BY MICHAEL HELD
Trey Whitley, the three-sport standout from North Johnston, made history earlier this month as he became the first North Johnston player drafted by a Major League Baseball team when he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 6.
For Whitley, who also starred on the Panthers’ basketball and football teams, the decision initially as to which sport to focus on trying to play after high school was somewhat difficult.
“During my junior and senior year, it became a decision of whether I was going to choose football or baseball after high school,” Whitley said. “Starting my senior year, I went to a camp for the Kansas City Royals where I was playing against the best players in North Carolina and I started to realize that I had the talent to maybe go ahead and play at the next level.”
It all started to come more into focus during a 2-1 loss at South Granville this spring where a play turned in by Whitley from centerfield got the attention of a couple big league teams.
“When we played South Granville, I made a throw to third base from the fence to get a guy out from second base when he tagged,” recalled Whitley. “Once that happened, I had the Orioles and the Giants talk to me after the game. That’s when it really started to hit home that I could actually get there.”
Whitley attended a couple of pre-draft workouts and was evaluated as a 20th round talent and was projected to go somewhere between the 20th to 30th round.
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