, and no pitch or trait separates him from the pack.
25 771 Los Angeles Angels Michael Demperio 2B Ga.
26 787 Los Angeles Dodgers Alex McRee LHP Ga.
McRee was a crucial cog in Georgia's 2008 run to the College World Series finals, working as a lefthanded setup man. He made six starts during his first two seasons and 44 relief appearances, running his fastball into the mid-90s. His size (6-foot-6, 236 pounds) and velocity, plus being lefthanded, made McRee an easy target for scouts; scouting directors voted him a third-team All-American in the preseason. However, he had mononucleosis early in the season, and he's never gotten in a rhythm. While his fastball still has excellent life and downhill plane and has reached 94 mph, he has lacked consistency with it. He's pitching at 90-92 mph and still has a slurvy breaking ball, which some scouts want tightened up into a slider. His changeup has made significant strides, yet his pitchability has not. He was averaging 6.9 walks per nine innings and barely more than four innings per start, then got hammered for seven runs in less than an inning by Louisiana State in the Southeastern Conference tournament. McRee has a strong academic profile and has plans to go to medical school, and he wasn't expected to sign for less than supplemental first-round money. He hopes to return to school and replicate Joshua Fields' achievement of being a first-round pick as a senior out of Georgia.
30 901 Colorado Rockies Bryce Massanari C Ga.
Georgia and Georgia Tech have more solid college players who aren't selling jeans--such as Bulldogs catcher Bryce Massanari--than players who get scouts excited. Massanari has tremendous hands that work for him as a catcher and at the plate, and he ranked second in the Southeastern Conference with 13 homers in league play. However, he's got a thick lower half, little mobility and plays with low energy.
32 966 Arizona Diamondbacks Will Harvil RHP Ga.
41 1232 Kansas City Royals Joey Lewis C Ga.
Backup catcher and DH Joey Lewis hit 19 home runs and would be a nice sleeper pick if not for a below-average arm, slow transfer and a somewhat ugly swing. He collapses his back side to produce power, causing lots of swing and miss (67 strikeouts in 238 at-bats) but also above-average raw power.
47 1405 Pittsburgh Pirates Justin Earls LHP Ga.