The list of baseball players from Tipton County who have been drafted is not long.

It got a little longer Sunday night.

Live on ESPN, former baseball great Steve Sax announced that the Los Angeles Dodgers were selecting 2019 Brighton High School graduate Dalton Rushing with the 40th pick of the Major League Baseball draft.

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Rushing, who watched the draft in the baseball facility at the University of Louisville, which he helped lead to the College World Series this past season, put his head in his hands when the announcement was made before hugging family members and coaches.

Of the 12 local players who have been drafted, only Covington’s Tucker Ashford, who was drafted second overall in 1974 and went on to play in the majors, was picked higher than Rushing.

The last player from a Tipton County high school to be drafted was Colton Hathcock, a 2014 Brighton graduate who was drafted 446th in 2017. Other locals who have been drafted are Joe Melton of Brighton, Jon Ashford, Tim Corder, Tony Marbry, Jeff McCollum and Rusty Gay of Covington and Lendon Willis, Cody Overbeck, Aaron Fultz and Jeff Fayne of Munford.

“As soon as I got that call I knew it was a great fit,” Rushing said. “Louisville players do great in the Dodgers’ organization. I’m excited to be going.”

Billy Gasparino, the Dodgers’ vice president of amateur scouting, said, “We think he’s extremely talented. He was kind of under appreciated because he played behind Henry Davis last year. We’re excited to get a left-handed hitting catcher with power.”

Rushing had a breakout junior season in 2022, hitting .310 with a team-high 23 homers (top 30 nationally) and 62 RBIs. A catcher, Rushing played behind Henry Davis during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Davis was picked number one overall by the Pittsburg Pirates in last year’s draft.

During the 2021 season at Louisville, Rushing hit .254 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 28 games. During 11 games of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Rushing got six starts at first base. He hit .308 with four doubles, a homer and six RBIs.

Rushing was a four-year starter at Brighton and verbally committed to Louisville as a sophomore. He was all-state twice and the 2019 district player of the year. Rushing was the 102nd-ranked player nationally and third in Tennessee by Prep Baseball Report and a Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year finalist. He hit .491 with 10 doubles, six triples, 11 homers and 46 RBIs his senior season at Brighton.

 

 

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland

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