CLEMSON - In three consecutive years in the late 1990s, the Oakland Athletics drafted Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito.
Those three starred in the big leagues, paving a reputation for their "Moneyball"-famous organization to continue rolling out top arms drafted like Trevor Cahill, Huston Street, Andrew Bailey and Sonny Gray.
Daniel Gossett, acquired by the Athletics with the 65th overall pick late Thursday night out of Clemson, hopes he's the next budding star on the west coast.
"I'm humbled by the arms they throw out, it's ridiculous," Gossett said Thursday afternoon. "Absolutely, they've put out some really good arms over the last 10 years. It's a fantastic opportunity to train with their coaches, train with their people, and the opportunity to become one of the better pitchers to come through that organization and better myself as a pitcher."
As a second-round selection, Gossett said he's still considering returning to Clemson for his senior year, though it's likely he's pitched his last game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Later on, a pair of Clemson seniors were drafted in second baseman Steve Wilkerson (Orioles, eighth round) and closer Matt Campbell (Dodgers, ninth round.)
According to Clemson, Wilkerson and Campbell became the school's first seniors in eight years to be drafted in the top ten rounds after going undrafted their junior years. Wilkerson hit .317 with a team-high six homers and 42 RBIs; Campbell produced eight saves with a 4-0 record and a 0.84 ERA.
The lone first-round pick with in-state connections was shortstop Michael Chavis, Clemson's top 2014 recruit out of Marietta, Ga., drafted 26th overall by the Boston Red Sox.
Rounds 11 through 40 are Saturday.
Clemson's highest-drafted pitcher in seven years - and the first in-state product at the college level taken in the 2014 draft - Gossett couldn't help but gush over "an unreal experience" of launching his pro career.
Gossett was a 16th-round selection by the Boston Red Sox in 2011, but his stock soared upon his 2014 campaign (7-2, 1.93 ERA), recording the school's first sub-2.00 ERA since Mike Sullivan (1.98) in 1979 - a 35-year span.
"The dream is to be on the big stage. You want to be in the majors," Gossett said. "So as of right now, this is step one. This is the starting line of my dream. Now I've got that opportunity to chase my dream. So I'm more than happy, I'm blessed, I'm honored."
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