Six players from South Carolina colleges were selected in rounds 3-10 in the Major League Baseball Draft Tuesday. There were also two players committed to USC drafted during Day 2.
TJ Hopkins was the only current Gamecock selected in the first ten rounds. Hopkins was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth round with pick no. 264. The centerfielder batted .285 with a .363 on-base percentage in his senior season. After totaling eight home runs in his first three seasons at USC, Hopkins added power to his game this season and hit 11 home runs in 56 games. The Gamecocks struggled in Hopkins’ final season but he did take home the Tom Price award, given to the MVP of the Clemson series, after driving in nine runs in the three-game set.
The Gamecocks will have to wait and see if they will welcome Tyler Callihan (3rd round, 85th overall) and Ivan Johnson (4th round, 114th overall) to campus or wish them well on their professional journey. Like Hopkins, both Callihan and Johnson were selected by the Reds.
Callihan (Jacksonville, FL) committed to the Gamecocks in 2016 when Chad Holbrook was still the coach. Callihan has played multiple positions and there are varying opinions as to whether he projects as a second baseman, third baseman or catcher professionally. Callihan has also logged time on the mound and could pitch collegiately.
Johnson (Chipola College, FL) spent one season at Georgia before transferring to junior college. The switch-hitting second baseman excelled at the plate this season, batting .381 with a .491 on-base percentage.
The College of Charleston saw one player selected Tuesday, RHP Griffin McLarty. McLarty (8th round, no. 228) was selected by the Baltimore Orioles after going 8-4 with a 1.87 earned run average this season.
A cluster of in-state players came off the board in the 10th round: Coastal Carolina LHP Anthony Veneziano (289th overall) to the Kansas City Royals, Winthrop RHP Nate Pawelczyk (290th overall) to the Chicago White Sox and USC Aiken RHP Mitch Spence (315th overall) to the New York Yankees.
More players with in-state ties are expected to be selected Wednesday in rounds 11-40.