DeKalb County's Steven Jennings was picked in the second round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Photo: MLB.com)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A pitcher from DeKalb County was the first Tennessee high school player drafted in the 2017 Major League Baseball Entry Draft on Monday.
DeKalb County’s Steve Jennings was picked in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The DeKalb County standout, who had committed to play baseball at the University of Mississippi, was the 42nd player picked overall.
The two-sport star emerged as the top prospect during the spring. Jennings, who played quarterback in football, tore his ACL during a game in September and missed much of his senior season. He recovered in time to play baseball in the spring.
At DeKalb County, Jennings posted a 0.54 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 51-2/3 inning pitched this spring.
According to scouts, his quick arm generates a fastball that sits at 89-92 mph, reaches 95 and should add some more velocity in the future. His slider can hit 85 mph and he has developed a curve ball that can be a solid breaking pitch as well.
Beech pitcher Ian McWilliams was the third high school player from Tennessee picked in the draft. He was picked in the 30th round by the New York Mets. The Alabama-Birmingham signee threw a one-hitter in the sectional championship game to send the Buccaneers to the state tournament for the first time since the 1980s. He also threw a no-hitter during the season.
Other high school players from Tennessee selected were Jordan Fowler (26th round, Texas) from Dyer County and Spencer Strider (35, Cleveland) from Christian Academy of Knoxville.