June 12 will see the start of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. This year is considered to be one light on talent in Georgia's high school and college ranks -- only one college player from the state is ranked in Baseball America magazine's list of the top 500 draft prospects -- but there are still a number of players with Forsyth County ties that could get a call.
Ryan McCarthy, OF, Pinecrest
The draft is 40 rounds, and 40 rounds leaves plenty of room for fascinating stories of prospects that surged into prominence in just a few months. McCarthy is one of those: He's been playing baseball for most of his life, but he stopped playing it year-round when he was a sophomore in high school, choosing to concentrate on football. That decision has worked out well, and he has a scholarship to play quarterback at The Citadel to show for it, but an incredibly productive spring for Pinecrest's baseball team and an intriguing set of physical tools have brought McCarthy attention from professional teams. He has clearly stated his commitment to going to college and playing football, but there's still a chance for a team to take a late-round flyer on McCarthy. You can read more of his story here.
Andrew Gist, LHP, Georgia
Gist earned all-state honors at Forsyth Central, where he graduated in 2013. He hit the juco ranks out of high school, spending two years at Walters State, where he struck out 92 batters in 88 2/3 innings as a sophomore and played in the Cape Cod League during the summer. His first year at Georgia was a mediocre one, with a 5.18 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings, but Gist was the Bulldogs' best pitcher in 2017, when he had a 3.80 ERA, allowed 70 hits and struck out 79 in 73 1/3 innings. Gist would fit into the label of a finesse pitcher, without any clear plus offerings, and his 5-foot-10, 196-pound frame offers little in the way of projectability. But he's a lefty, and his track record of strong control -- just 19 walks this past season -- and performing in quality leagues could make him a worthy senior sign.
Danny Edgeworth, IF, Mercer
Edgeworth, a Lambert alum, has been a strong contributor for one of the Southern Conference's best teams for most of his time in Macon, but his offensive production took off in his senior season. His .332 batting average was second-best on the Bears, and he was also second on the team in hits, with 71. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Edgeworth showed solid plate discipline, with 32 walks to 41 strikeouts, and played a solid second base for the Bears. It won't be in the early rounds, but a lefty bat like Edgeworth with a strong frame and good track record has a particularly good chance to go somewhere.
Devin Gearhart, IF, North Georgia
Gearhart, a 2012 graduate of South Forsyth, came into his own as a redshirt junior at UNG, when he put up an .857 OPS, and he had another strong offensive season in 2017, helping the Nighthawks reach the Division II World Series. Many of Gearhart's accolades have been for his defensive skills, though. He made just three errors in 52 games at third base in 2016, earning a spot on the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Team for that performance. Gearhart's defense wasn't quite as clean in 2017, when he made nine errors in 58 games, but he's a strong, versatile infielder and could sign quickly as a free agent even if he isn't drafted.