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Pleasants now part of distinguished crowd

Jimmy Trodglen/


By Jimmy Trodglen


Clarksville, Tenn. – Elijah Pleasants is now part of a small, but notable club.

Less than three weeks after helping Rossview beat Brentwood High for the Class AAA state baseball title, Pleasants was selected by the Royals in the MLB Draft, Wednesday.

Pleasants became the third player in Rossview’s history to be selected in the draft and the second to be taken straight out of high school.

Rossview alumni, Venn Biter, was drafted by the Phillies during the 2013 draft. Biter played four seasons in the Phillies’ farm system before he was released.

Daniel Tenholder played for Rossview and was taken in the 2009 draft by the A’s in the 19th round after playing for Austin Peay.

Tenholder played in the Minor Leagues for three seasons.

Alex McClure played for Rossview and was selected by the Royals in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. McClure was invited to play in the Arizona Fall League and spent four seasons in the minors, reaching Class AA.

McClure was an assistant baseball coach at Arkansas State and Memphis, and is now a scout in the Cubs organization.

Other notables selected in the draft

Clarksville High’s Donny Everett were selected in the 2015 draft right out of high school, although Everett bypassed the draft to play for Vanderbilt.

Clarksville High’s Scooter Hightower was drafted in the 15th round by the Pirates in 2015 after playing two seasons at Columbia State.

Montgomery Central’s Alec Mills was drafted by the Royals in the 22nd round after playing at Tennessee-Martin.

Mills is now pitching for AAA Iowa in the Cubs’ farm system.

Wes Parsons, another Clarksville High pitcher, signed as a free agent with the Braves following two seasons at Jackson State.

This season, Parsons is 1-0 in three starts.

Reed Harper, who played at Clarksville High, was selected by the Braves in the 2013 draft after playing four seasons at Austin Peay. Harper was released after five seasons in the minors.

Ryne Harper, who also played at Clarksville High, was taken in the 37th round by the Braves in the 2011 draft.

This season, Harper is playing for AA Chattanooga where has five saves in 11 appearances.

Tough choice for Pleasants

Pleasants was taken in the 36th round by the Royals, winners of the 2016 World Series. Of the 43 players drafted by the Royals, Pleasants was one of only nine from the high school ranks.

Pleasants will have a week to make a difficult decision. He will have until June 15 to decide whether to find a spot in the Royals’ farm system or stay with his commitment to play baseball for Tennessee.

If Pleasants remain a Vol, he wouldn’t be eligible for the MLB Draft until after his junior season.

Pleasants worked out for the Royals and received attention from the Angels and Mets.

Pleasant was one of the midstate’s most versatile players. He played first base, second base and outfield and was the Hawks’ No. 2 pitcher.

Pleasants hit .417 with 40 RBIs, 56 runs, seven home runs and 14 stolen bases. Pleasants picked up a win in the state tournament and hit a three-run homer in the Hawks’ 11-1 win over Brentwood High in the state championship game.

Jimmy Trodglen, editor, Twitter@Tnsports360