In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.
Ben Collman/David Rawnsley
South Carolina State-by-State List
2011 South Carolina Overview
National Champs Upstaged On Own Turf
the team that won its second straight College World Series
championship in 2011, the University of South Carolina welcomed back
the unusually-high total of four players that were selected in last
year’s draft and went unsigned.
of those players, though, has performed any better this season than
he did in 2011, and it’s possible that none will improve his draft
standing, with the exception of returning ace lefthander Michael
Roth, a marginal prospect by pro standards who was taken in the 31st round as a junior after going 14-3, 1.06 for the Gamecocks. By virtue
of being a senior in a draft where college seniors may often be
valued much higher than what their natural talent warrants because of
their lack of bargaining leverage, Roth could jump up 15-20 rounds,
even though he had won just four games in early May.
four Gamecocks players aside, no USC player is expected to make major
inroads on this year’s draft, and it is entirely possible that the
top 3-4 picks in the state will come from schools other than the
reigning two-time national champions. It’s almost a lock that
Clemson third baseman Richie Shaffer will be the top pick, likely
midway in the first round, and that Coastal Carolina righthander Josh
Conway and College of Charleston righthander Christian Powell could
also be snapped up before the first South Carolina player is called.
Conway’s situation is very tenuous, though, as it was recently
determined that he must undergo Tommy John surgery, seriously
jeopardizing his impact in the early rounds.
usual, most of the draftable talent in South Carolina is concentrated
in the college crop and there is a distinct possibility that as many
as 10 or 11 college players could be taken in the first 10 rounds.
Led by Shaffer, Clemson is the one school that should dominate the
early rounds, with as many as four selections.
are fairly cleanly-defined talent pools in both the state’s
junior-college and high-school crops, with three players in
particular standing out at the top of the JC heap, all of whom fit in
the 8th-12th round range. A quartet of players have separated themselves in the
prep ranks, as well, and are all candidates to go in the first 10
rounds, but with the restrictive new draft rules in place this year,
it’s highly unlikely those players will be drafted in an order that
is a reflection of their talent.
Carolina in a nutshell:
Depth of college talent.
Signable high-school players.
(1-to-5 scale): 4.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
ON THE RISE: EVAN MARZILLI, of, University of South Carolina. USC’s
Jackie Bradley was drafted in the first round last year, in large
part because he was regarded as one of the top defensive center
fielders in the country. The transition to Marzilli, his successor,
has been seamless, and some scouts have said that Marzilli may be an
even better defender than Bradley. Marzilli may not end up being
drafted quite as high as Bradley, the 40th overall pick in 2011, but he is expected to be the first University
of South Carolina player taken—something that seemed improbable at
the start of the season.
CARD: JOSH CONWAY, rhp, Coastal Carolina University. Conway
had essentially cemented his status as a second-round, at worst a
third-round pick for this year’s draft when he experienced elbow
discomfort in a starting assignment against Liberty on April 26,
pulled himself from the game early in the contest and learned through
the results of an MRI the following day that he would require Tommy
John surgery. It’s anyone’s guess now what that may do to
Conway’s draft prospects, but he is expected to be sidelined at
least 11-12 months.
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, South Carolina Connection:
Andrew Rash, of, Virginia Tech (Attended high school in Anderson).
Nick Ciuffo, c, Wando HS, Mt. Pleasant.
Daniel Gossett, rhp, Clemson University.
Kris Benson, rhp, Clemson University (1996, Pirates/1st round, 1st pick).
Colvin, of, Clemson University (Cubs/1st round, 13th pick).
Moskos, lhp, Clemson University (Pirates/1st round, 4th pick).
Smoak, 1b, University of South Carolina (Rangers/1st round, 11th pick).
Owings, ss, Gilbert HS (Diamondbacks/1st round, 41st pick).
Parker, 1b, Clemson University (Rockies/1st round, 26th pick).
Guerreri, rhp, Spring Valley HS, North Augusta (Rays/1st round, 24th pick).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
Matthews, of, University of South Carolina.
Richie Shaffer, 3b, Clemson University.
Richie Shaffer, 3b, Clemson University.
Adam Matthews, of, University of South Carolina.
Evan Marzilli, of, University of South Carolina.
Christian Powell, rhp, College of Charleston.
Josh Conway, rhp, Coastal Carolina University.
Roth, lhp, University of South Carolina.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
1. RICHIE SHAFFER,
3b, Clemson University (Jr.)
topped Clemson in every key power category as a sophomore—homers
(13), RBIs (55), total bases (128) and slugging (.577), while also
hitting .315 and drawing a team-high 44 walks—but did so with
plenty of support in the middle of the Tigers batting order. He also
achieved that production while playing first base. Things would become much more
challenging from the outset this season for Shaffer, though, as he
had much less protection in the heart of the Tigers batting order
with the departure of four of the team’s top hitters, and he would
also be making a switch across the diamond to third base. With the pressure of the draft
weighing on his every move at the plate and in the field, Shaffer has
passed both tests with flying colors this spring, and even taken his
all-around game to a higher level. Through 45 games, he led the
Tigers with a .347 average and eight home runs, and his team-high 45
walks (one more than his total a year ago, and almost three times as
many as anyone else in the Clemson lineup) are a graphic indicator
that he has been pitched around extensively, and has done well
fending for himself. Moreover, Shaffer has committed only eight
errors this spring at third base, most of which came early in the
season when he was adapting to the trickier hops and faster pace of
the game at the hot corner. If nothing else was accomplished, Shaffer
did an excellent job of learning to take what a pitcher gave him
while also solidifying himself as a third baseman for the near future
by displaying easy,
fluid, balanced actions around the bag. The
tool that continued to set Shaffer apart as an elite prospect is his
bat—both his ability to hit, and hit with power—and Shaffer’s
basic hitting tools are considered some of the most-polished and
advanced in the college ranks.
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