What a rise. Former UGA baseball player Jared Walsh was selected in the 39h round of the 2015 MLB Draft. (Michael Owens/Getty Images/TNS)

MLB All-Star baseball selection from UGA, and D’Andre Swift at NASCAR race

One of the best stories in major-league baseball this year is former UGA standout Jared Walsh.

Walsh was a lowly MLB draft pick in the 39th round out of Georgia in 2015 who slowly has transformed into an All-Star selection this summer. He’s repping the Los Angeles Angels as a first baseman.

He’s even called “the most overlooked player in the majors” by the DesertSun.com’s Pete Donovan:

“Overlooked with a capital O. An announcer, likely an East Coast one, said that without (Mike Trout) all the Angels had was (Shohei Ohtani). Wrong. Walsh, astonishingly a 39th round draft pick, is on pace to hit 40 home runs and drive in 118. (That’s more home runs than Trout hit in a season, except two, and more RBIs than he has ever had).”

The infielder ranks in the top five in the American League in RBI (61), home runs (20), doubles (22), extra-base hits (43) and slugging percentage (.556).

At UGA, Walsh was a two-way standout in 2015 -- he posted a team-best 5-2 record and 2.60 ERA plus hit a career-best .306 with 14 doubles, three home runs and 22 RBI. The

The 27-year-old Walsh fell in the draft, but was worth a gamble because he could both pitch and hit. Walsh played both pitcher and in the field for the Angels in the minor leagues. He injured his arm in 2020, forcing him to focus only on batting and playing first base.

Walsh is from the Atlanta suburbs, playing at Peachtree Ridge High School. The 2021 MLB All-Star Game will be played next Tuesday in Denver.

Ex-UGA star to lead NASCAR race

Former UGA football star D’Andre Swift will be the honorary pace car driver for the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Sunday.

Delp is a 6-5, 220-pound senior from West Forsyth High School in the Atlanta suburb in Cumming, Ga. He’s ranked as the nation’s No. 3 prospect at tight end. UGA is a rumored frontrunner, but Clemson, Michigan, Florida and South Carolina are all strong contenders.