CLEMSON — The recent disappointing seasons didn’t tarnish the professional prospects for a quartet of Tigers.
Clemson landed four Day 2 MLB Draft selections Tuesday, and might soon cope with four defections among its veterans.
Left-handed pitcher Zack Erwin, shortstop Tyler Krieger, outfielder Steven Duggar and left-handed pitcher Matthew Crownover were all taken between the fourth and sixth rounds, and all between the 100th and 200th selections.
That’s a first for the program since 2007 — Clemson only had eight top-200 picks in the previous seven years, and no more than two in any season. This is the fifth year in school history with four picks within the top six rounds.
Clemson also tied for second in the nation with four picks in the first six rounds, along with TCU, UCLA and Virginia. Vanderbilt was represented by six products in the first six rounds.
Surprisingly, the ACC Pitcher of the Year was the fourth of the four to get a phone call, despite Crownover being the expected top draftee out of this crop.
Clemson’s Saturday starter, Erwin, went 112th overall (early fourth round) to the Chicago White Sox. A dozen picks later, Krieger was taken 124th by the Indians.
The 6-5, 195-pound Erwin went 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA, and most impressively, dealt 92 strikeouts vs. just 16 walks. Krieger, hampered by injury this past offseason and during the spring, batted .339 with 41 RBIs and 14 steals.
Duggar went No. 186 to the defending champion San Francisco Giants, after hitting .304 with 43 RBIs and 56 runs scored. Finally, Crownover — who was taken last year by the Giants in the 21st round, but decided to stay in school — was selected 194th by the Washington Nationals after recording a 1.82 ERA and 10-3 record with 37 walks and 108 strikeouts.
Crownover was first-team all-ACC and All-American. Krieger was second-team and Duggar was third-team all-conference.
Erwin, Krieger, Duggar and Crownover all have one season of eligibility remaining, should they choose to use it. With longtime head coach Jack Leggett being fired last Thursday, and all four players expressing their support for Leggett, it would not be a surprise for all four Tigers to go pro.
Meanwhile, the No. 10 overall pick Monday was spent on Griffin (Ga.) High School shortstop Cornelius Randolph, a Clemson signee who’s likely to enter the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league system right away.
Another Clemson commit, infielder Jalen Miller out of Atlanta, was a third-round (No. 95 overall) pick of the Giants.
Rounds 11-40 will conclude the draft Wednesday.