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3 taken in MLB Draft

There were three Gwinnett players selected on the second day of the 2007 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Friday, but there's a pretty good chance that none of them will be starting their professional careers anytime soon.

Current UGA pitcher, and former Wesleyan star, Stephen Dodson was taken in the 18th round by the Kansas City Royals. Recent North graduate Mitch Rider, a Georgia State signee, was selected in the 47th round by the Florida Marlins and former Parkview star Stephen McCray, who recently completed his first season at Young Harris, was selected in the 50th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

According to the University of Georgia Sports Information Department, Dodson received calls Thursday during the fourth round and indicated he would remain a Bulldog. The Royals drafted him a day later anyway.

"Stephen will solidify our rotation, and we're pleased about that," UGA head coach David Perno said on Friday.

Dodson finished the 2007 season with a 4-6 record and a 3.56 ERA in 19 appearances for the Bulldogs. He led the SEC in overall ERA until his final outing of the year.

For Rider and McCray, their names were called much later on Friday.

Rider, who led the county in home runs (13) and RBIs (45) as a senior at North Gwinnett went in the 47th round, pick No. 1,380 overall, to the Marlins. He has until the middle of August to decide if he will begin his professional career or start his college career at Georgia State.

The same goes for McCray, who in his first season at Young Harris, helped lead his team to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. At the plate, he hit .389 with five homers and a region-best 48 RBIs during the regular season. On the mound, he was 8-1 with a 2.36 ERA.

One Gwinnett County product who will definitely be playing pro ball is McCray's former high school teammate, K.D. Kang.

The Parkview grad was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 15th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He played the past season as a "draft-and-follow" at Chattahoochee Community College (Ala.) and apparently impressed the Devil Rays in his freshman season.

Kang hit .349 with 12 home runs and 68 RBIs at CCC and will begin his professional career on the Devil Rays' rookie team.