Cease now has an extra option to consider as he was selected in the sixth round by the Chicago Cubs in the Major League Baseball draft, which was held June 5 through 8.
Cease was a potential first-round pick before an elbow injury – a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament — in March ended his senior season at Milton prematurely.
“First of all, he was genuinely a first-round talent,” Milton coach Joey Ray said.
“Due to his arm injury this year, a lot of people really still wanted him, but were concerned about losing a draft pick if things didn’t pan out – there’s no question. But from a talent standpoint, he was a first-round type talent, but I think all the question marks surrounding his injury scared some folks away. The Cubs saw enough in him that they were willing to pick him and the last 24 months, everybody saw how special he is.”
Efforts to reach Cease for comment were unsuccessful at press time.
Instead of undergoing Tommy John surgery – in which the UCL is replaced by a tendon from elsewhere in the body — Cease opted for platelet-rich therapy – where platelets, a type of blood cell, are injected into the injured area to accelerate healing.
Ray said Cease has the attributes to succeed at the next level.
“The two biggest things that stick out about Dylan is, one, his confidence,” Ray said.
“He believes in himself when he steps on the mound. He was a young pitcher for us when he started for us as a sophomore. He worked really, really hard at everything he did and his confidence just exploded. He believes in himself on the mound – that’s the one thing you can’t teach. You either have it or you don’t.
“The other thing is his ability to make adjustments. He’s one of the few kids that I’ve ever worked with who would work on a Monday and struggle with one aspect of a fundamental or mechanic and he will focus on that and on Tuesday, when he shows up for practice, he’s fixed it. It’s no longer an issue and he’ll focus on something completely different. His ability to make adjustments and his confidence level, combined with his pure talent, I think is one of the things that separates him.”
King’s Ridge Christian shortstop Grayson Byrd, an LSU signee, was drafted in the 39th round by the Atlanta Braves.
A number of former north Fulton high school standouts who are now playing on the college level were also selected in the MLB draft.
Georgia Perimeter sophomore pitcher Dustin Beggs (Centennial) was drafted in the 17th round by the St. Louis Cardinals, while Georgia Gwinnett College pitcher Tyler Carpenter (Milton) was chosen in the 25th round by the Los Angeles Angels and Kennesaw State pitcher Mark Connell (Roswell) was a 26th-round selection by the Angels.
Georgia Tech center fielder Daniel Spingola, a Roswell resident who went to Marist, was drafted in the 24th round by the Cubs.