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2017 MLB Draft: Start time, how to watch and potential South Carolina players to go

A handful of Gamecocks are set to be picked over the next three days

clarke schmidt 247Sports

While the South Carolina Gamecocks baseball season didn’t end particularly well for the team, there will be a sweet ending for a select few players.

The 2017 MLB Draft is set to take place over the next three days and a handful of Gamecocks will hear their names called to take their careers to the next level. The first round is set to take place tonight at 7 pm ET on MLB Network, with the second round following on MLB.com.

Rounds 3-10 will take place Tuesday at 1 pm ET on MLB.com, followed by rounds 11-40 starting Wednesday at noon ET at the same site. If you can’t be around your computer or TV, following @MLBDraftTracker on Twitter is a great way to stay updated on the picks as they happen.

Last season’s draft went well for the Gamecocks, seeing seven players get drafted and four be selected within the first ten rounds. As a program, South Carolina has had at least one player drafted every year since 1981.

As for this year’s draft, South Carolina has 18 draft-eligible players — all of whom of course won’t necessarily be drafted. Here’s a list of all the upperclassmen who have the potential to be taken:

Gamecock Upperclassmen

Name B/T Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Cl.
Name B/T Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Cl.
Ross Grosvenor R/R 1B 6-4 250 SR
Colie Bowers R/R RHP 5-10 175 SR
Josh Reagan L/L LHP 6-1 175 SR
Reed Scott R/R RHP 6-1 185 SR
Tyler Johnson R/R RHP 6-2 205 JR
Clarke Schmidt R/R RHP 6-1 205 JR
Justin Row R/R INF 5-7 170 JR
Madison Stokes R/R INF 6-2 200 JR
Jonah Bride R/R INF 5-10 200 JR
John Parke L/L LHP 6-3 215 JR
Alex Destino L/L OF 6-2 225 JR
Brandon Murray R/R RHP 6-2 200 JR
Chase DeMars R/R INF 5-10 180 JR
Tyler Haswell R/R RHP 5-11 180 JR
Matt Williams L/R INF 6-0 215 JR
John Jones S/R C 5-11 200 JR
Hunter Taylor R/R C 5-11 215 JR
Wil Crowe R/R RHP 6-2 245 JR

The reason we list all of these players is who knows if a team wants to take a shot at Jonah Bride and his .797 OPS in the 38th round. But as of right now, we know for sure three Gamecocks will be taken relatively high — all three of them pitchers.

Crowe and Schmidt are consensus top-50 prospects by major baseball scouting services, while Johnson ranges anywhere from the low 90’s to the 150’s depending on which publication you’re reading. Before he got hurt, Schmidt was in the middle of one of the best seasons of any pitcher in Division 1. Crowe put together a good season in his own right following Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2016.

Johnson had a lot of buzz coming into 2017, but an injury early in the season derailed his productivity. Even still, Johnson was able to put up some ridiculous strikeout numbers and keep his fastball buzzing in the upper nineties.

Reagan, Bowers, and Scott are the other three pitchers who are the most likely to be drafted — all of them seniors, as opposed to Johnson, Crowe, and Schmidt, who are juniors. Of the three seniors, Bowers is the interesting one to watch. He put together a very nice season as one of the main relievers which very well could have made him some money in the process.

Here’s a look at the sabermetric stats for all six pitchers we think are probable to go during this week’s draft:

South Carolina pitching sabermetrics

Name Position Innings FIP WHIP K% BB% Opp. OBP
Name Position Innings FIP WHIP K% BB% Opp. OBP
Clarke Schmidt SP 60.1 2.32 0.98 28.65% 7.37% 0.273
Will Crowe SP 92.1 2.86 1.30 22.20% 7.65% 0.310
Tyler Johnson CL 26.1 1.28 1.37 40.32% 13.44% 0.327
Josh Reagan RP 56.1 3.69 1.21 21.62% 8.05% 0.312
Colie Bowers RP 41.1 3.12 0.82 29.15% 9.11% 0.241
Reed Scott SP/RP 53 3.95 1.30 18.96% 9.70% 0.329

As for the hitters, six of South Carolina’s top ten hitters were underclassmen. So perhaps there was a reason the offense wasn’t as good as fans would have liked in 2017, but this isn’t the place to dig into that particular issue.

There are five upperclassmen who are draft eligible who played just enough for us to think they’d have a long shot at being drafted in the late rounds — but we’re not sitting on the edge of our seats. A year ago it looked like Destino was a shoo-in to be one draft boards, but with the drop off he endured in 2017 it doesn’t look he’ll be taken in the top 15 rounds.

Bride, Stokes, Row, and Grosvenor are the other four hitters who would have a shot at being taken in the later rounds. Row is the dark horse here because even in limited action he put up interesting numbers that might intrigue some major league clubs. Here are the numbers for the five hitters who have to potential to be late picks.

South Carolina hitting sabermetrics

Name Plate App. Runs Created RC/PA wOBA ISO OPS
Name Plate App. Runs Created RC/PA wOBA ISO OPS
Jonah Bride 260 127.4 0.49 0.358 0.144 0.797
Alex Destino 235 124.9 0.53 0.345 0.186 0.779
Madison Stokes 190 73.6 0.39 0.296 0.115 0.651
Justin Row 87 41.7 0.48 0.368 0.145 0.852
Ross Grosvenor 38 19.3 0.51 0.378 0.241 0.843

Lastly, the one other detail to keep an eye on if you’re a Gamecock fan are the high school signees who are listed high on draft boards. Luis Campusano, Noah Campbell, Kyle Jacobsen, Carmen Mlodzinski, Logan Chapman and Ian Jenkins are all expected to be top 15 round picks, with Campusano possibly going off the board later this evening.

In all honestly, GABA would be surprised if more than four or five players from this year's squad were actually selected. But as always we’ll keep you up to date with live tweets and up to the minute player profiles for when whoever gets selected.