ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves continued to lean on local
talent when they made Henry County High School outfielder Jason
Heyward their first-round pick in today's amateur baseball draft.
The Braves took Heyward, who is projected as a power hitter,
with the 14th pick of the first round.
The Braves' current major league roster includes six home-state
players drafted by the team: outfielder Jeff Francoeur, Parkview
High; catcher Brian McCann, Duluth High; and pitchers Chuck James,
Mableton High; Blaine Boyer, Walton High; Kyle Davies, Stockbridge
High and Macay McBride, Screven County High.
The Braves have another home-state player, outfielder Willie
Harris of Cairo, who was drafted by Baltimore in 1999.
In last year's draft, the Braves selected four in-state players
on the first day: Georgia Southern right-handed pitcher Dustin
Evans, two pitchers from Georgia Tech -- Lee Hyde, a left-hander,
and right-hander Tim Gustafson -- and University of Georgia first
baseman Josh Morris.
The Braves had four high picks today. Following their
first-round pick -- the team's highest selection since 1991 -- the
Braves chose another high school player, third baseman Jonathan
Gilmore of Iowa City, Iowa, with the 33rd pick in the supplemental
The Braves drafted two more in-state players. They picked
University of Georgia relief pitcher Joshua Fields with their first
of two second-round picks and added another relief pitcher, Cory
Gearrin of Mercer University, in the fourth round.
After taking Fields, the Braves selected first baseman Frederick
Freeman of El Modena California, High with their second of two
second-round picks. Atlanta drafted shortstop Brandon Hicks of
Texas A-and-M in the third round before selecting Gearrin in the
In the fifth round, the Braves picked University of Oregon
quarterback Dennis Dixon. The plan is for Dixon, an outfielder, to
play baseball in the Braves' organization this summer before
returning to Oregon for the fall.