Atlanta Braves draft Kennett pitcher Adam Grantham
KENNETT, Mo. - Kennett pitcher Adam Grantham wasn't shocked when he received a phone call from an Atlanta Braves scout Wednesday afternoon informing him he had been selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft.
"I knew there were some rumblings about me being drafted," Grantham said, when asked if he expected the call. "I knew it was a possibility, but at the same time I didn't know for sure.
"I was sitting at my house and Jon David French called me Wednesday afternoon," Grantham continued. "He's the scout for the Braves who kind of got it all going. He told me the Braves called him and told him they had drafted me. That's kind of how it went down."
Grantham was taken in the 32nd round and was the 989th overall pick by the Braves.
"Jon David French and another scout for the Braves came and watched me a couple of games this year," Grantham said. "The Braves have always been a great organization. They are known for developing pitchers in their minor league system."
Grantham has signed to play baseball at Arkansas State University next season. Arkansas State is a four-year college located in Jonesboro, Ark. He said he is unsure if he will attend college or sign with the Braves.
"I haven't really decided," he said. "It's going to be a tough decision either way. I'm going to have to talk to my family about it and see where it goes from there.
"I think Thursday Jon David and the other scouts for the Braves will contact me," he continued. "We will go from there after Thursday."
Grantham was selected as the SEMO Conference Player of the Year in baseball in 2011. He was also selected to the SEMO Conference all-conference team, Bootheel Conference all-conference team and all-district baseball team in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Grantham batted .531 for Kennett in 2011 with 41 RBIs and six home runs. Grantham went 6-0 on the mound and finished the season with a 1.56 ERA in 2011.
In 2012 Grantham batted .364 with 25 RBIs and three home runs. Grantham went 7-1 on the mound with a 1.42 ERA. He pitched a perfect game in the Bootheel Conference championship against Malden on May 3, 2012.
Grantham told the Daily Dunklin Democrat in November 2011 Arkansas State was recruiting him as an outfielder and pitcher and one of the main reasons he elected to sign with ASU was so he would have the opportunity to hit and pitch. Grantham said he would likely concentrate solely on pitching if he elects to sign with the Braves.
"If I decide to sign they want me as a pitcher," he said.
Grantham played high school baseball at Kennett for four seasons and played on the 2011 Missouri Bulls prospect team. Kennett won district baseball championships Grantham's junior and senior seasons.
"I believe it was a little bit of both," Grantham said, when asked which team helped prepare him the best to be drafted. "I think the Bulls allowed me to play good competition throughout the Midwest, but also Coach New and Coach Lewallen run an outstanding high school program. They kind of set the bar for me."
Grantham said the phone calls haven't stopped since the announcement Wednesday afternoon.
"I've received congratulations from a number of people," he said. "It's just been a lot of phone calls and excitement. Coach New and Coach Lewallen called me along with Coach Carr and all my middle school coaches."
Grantham was not the only player from southeast Missouri selected in the draft by the Braves.
Southeast Missouri State pitcher Shae Simmons was selected in the 22nd round as the 689th pick. Simmons played high school baseball at Scott City and has one year of eligibility remaining at SEMO.
Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year Trenton Moses was also taken in the 26th round as the 809th pick. Moses played his final season for Southeast Missouri State University in 2012 and played high school baseball at Advance.
Tate Matheny, a 2012 graduate at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, Mo., was the 720th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals. Matheny, who is the son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, was the top hitter statistically on a Westminster team that won the 2011 and 2012 Class 3 state baseball championships and defeated Kennett 15-9 in a Class 3 semifinal game in 2011.