An interesting crop of high school talent makes up for a dearth of college prospects in the Palmetto State this year. Catcher Nick Ciuffo is a potential first-round pick, and there’s good depth behind him.
|THIS YEAR’S CROP|
|*****||One for the books|
|***||Solid, not spectacular|
|**||Not up to par|
|*||Nothing to see here|
|Rating compares this year’s group to what a state typically produces, not to other states|
South Carolina, back-to-back national champions just two years ago, and Clemson have several players that may be picked later in the proceedings, but most of their talent lies in underclassmen.
Shortstop Steve Wilkerson was thought to be a target as an up-the-middle player, but he hit just .294/.373/.416. Righthander Scott Firth has shown arm strength in the past, pitching in the low 90s, but he lacks secondary stuff and profiles as a reliever. He went 6-5, 3.23 in 19 appearances (six starts) with 41 strikeouts and 18 walks in 61 innings.
South Carolina continues to find success on the field, but the draft-eligible players are considered complementary for pro ball. Lefthander Tyler Webb has an 89-91 mph fastball that plays up because of his deception, but his breaking ball is fringy. He recorded 16 saves and struck out 52 in 36 innings across 28 appearances while walking 11.
Wofford righthander Eric Eck ranked as the top prospect in the New York Collegiate Baseball League last summer. He has a projectable frame at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and sits in the low 90s, but must refine his secondary stuff.
|NATIONAL TOP 500 PROSPECTS|
|BA 500 Scouting Reports|
1. Nick Ciuffo, C, Lexington (S.C.) HS (National Rank: 22)
2. Cory Thompson, SS/RHP, Mauldin (S.C.) HS. (National Rank: 121)
3. Akeem Bostick, RHP, West Florence (S.C.) HS (National Rank: 147)
4. Jacob May, OF, Coastal Carolina (National Rank: 203)
5. K.J. Woods, OF/1B, Fort Mill (S.C.) HS (National Rank: 223)
6. John Parke, LHP, Greenville (S.C.) HS (National Rank: 415)
7. Taylor Widener, RHP, South Aiken (S.C.) HS (National Rank: 454)
8. Zach Loraine, RHP, Coker (S.C.) (National Rank: 476)
|OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE|
9. Steve Wilkerson, SS, Clemson
10. Nate Smith, LHP, Furman
11. Brandon Murray, OF, College of Charleston
12. Eric Eck, RHP, Wofford
13. Jordan Gore, RHP, Conway (S.C.) HS
14. Dre Watts, RHP, College of Charleston
15. L.B. Dantzler, 1B, South Carolina
16. Elliott Caldwell, 3B/OF, Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist
17. Tyler Webb, LHP, South Carolina
18. Jon McGibbon, 1B, Clemson
19. Scott Firth, RHP, Clemson
20. Colby Holmes, RHP, South Carolina
21. Eli White, SS, Wren HS, Anderson, S.C.
22. Joel Seddon, RHP, South Carolina
23. Joseph Roberts, OF, Hammond School, Columbia, S.C.
24. Zach Hayden, RHP, USC Aiken
25. Nathan Chong, OF, Presbyterian
26. Adam Taylor, OF, North Greenville (S.C.)
27. Ryan Gunther, RHP, Charleston Southern
28. Mason Davis, OF, The Citadel
29. Brad Zebedis, 1B, Presbyterian
30. Ryan Connolly, RHP, Coastal Carolina