Charlotte Knights

Here’s why you can add Brett Netzer’s name to list of Charlotte 49ers baseball greats

Charlotte 49ers’ Brett Netzer (infielder) makes a play while warming up prior to a scrimmage at Charlotte’s Hayes Stadium in January. Netzer was drafted in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.
Charlotte 49ers’ Brett Netzer (infielder) makes a play while warming up prior to a scrimmage at Charlotte’s Hayes Stadium in January. Netzer was drafted in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Add Brett Netzer’s name to the short list of Charlotte 49er baseball greats.

The second baseman was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the third round (No. 101 overall) in Tuesday’s MLB Draft -- making him just the third player and second position player for the 49ers to be selected in the first five rounds. He’s also the first 49er to be drafted since 2014.

That year, pitcher Ryan Butler was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round, the highest 49er selected since sixth-rounder Robert Lyerly in 2009. But only two 49ers – pitcher Chris Haney (second round, 1990) and shortstop Stu Cole (third round, 1987) – had ever gone in the first three rounds.

Now that list includes Netzer, who graduated from Fort Mill High School in 2014 with only two scholarship offers to play collegiate baseball. But he quickly turned an offer from the 49ers into a spot on the Conference-USA All-Freshman team. Netzer doubled down his sophomore year with second-team all-conference honors, batting .384 through 53 starts. He also caught scouts’ attention with a strong summer in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.

A drop-off during his junior year wasn’t enough to deter MLB teams from taking a chance on the 6-0 infielder from Tega Cay, S.C. Netzer was considered a top-200 prospect by most outlets entering this year’s draft and parlayed his stock into the 101st overall pick, which is slotted for approximately $533,000.

C Jackson Cowart: @CJacksonCowart

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