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Shehan, Hill have good chance to go in MLB Draft
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            Georgia Southern’s Chris Shehan and Statesboro High’s Tony Hill have a more than favorable shot at being drafted in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, which begins today.

            Shehan plans to spend today on a golf course near his home in Pennsylvania with his older brother and father, who can hopefully distract him from the baseball world.

            The slugger will be sure to keep his cell phone nearby, and he probably won’t be able to stop himself from checking in on the draft. Mainly, he’ll try to stay busy yet relaxed throughout the day, one he’s been looking forward to for years.

            Shehan put up some of the nation’s best statistics at the plate this season, and he’s optimistic it’ll pay off with a shot in professional baseball. The junior outfielder finished the season with a .438 batting average, which tied for second-highest in the nation and fourth-best in GSU history. He led the country with a school-record 84 runs scored, ranked second in runs per game (1.45) and tied for fifth with 98 hits. Baseball America lists him as the 27th-best prospect in Georgia.

            “He’s definitely going to get drafted,” Eagle hitting coach Mike Tidick said. “Where? Who knows. Based on numbers he should go high, but who knows. Obviously his future is bright. He can run, hit, throw and has all the tools. He’s just got to get in the right organization and have an opportunity.”

            Shehan’s already been through pre-draft workouts with the Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, and he’ll probably play one of the corner outfield positions. He’s heard positive comments from about a dozen teams, all of which think he’ll be selected on the first day of the two-day event. He led his club in batting average, runs scored, hits, home runs, RBIs, total bases, slugging percentage, walks and on-base percentage. Shehan was also named the Southern Conference player of the year by league’s media and a Golden Spikes and Dick Howser award candidate.

            He said he hasn’t completely decided whether or not he’ll forgo his senior season to play professionally. When and where he gets drafted will help him make up his mind. In the meantime, Shehan’s been looking for advice from his parents and brother Jon, a college coach who played in the Atlanta Braves organization.

            “They are telling me not to worry about it too much because it’s a crapshoot sometimes,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty confident.”

            Junior Blake Nation, a right-handed reliever, is probably the only other Eagle with a chance of getting drafted this season. He’s Baseball America’s 34th-best prospect in Georgia. Second baseman Jeremy Beckham and DH Ty Wright have outside shots as well.

            Hill was one-half of Statesboro’s rotation during his senior year, also playing the outfield. He was 3-5 on the mound with a 4.10 ERA, striking out 32 in 54 innings. Hill said his fastball has reached the mid-90s. Baseball America ranks him as the 47th best player in the state.

            At the plate, Hill hit .260 with 15 RBIs and two homers. He plans on playing at Southern University in the fall.

            Fans can follow every pick of the draft live at with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. today and 11:30 a.m. Friday.