Seven Cobb County products on opening day rosters

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Eli Boorstein, Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.
·3 min read
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Mar. 31—Seven former Cobb County baseball standouts are set to be on opening day rosters Thursday, including two in Philadelphia as the Phillies open against the Atlanta Braves.

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and Phillies reliever David Hale could find themselves facing off as part of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Ballpark.

Swanson, a Marietta High School graduate, is beginning his sixth season with Atlanta. He had one of the best showings of his career in the truncated 60-game 2020 season, batting .274 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Hale, a product of the Walker School, ended the 2020 season with the Phillies following a midseason trade from the New York Yankees. The eight-year major leaguer had no decisions in 11 appearances last year, posting a 3.71 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 17 innings.

While Hale is Cobb's most experienced active major leaguer, making his debut with the Braves in 2013, the county's newest one is set to make his debut.

Mount Paran Christian school alum Taylor Trammell earned a starting spot in the Seattle Mariners' outfield after a standout spring in which he batted .311 with six doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.

A first-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2016, Trammell was traded to the San Diego Padres in July 2019, then again to the Mariners last August. He is the first Mount Paran product to reach the top level in any sport.

One of Trammell's close friends will be beginning his first full major league season after an abbreviated, yet productive, call-up in 2020.

Kennesaw Mountain's Tyler Stephenson will be one of the Reds' two catchers with veteran Tucker Barnhart. Stephenson, a first-round pick in 2015, homered in his first major league at-bat in July and went on to bat .294 with two homers and six RBIs in eight games before returning to Cincinnati's alternate site.

The pitcher who allowed Stephenson's first home run is another Cobb County product, but one who will be getting a fresh start with a new team.

Duane Underwood Jr. was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on March 7. The fourth-year major leaguer from Pope went 1-0 with a 5.66 ERA and 27 strikeouts out of the Cubs' bullpen last year.

After spending the last five years in the Tampa Bay Rays' organization with his younger brother, Josh, Nate Lowe was traded to the Texas in December and will begin the season as the Rangers' starting first baseman.

Lowe, a third-year major leaguer and a former teammate of Underwood's at Pope, batted .224 with four homers and 11 RBIs for the Rays in 2020.

Josh Lowe, who has yet to make his major league debut, will begin 2021 at Tampa Bay's alternate site, as will three other east Cobb products — Walton's Carter Kieboom (Washington), Sprayberry's Michael Chavis (Boston) and Pope's Stevie Wilkerson (Baltimore).

Former Kennesaw State pitcher Travis Bergen made the Toronto Blue Jays' opening day roster as a reliever. It will be a homecoming as Bergen was traded by Toronto to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 31, only to return to the Blue Jays in another trade Feb. 28.

Bergen went 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA and 11 strikeouts over eight appearances with Toronto and Arizona last year.