Grayson Greiner is relieved that there's no decision to make. He's going to be a Gamecock.
The Major League Baseball Draft came and went last week without Greiner's name being called, and that suits him just fine. The Blythewood High graduate and power-hitting catcher signee can set his sights solely on his collegiate future.
His parents are thrilled that he'll be playing right down the road, he said. His father Mark played basketball for the Gamecocks in the 1970s.
This summer he's hitting, working out and playing with the Diamond Devils travel team based out of Charleston with other USC commits (Tanner English, Shon Carson, Reid Moman and Connor Bright).
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Greiner is flying to Omaha on Saturday to take in some College World Series games with a friend. He plans to enroll in school in early July to get a jump on classes and his USC baseball career.
Greiner (6-5, 215) hit 14 home runs this season and is considered one of the top players in the signing class. He was listed as the 89th-best prospect in the country and third-best in the state by PG Crosschecker.
What's it like, being a future Gamecock, to watch the team play in Omaha?
Hopefully I'll be able to play out there one day as a Gamecock. I know we've got a lot of talent coming in and a lot coming back. Getting to watch them play on the field makes you want to play there even more because I know there's a good shot every year of us going back to Omaha.
Are they setting the bar high for future players?
Yeah, definitely. They won it last year and are going back again this year, hopefully to win it again.
You were at the Super Regional games at Carolina Stadium. What did you think?
It was awesome. The fans were doing chants and everything. It was a really good atmosphere.
Did you have any idea that you wouldn't be drafted?
I didn't really know what was going to happen. I thought that I would. I got some calls, but I'm not mad that it turned out the way it did. Now I know that I get to be a Gamecock for three or four years. ... I set a pretty high price and if teams wanted to give it, I would look into the draft. If they didn't want to, I said I'm going to school. Apparently the numbers didn't match up.
Is it a relief that there is no decision to be made?
Yes, it's like committing all over again. The pressure is off. I don't have to worry about it all summer. I can just focus on getting to the field in the fall and playing.
Are you in recruiting mode now for some of the signees who did get drafted, such as St. James' Tanner English?
Yes, especially for Tanner. Tanner's my roommate next year. He plays on the Diamond Devils with me. He's one of my good friends. I'm hoping he is coming to school. Hopefully he's thinking Carolina.
What do you need to work on the most when you get to USC?
My flexibility and agility, just getting ready to face college pitching every day, shorten my swing up a little bit and get used to those new bats. I'm trying to put some weight on, 15 pounds or so.
Do you anticipate being in a position to compete for early playing time?
I'm hoping so. I'll do everything I can to prepare myself to put myself in a position to play as early as I possibly can.