Bradley Key, a 2001 graduate of Greenbrier High School was
drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 48th round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft on June 7.
The adage says sometimes people save the best for last.
At least former Greenbrier star Bradley Key hopes that is the case.
Key, a Columbia County native and 2001 graduate of Greenbrier High School, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 48th round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft on June 7.
Although he technically wasn't the last pick in the draft, Key did have to wait until 1,420 players were selected in front of him before he received the call.
"Based on what we heard ... we thought he might go earlier than he did," said his mother, Jane Key. "But we were very nervous all day."
Former Greenbrier coach Ed Williams was very happy for his former player.
"Bradley is a great kid and I'm so happy that he was drafted," Williams said. "It has always been his dream and now he gets to realize that dream. So many kids share the dream but don't get the opportunity to fulfill it."
Key, who now plays third base for USC-Aiken, caught the eye of the Reds and local scout George Blackburn after solid 2002 and 2003 seasons, with a monster showing this spring.
Key made the Peach Belt All-Conference Baseball Team after leading the Pacers in eight offensive categories. He was also named to the Division II Baseball South Atlantic All-Region Second Team.
He hit .388 with 12 home runs and 62 RBIs for a team that went 30-26 in the competitive Peach Belt Conference. The league had as many as five ranked teams this season.
Key, the Pacers' MVP, was named Peach Belt Player of the Week twice.
His offensive output landed him in the top three of seven categories in the Peach Belt. His 24 doubles led the conference and set a single-season school record. His five triples were also a school single-season record. He also holds the school record for doubles in a career with 58.
Key, who could not be reached for comment, also pitched during his first two seasons in Aiken. He was second on the team in ERA (3.29) in 2003 and against Augusta State hurled the team's lone complete game that season.
A four-year starter for the Wolfpack, Key played on the 1998 and 1999 State Championship teams. He went 9-4 with a 1.74 ERA his senior season.
"It's real fun to see kids that went to your school get drafted," said Greenbrier athletic director Mickey Derrick.
Key joins Pacer teammate Ashley Farr in the Reds' organization. Farr was signed as a free agent last month and is with the Reds' Gulf Coast League team.
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