Three years after his talent was first validated by his selection in the Major League Baseball draft, Dylan Beasley was rewarded with another slot in the annual event, only this time he’s going to follow it through.
The former Rome High standout and current Berry College player was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 32nd round of the MLB draft on Wednesday. He is the first Berry player to be drafted since the school joined NCAA Division III.
"It's very exciting," Beasley said in a release from the school. "This is what you work for. There's nothing but excitement right now because I know there are so many more things to come. I knew there were several teams interested but the Nationals were one of the teams I would love to go to so I'm glad they are the ones that called."
Beasley was selected in the 40th round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Atlanta Braves just after graduating high school but decided to attend Berry, where he played for his father — Vikings head coach David Beasley — for the last three years.
"I'm just super happy for Dylan," David Beasley said in a release. "I'm really proud of all the work he put in and for the Nationals' scouts for giving him an opportunity to be drafted. I'm happy for our program and for him especially getting to fulfill something he's wanted since he was a kid."
Dylan Beasley just completed his junior season at Berry, earning his second all-conference honor as a right-handed pitcher and shortstop. He ranked top-10 in the Southern Athletic Association with two triples, 34 RBIs, a 5-0 record on the mound and a career-best 48 strikeouts.
On the year, he hit a career-high .313 with a .435 slugging percentage. He was also selected to this year's SAA All-Tournament team and the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Region team.
Beasley is the 33rd Berry baseball player to have a chance to compete at the professional level and the first since Stephen Gaylor, another former Rome High player, inked an undrafted deal with the Atlanta Braves in 2014.
Beasley is one of just nine NCAA Division III baseball players selected in this year's draft.
Another Rome-area athlete also got drafted by the Nationals on Wednesday as former Chattooga standout Amos Willingham was selected in the 17th round.
Willingham transferred to Georgia Tech after two years at Snead State Community College in Alabama. The pitcher just completed his junior season with the Yellow Jackets with an 8-2 record and a 5.19 ERA and 42 strikeouts.
He had a stellar performance in Georgia Tech’s NCAA Tournament opener last week, drawing the start and throwing six innings of two-run ball with four strikeouts as the Jackets beat Florida A&M.