CLEMSON - For the fifth out of the past six years, Clemson baseball produced at least a half dozen MLB draft picks, and at least one in the top three rounds.
Of course, right-handed pitcher Daniel Gossett was the marquee product out of Clemson in this 2014 draft, taken 65th overall as the Oakland Athletics' second-round selection Thursday. He hasn't technically declared he's gone, though it'd be a shocker if he didn't soon.
"Everything's just got to line up, and the situation's going to have to be fair," Gossett said last week. "For a time I get to be selfish and think of me. So that's what I'm going to have to do. We'll just see what happens."
He was followed Friday by eighth-round second baseman Steve Wilkerson to the Orioles and ninth-round right-hander Matt Campbell to the Dodgers. Those two were seniors who have exhausted their college eligibility.
On Saturday, Clemson had a trio of picks who all will have decisions on whether to leave school or move on to the minor leagues.
Garrett Boulware, a natural catcher who played left field the second half of the 2014 season, was taken in the 16th round by the Cincinnati Reds. The Seattle Mariners claimed Jay Baum, who has played every infield position and the outfield during his college career, in the 21st round. And left-handed starter Matthew Crownover went seven picks later, also in the 21st round, to the San Francisco Giants.
Boulware and Baum are juniors, and Crownover is a 21-year-old sophomore, meaning they're all free to leave if they wish - or come back for at least one more year at Clemson. Early expectations are none are particularly likely to leave.
Boulware was drafted in the 42nd round by the Padres out of T.L. Hanna High School in 2011, but decided to stick with his Clemson commitment. This is the first MLB selection for Baum and Crownover.
Boulware was a second-team all-ACC pick, hitting .302 with four home runs and 35 RBIs. Crownover (8-6, 2.90 ERA) was third-team all-conference, while Baum hit .293 with 29 RBIs and eight steals while taking over shortstop midseason.
Clemson's six picks in 2014 tied for 15th among colleges nationally. The Tigers had just one drafted in 2013: pitcher Scott Firth to the Colorado Rockies in the 19th round.
Top-three round picks out of Clemson in prior years include corner infielder Richie Shaffer (1, Tampa Bay, 2012), shortstop Brad Miller (2, Seattle, 2011), utility man Will Lamb (2, Texas, 2011), outfielder Kyle Parker (1, Colorado, 2010) and first baseman Ben Paulsen (3, Colorado, 2009.)
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