Four former Tiders make pro debuts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Four former University of Alabama baseball players will make their professional baseball debuts Tuesday, June 17 as three short-season leagues and one rookie league open play in Minor League Baseball action.

Senior right fielder Beau Hearod, senior pitcher Brian Reed, senior center fielder Travis Garner and junior shortstop Adam Pavkovich have all signed professional baseball contracts and are set to being their professional careers on Tuesday.

"I am very happy for these guys and hope they have outstanding careers at the professional level," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "The success of our team this season was a result of the play of guys like Hearod, Garner, Pavkovich and Reed. They all had outstanding seasons and more importantly, they are quality people. I wish them all the best."

Hearod, a 10th round draft pick by the Houston Astros, has been assigned to the short-season New York-Penn League, where he will play for the Tri-City ValleyCats ( in Troy, NY.

Hearod, a first-team All-American selection at Alabama and the 2003 NCBWA District III Player of the Year, will make his pro debut with the ValleyCats in Lowell, Mass., against the Lowell Spinners, an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

The Jennings, La., will have a couple of familiar teammates in Troy this summer as he will play for former Louisiana Tech infielder Wade Townsend (Bastrop, La.) and former Jacksonville State center fielder Kerri Fair (Vincent, Ala.) Hearod will also play in the same outfield with Jason Ruess, the son of former major leaguer Jerry Ruess.

Hearod will play for former Chicago Cubs shortstop Ivan DeJesus, who will serve as the manager of the Tri-City team.

Reed, a 27th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays, has also been assigned to the New York-Penn League and will play for the Auburn Doubledays ( in Auburn, NY.

Reed, the Crimson Tide's all-time saves leader, will make his pro debut when the Doubledays visit the Jamestown (NY) Jammers in a three-game series beginning Tuesday.

Pavkovich, an 11th round pick of the defending World Series Champion Anaheim Angels, signed late last week and will forgo his senior season with the Crimson Tide. Pavkovich batted .338 (81-for-240) with a career high 11 home runs and 55 RBI.

He has been assigned to Provo Angles ( in the Pioneer League (Short-Season) in Provo, Utah. The Angles home games are played at Miller Park on the scenic campus of Brigham Young University.

The Venice, Fla., native also led the Crimson Tide with 64 runs scored and 27 doubles, which set the single-season school record by a shortstop. In addition, the 27 two-base hits are the second-most in Alabama history, trailing only David Magadan's school record of 31 doubles set in 1983.

Pavkovich is expected to make his professional debut when the Angels host the Ogden (Utah) Raptors in a three-game series beginning Tuesday, June 17.

Garner signed as an undrafted free agent last week with the Kansas City Royals and has been assigned to the Arizona Rookie League at the Surprise Recreation Campus in Surprise, Ariz.

The Sturgis, Miss., native led the Crimson Tide with a .365 (88-for-241) with two home runs and 29 RBI. Garner also led Alabama in runs scored (64), total hits (88), triples (4) and stolen bases.

He was the Crimson Tide leading hitter in SEC play each of the last two seasons.

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