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Holbrook drafted by L.A. Dodgers
DG6V Holbrook pic

A 2011 graduate of Dawson County High School has been drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He is Kaleb Holbrook, 20, who was selected in the 35th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.

Holbrook heard the good news while on a ball field in Connecticut. During a pre-game warmup, he walked into the dugout and saw his phone lit up with calls and messages.

He motioned for his father, Keith Holbrook, to join him on the field.

"Dad, I just got drafted by the L.A. Dodgers, he said. I was just so excited and happy and kinda in shock, I think. It was definitely a dream come true."

After graduating in May from South Georgia College, a two-year junior college, Holbrook was invited to play in the Future's Collegiate League for the Torrington Titans in Torrington, Conn.

He also had been invited by the L.A. Dodgers to come for a workout at Woodward Academy in Atlanta before heading to Connecticut.

"I didn't know he did a workout with the Dodgers when he got done with this season," said South Georgia College Head Baseball Coach Jeff Timothy. "He must have impressed them the same way he impressed me."

Holbrook's stats during his last season with South Georgia included a .307 batting average with 11 doubles, one home run, 24 RBIs, and 36 runs scored. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 195 pounds.

"Kaleb throws right, but hits left, which is a huge for any coach," Timothy said. "To me, his biggest asset is his ability to swing the bat that's why I recruited him."

Timothy also said Holbrook has a great support system.

"He's got a great work ethic, he said. His parents really raised him right. He works hard behind the scenes in the weight room, and he has a good attitude.

"He's one of the most unselfish kids I've had. He's played catcher, second base, outfield and even infield which he hadn't done since high school. And he had no complaints. He just wants to play ball."

Holbrook's mother, Katrina Holbrook, said that's the way it's always been.

"Ever since he could walk, he's wanted a ball in his hand," she said. "He'd cry if he couldn't go outside to play.

Holbrook's first baseball experience was with the Dawson County Parks and Recreation system when he was 7.

"One reason the L.A. Dodgers are so special to my heart is when I was 7 years old, my very first team was the L.A. Dodgers, and my Dad and Gary Barr were the coaches."

Keith Holbrook coached Kaleb from age 7 through middle school and was instrumental in developing his athletic abilities.

"His dad spent countless hours in high school and college working with Kaleb, Katrina Holbrook said. He knows all the rules and was a pitcher and player himself."

Former Parks and Recreation Coach Gary Barr remembered Kaleb.

"He was a natural," Barr said. "I'm so proud of him. He was a fun kid to coach, and he always gave it 100 percent. We worked hard back then, but we always kept a little fun in it. "

Holbrook is still under contract to continue playing with the Torrington Titans. But his mother said he can be released from the contract if he is drafted or injured. She said that in the next few days, decisions have to be made about the contract. For now, she said, Kaleb is home enjoying Father's Day with his dad and awaiting information from the L.A. Dodgers.

"I got exactly what I wanted for father's day," Keith Holbrook said.

Keith Holbrook's father, Gene Holbrook, once worked out with the Atlanta Crackers who were a minor league baseball team for more than 60 years, from 1901 to 1965.

"He went every day and never got cut," said Keith Holbrook.

Now, Gene Holbrooks grandson may be fulfilling the dreams of two generations of Holbrooksplaying baseball for the L.A. Dodgers.

DCHS Head Baseball Coach, Jimmy Pruett, said he remembers Kaleb having a strong desire to succeed.

"I'm really proud of him and very excited for him and his family" he said. "I've been coaching for 21 years, and he's the first player I've coached that was drafted."