SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The 2019 MLB Draft has been good to the Savannah Bananas, with a Coastal Plain League leading 11 current or former players drafted.
It all started Monday when the Atlanta Braves took Texas A&M infielder and 2016 Savannah Banana Braden Shewmake with the 21st overall selection. The pick makes Shewmake the highest drafted played in Banana history.
Tuesday was just as good to the bunch.
Former Coastal Plain League All-Star LJ Talley got his call from the Toronto Blue Jays in the 7th inning. The Georgia Bulldog product was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team in 2019.
Two rounds later, two-time CPL All-Star Clay Dungan was picked by the Kansas City Royals. Dungan was a two-time CPL All-Star and named to the All-Coastal Plain League First Team in 2018.
Bananas president Jared Orton says this kind of draft success for former players will continue to bring talented players to the Hostess City.
“They’re getting here and they’re able to really show off what they can do. Clay at Indiana State is not seen by a ton of people. But he gets to come here, play really well, then go back to school, and starts to get seen by some people," Orton says. "We keep telling them stories like this. Guys are coming here. They’re getting better, they’re getting seen, and now they’re going to get a chance to go play in the minor leagues and maybe we might see a guy in the big leagues.”
On Wednesday, four more Bananas got their calls.
It started when the Rays took current Banana Brett Wisely in the 15th round. The Gulf Coast Community College product is off to a red hot start in 2019 for Savannah. He’s batting .473 with a .630 on-base percentage, a HR and seven runs scored in six games.
Three rounds later, the Cincinnati Reds selected RHP Jason Ruffcorn. The Oklahoma Sooner made 20 relief appearances for the Bananas in 2018. He compiled a 2-1 record and had one save. Ruffcorn had a 2.36 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.
A pair of Bananas went in the 20th round, three picks apart.
The Seattle Mariners selected outfielder Cade Marlowe with the 606th overall pick. The West Georgia product led the Coastal Plain League with 37 stolen bases in 2018 and was named to the All-CPL team.
With the 609th overall pick, the Colorado Rockies picked Banana alum Yorvis Torrealba from the University of Tampa. Torrealba batted .278 in 10 games with Savannah in 2018. He stole seven bases and drove in six runs.
SAVANNAH BANANAS 2019 DRAFT PICKS
Braden Shewmake (Texas A&M)- 2016 Banana- 1st round, 21st overall to Atlanta
L.J. Talley (Georgia)- 2017 Banana- 7th round, 207th overall to Toronto
Angel Camacho (Jacksonville)- 2016 Banana- 8th round, 237th overall to Toronto
Clay Dungan (Indiana State)- 2016,2018 Banana- 9th round, 258th overall to Kansas City
Shelton Perkins (James Madison)- 2016 Banana- 16th round, 468th overall to Baltimore
Jason Ruffcorn (Oklahoma)- 2018 Banana- 18th round, 534th overall to Cincinnati
Cade Marlowe (West Georgia)- 2018 Banana- 20th round, 606th overall to Seattle
Yorvis Torrealba (Tampa)- 2018 Banana- 20th round, 609th overall to Colorado
Kipp Rollings (North Greenville)- 2017 Banana- 24th round, 726th overall to Seattle
Utah Jones (North Greenville)- 2017 Banana- 29th round, 876th overall to Seattle
Chris Mauloni (Jacksonville)- 2018 Banana- 35th round, 1067th overall to Boston