ATLANTA- Three Georgia State signees were selected Tuesday in the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, headlined by catcher Jordan Weems, who was taken by the Boston Red Sox in the third round.
A native of Columbus, Ga., Weems becomes the second-highest Panther signee ever drafted, taken with the 111th overall selection Tuesday. Only Bryan Digby, a 2000 second round pick of the Atlanta Braves, has been drafted higher among all-time Panther signees.
Additional GSU signees drafted Tuesday were Deion Williams, a shortstop from Stone Mountain, Ga., (Redan High School), who was chosen in the 16th round by the Washington Nationals, and junior college utility player Kenny Straus (Whitefield Academy/Georgia Perimeter College), who was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the 26th round.
The three are part of a highly-touted eight-player signing class inked by Panthers head coach Greg Frady in 2010, eligible to enroll at Georgia State this fall.
Weems, a standout left-handed batter at Columbus High School, led the Blue Devils to their second consecutive Class AAA state championship in May with a 19-9 win over top-ranked Spalding. He batted over .400 for the second consecutive season, piling up a .443 average with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 39 contests.
Jordan's father, Rick Weems, played baseball professionally in the St. Louis Cardinals organization while his brother, Chase, currently plays for the Class A Bakersfield Blaze of the Advanced California League in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Deion Williams is an Under Armour All-American who batted .455 in his senior season at Redan and is ranked as a top prospect in the state of Georgia by many publications. Baseball has a long tradition in his family as his grandfather, George Scott, signed with the Boston Red Sox and spent 13 years playing professional baseball. His father Dion also played in the Boston Red Sox organization and was the head coach at McNair High School for 11 years, winning 200 games.
Kenny Straus was a four-year letter winner at Whitefield Academy who is slated transfer to Georgia State after playing this past season at Georgia Perimeter College, batting .339 over 45 games. He spent the 2010 season at Duke. Straus plays both third base and outfield.
The highest player ever drafted to put on a Panther uniform was pitcher David Buchanan, who was taken in the sixth round of the 2009 draft out of Chipola Junior College. He elected to enroll at GSU and pitched for the Panthers in 2010, when he was drafted again. Buchanan is currently playing for the Lakewood Blue Claws, the Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 2011 MLB Draft concludes Wednesday from Secaucus, N.J., with rounds 31-50.