DAHLONEGA, GA – North Georgia baseball catcher Troy Snitker has been selected in the 19th round with the 596th overall pick by the Atlanta Braves in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
"We couldn't be happier for Troy and his family," head coach Tom Cantrell said Tuesday evening following the selection. "It has been a pleasure to have Troy as member of the North Georgia baseball program over the last two years and we wish him well with the Atlanta Braves."
Snitker becomes the highest MLB Draft pick in the history of the North Georgia baseball program, and third selection in the last two years for Cantrell and the Saints.
As a Second-Team Peach Belt All-Conference performer in 2011, Snitker was the most consistent hitter for the Saints all season long with a .340 batting average and 44 runs batted in. He belted a team-leading six home runs, added 12 doubles, and scored 32 runs.
Behind the plate, Snitker established himself as one of the most feared arms at the NCAA Division II level in 2011, throwing out 25 base stealers and picking off 11 more. He had a .986 fielding percentage as he played and started in all 54 games for the Saints.
Snitker will be right at home with the Braves after growing up in the Atlanta area and attending Brookwood High School where he led the Broncos to four straight playoff births, including a "Final Four" appearance during the 2007 season.
After attending South Georgia College out of high school, Snitker made his way to North Georgia and played two seasons for the Saints, hitting 12 home runs and adding 33 doubles and 84 runs batted in.
Snitker is the seventh player taken in the Major League Baseball Draft from North Georgia, as the program has had players drafted in 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and now in 2011. The Saints have sent three players to the MLB Draft in the last two years after Daniel Petitti (Oakland Athletics) and Chris Rearick (Tampa Rays) were taken during the 2010 draft.
Sean Pittman was selected during the 2001 draft by the New York Mets, while Kevin Bulger was taken during the 2005 MLB Draft in the 25th round by the Kansas City Royals. Stephen Flake was selected in 2007 by the Florida Marlins in the 34 round, and Rob Flanigan, who was the previous highest pick in school history, was taken in 2008 by the San Francisco Giants in the 29th round.