The MLB draft begins Monday night. Here are 10 South Carolina baseball players that are expected to be drafted this week (in alphabetical order):
▪ 3B Jonah Bride, JR: Started all 60 games and led USC in doubles but is not expected to be a high draft pick and will likely return to USC for his senior season.
▪ RHP Wil Crowe, JR: Had a strong junior season with a 6-5 record and 3.41 ERA and will likely be selected in the second or third round. The Indians are a team to watch after drafting Crowe late out of high school as a courtesy pick and again late last year.
▪ OF/DH Alex Destino, JR: It was an up-and-down junior season for Destino, who was a preseason All-SEC selection and got off to a hot start but cooled off around the midway point of the year. Still, Destino hit 10 homers, including some balls that were absolutely crushed, and his power ability will likely lead to him getting drafted in the teen rounds.
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▪ RHP Tyler Johnson, JR: USC’s closer was slowed by an injury but touched 100 miles per hour a couple of times this season and was impressive in front of dozens of scouts at the SEC tournament. Johnson could be drafted as high as the second round but should for sure go in the first four.
▪ RHP Brandon Murray, JR: He never reached his potential at South Carolina but Murray arrived at USC as a highly thought of player and was listed as the No. 19 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 by D1Baseball. Murray will not be a high pick but a team will take a chance on him.
▪ LHP John Parke, JR: The lefty did not have impressive numbers, finishing with an 8.53 ERA, but he does throw in the low-to-mid 90s and that should get him drafted late in Day 2 or early in Day 3.
▪ LHP Josh Reagan, SR: The setup man for the Gamecocks is not a hard thrower but found ways to get outs and should be selected late.
▪ RHP Clarke Schmidt, JR: Despite having his season cut short due to needing Tommy John surgery, Schmidt will likely be the first South Carolina player off the board. He is expected to be taken late in the first round or early in the second round after going 4-2 with a 1.34 ERA in nine starts.
▪ INF Madison Stokes, JR: The Columbia native struggled at the plate this season but hits for some power, is strong defensively and will likely be selected late in the teen rounds or early in the 20s.
▪ INF LT Tolbert, SO: Tolbert is draft eligible despite being a sophomore and could be selected in the top 10 rounds after hitting .284 with six doubles, three homers and 32 RBIs in 2017. He still has leverage due to being a sophomore and could potentially help his draft stock by returning for his junior season and having a better year.