Dawson County alum Tucker Maxwell (’16), was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 22nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft, going 660th overall. The University of Georgia star speedster had a favorable scouting profile from MLB.com:
Maxwell is an Adam Engel type in the outfield — a strong center fielder who reacts quickly and is very fast. He has really good bat speed and easy power to all fields. A 6-foot, 180-pound left-handed hitter, Maxwell hit 10 home runs and stole 20 bases for Georgia in the regular season, then homered in the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs’ first two NCAA Regional games, both three-hit efforts. His biggest areas to work on are probably contact hitting (.250 batting average this season) and arm strength.
Maxwell quickly signed and packed his bags for Williamsport, PA to play with the Class A Short Season Williamsport Crosscutters. It has been a slow start for the outfielder, who went 0-for-4 in his first action on June 22 vs the Batavia Muckdogs. His first four games saw an 0-for-14 stat line with a pair of walks and a run scored.
The learning curve is sharp when jumping from the collegiate D-I level to the pros. On June 30, after striking out in his first at-bat to stretch his hitless streak to 15 at-bats, Maxwell came up in the sixth inning and lined a double to right for his first professional hit. He then scored a run on a double moments later.
In his next game, July 3, he notched a single and drew a walk. July 4 saw him go 0-for-2, but he recorded his first RBI on a sac fly. To date, through 14 games played entering July 19, Maxwell is batting .044 with a double, RBI, and two runs scored. He has a stolen base and five walks. With each passing game and at-bat, Maxwell will continue to fine-tune his craft, and the numbers will follow.
HOW ARE OTHERS DOING?
Maxwell isn’t the only former local diamond star to play in the pros. Others include now-retired Colton Davis (Commerce ’12), Ethan Martin (Stephens ’08), free agent Ralston Cash (Lakeview ’10), and current players Spencer Adams (White ’14), Chris Beck (Jefferson ’09), Maxwell, and David Sosebee (’11).
While Davis, Martin, and Cash are not playing in 2019, let’s take a look at the others on that list.
Adams, once one of the top prospects in the White Sox organization, has been hampered by injuries in 2019. He hasn’t pitched since the end of April, sporting an ERA of 8.00 across just 18 innings of work and a 1-0 record. This follows a solid 2018 in which he was 7-13 with a 3.79 ERA and 95 strikeouts, including going 4-7 at AAA Charlotte with a 3.19 ERA following a mid-season promotion. Since the 2014 season, Adams has a 40-48 career record in the minors with a 3.93 ERA and 473 strikeouts, and has hurled four complete games.
Beck is one of Jefferson’s top players to suit up for the Dragons. He has tasted the big leagues on a few occasions throughout his professional career, and currently resides in AAA in the St. Louis Cardinals organization for the Memphis Redbirds. His 2019 hasn’t been kind to him, as he carries an 0-7 record and a 6.57 ERA. He’s pitched in 35 games and 38.1 innings, striking out 38 while walking 18. His numbers are far off from his career norm, as even adding those in to his resume, he is 33-38 with a 3.87 ERA and 363 strikeouts in his career. At the MLB level, he has gone 4-4 with a 5.88 ERA and 86 strikeouts, tallying a save and recording one major league start. He pitched in 2018 for the Chicago White Sox and the New York Mets. He pitched in nearly 100 big league games with Chicago from 2015-18.
Sosebee has been a very reliable option in the New York Yankees farm system from the bullpen. He’s made a living out of finding a way to get hitters out. Last season he even threw a reliever’s no-hitter, a rare feat indeed. That earned him a promotion with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the AAA team for the Yankees. He’s currently 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA in AAA this season and 4-1 overall with a 3.54 ERA and 5 saves to go with 53 strikeouts. Since going pro, Sosebee is 17-14 with 27 saves in the minor leagues, sporting a 2.58 ERA, 283 strikeouts, and a very nice 1.23 WHIP. Sosebee remains a quick call away from making his MLB debut.