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Parkview's Freeland signs deal with Reds

The list of players from Gwinnett's class selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft to begin their professional careers continues to grow.

The latest was recent Parkview grad Jarrett Freeland, who came to terms with the Cincinnati Reds' organization on July 4.

Freeland did not discuss the terms of his deal, but Freeland said his signing bonus was for considerably more than the $100,000 the Reds had slotted for 15th-round pick, where they took the former Panthers standout in the draft last month.

Combined with the opportunity to begin a professional career after rehabbing an elbow injury he suffered this spring, it made his decision to pass up a possible college career at the University of Georgia a little easier.

"It was (a tough decision), especially with the new coach (Scott Stricklin) at Georgia," the 6-foot-7, 210-pound catcher said. "But the opportunity that was presented was too good. It was the best opportunity for me to pursue (baseball) at the next level.

"(The signing bonus) was a lot more than slot. It made (the decision) pretty easy with the number (Cincinnati) put out there."

Freeland was a Daily Post preseason Super Six selection for 2013, but suffered a torn elbow ligament during an early-season pitching outing that required surgery and forced him to miss his senior season.

However, he says he has started hitting off a tee, and will soon begin a throwing program after he joins to the Reds' Arizona rookie league affiliate in Goodyear, Ariz.

He could begin designated hitting in live games as soon as the winter league season, and is expected to be fully recovered by spring training next year.

Prior to this season, Freeland was an important part of Parkview's back-to-back Class AAAAAA state championship teams in 2011 and 2012, including hitting .340 with four home runs, 21 RBIs, 10 doubles and a 1.010 OPS as a junior a year ago.Freeland becomes the sixth member of Gwinnett's 2013 draft class to sign, joining Grayson's Austin Meadows (Pittsburgh), Parkview teammate Josh Hart (Baltimore), South Gwinnett's Nick Blount (Chicago White Sox), North Gwinnett's Nick Jones (San Francisco) and Mill Creek's Bryan Hudson (Boston).

Only Grayson's Chris Erwin (Minnesota) and former Mill Creek and current Georgia Tech pitcher Matt Grimes remain unsigned.