The second day of the MLB Draft was today, and current South Carolina players did very well. Christian Walker, as expected, fared the best, going in the fourth round to the Baltimore Orioles. Matt Price went in the seventh round, again to the Orioles. Evan Marzilli went in the eighth to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Michael Roth, finally, went in the ninth to the Los Angeles Angels. A few quick notes / thoughts about Carolina and the draft:
--In addition to the current players who were drafted, several signees were taken. Some of them have already signed with the teams that drafted them. This excellent article from David Cloninger breaks down their situations and which ones might choose to come to Columbia.
--Obviously, Carolina fans will be most interested in learning what happens with Walker, Price, and Marzilli. All have a year of eligibility remaining. I would think that Walker is definitely gone, unless he really, really wants to play college ball for one more year. In doing so, he could break some school career hitting records, but other than that, he's accomplished about as much as you can imagine a college player accomplishing, and I'm not sure if I can see his draft standing improving considerably after another season, unless he were to have a truly monster senior campaign. Everything I've read has Walker taking his spot, and I don't see any reason to disagree. Price I could see returning. This is Price's second go-around as a top-10 pick, so he may be itching to take off this time around before expending another year of his arm in college, but I could also see him taking another shot at a starter's role and seeing if his stock could improve after a strong season in that capacity. At the end of the day, I still expect him to take his spot, but I wouldn't be surprised if he chose not to. (Note: Cloninger disagrees with me on this, and I'm hardly an expert on the MLB Draft, so I would say to take his word for it.) Marzili fell a little bit after some felt that he might be the first current Gamecock off the board, but like Walker, I'm not sure that he can do much to improve his stock after a strong career save a brief sophomore slump, so I say he takes the money.
--You have to be happy for Roth. I really didn't see him going this high, particularly after his production fell off just a bit this year. Keep in mind that he was picked in the 31st round after his dominant 2011 season. Obviously, someone with the Angels organization fell in love with his game. While not a prototypical MLB pitcher, guys like Roth succeed in the pros all the time, so the Angels are right not to count him out. There aren't many players who do the kinds of things he's done at Carolina, and that has to count for something, even if he can't throw a 95-mph fastball.
The draft continues tomorrow, with more Gamecocks likely to hear their names called.