ATLANTA -- Georgia State senior catcher Joey Roach was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Saturday, taken in the 31st round.
In addition, GSU signee Jaquez Williams, a left-handed hitting first baseman from Newnan, Ga., and East Coweta High School was drafted in the 18th round by the San Diego Padres.
With these two selections, Georgia State has had five players and three signees drafted over the last three seasons.
"I am extremely happy to see Joey get this opportunity," head coach Greg Frady said. "He has worked extremely hard, and he has been a model citizen, a model student and a model player for four years, so this is a dream come true."
Roach, a native of Holly Springs, N.C., finishes his career as one of the most decorated baseball players in GSU history, on and off the field. The left-handed hitting backstop is a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and a two-time semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top catcher. He hit .325 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI in 2016. His 25 career homers rank 13th in school history, and he stands in the top 15 in Panther annals in numerous other categories.
The actuarial science major is also a two-time Academic All-American, including first-team accolades in 2016, and one of 10 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
"This means everything," Roach said. "To be drafted and have an opportunity to play professional baseball is everything you dream about and work for as a baseball player.
"I really want to thank all my teammates and coaches at Georgia State for giving me an opportunity and helping me develop."
Roach came to GSU as a freshman in 2013 as part of a recruiting class that has seen six players drafted over the last three years.