The Clemson Tigers had six players taken in the 2014 MLB first year players draft. The six, Daniel Gossett, Steve Wilkerson, Matt Campbell, Garrett Boulware, Jay Baum, and Matthew Crownover, were among a record 65 ACC players selected in the draft.
Daniel Gossett, Jr., RHP – Oakland Athletics – Round 2, Pick 65
Gossett will almost certainly be leaving Clemson for the Bay area. When you’re drafted this highly, there really isn’t any other option. This was to be expected though as Gossett posted a very impressive 7-2 record with a 1.93 ERA, 107 strikeouts, and a .202 batting average against in 2014. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s to go along with a nasty slider that is probably his best, and most advanced pitch right now.
Steve Wilkerson, Sr., 2B – Baltimore Orioles – Round 8, Pick 241
Wilkerson had a fine senior year in Tiger Town, batting .317 while leading the team in homeruns (6), RBI (42), and slugging (.502). Wilkerson brings a lefty bat with some solid pop to it into the Orioles organization.
Matt Campbell – Sr., RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers – Round 9, Pick 279
Campbell was superb in his senior campaign for the Tigers, striking out 45 batters over 32 innings while posting a 0.84 ERA. Opposing batters hit just .144 against him in 2014. A power bullpen arm, Campbell may be the closest to Major League ready of any of the drafted Tigers.
Garrett Boulware – Jr., C/OF – Cincinnati Reds – Round 16, Pick 485
Boulware hit .302 with four long balls and 35 RBI in his junior season. He began the year at catcher before making room for Freshman Chris Okey behind the plate and moving to left field. The position change mid season was not the smoothest of transitions for Boulware, but he continued to hit all season long despite the move. While Boulware could certainly sign and begin his pro career, I think he will come back to Clemson for his senior season, refine his outfield play, and with an impressive senior year, hopefully get drafted even high in the 2015 draft.
Jay Baum – Jr., SS – Seattle Mariners – Round 21, Pick 621
The Seattle Mariners love the Clemson Tigers. Baum joins recent Tiger draftees Brad Miller and Dominic Leone in the Mariners’ organization. Baum hit .293 while driving in 29 runs his junior year, but the real story with Baum in 2014 was his defensive play at shortstop. After Sophomore Tyler Krieger struggled defensively at short to begin the year, Baum transitioned from left field to the infield to take over the job. He performed admirably in his time at shortstop, and would probably be well served to get another year of experience there before going pro. That’s why, despite the recent success of former Tigers like Miller and Leone in the Seattle organization, I think Baum will return to Clemson for his senior season.
Matthew Crownover – Soph., LHP – San Francisco Giants – Round 21, Pick 628
Crownover was Clemson’s second best starting pitcher in 2014 behind Gossett, posting a 2.90 ERA and 90 strikeouts on his way to a 8-6 record. While Crownover could join Gossett in the bay area, he will instead most likely come back to Clemson for his junior season and beyond. Crownover would certainly be the ace of the staff next year with Gossett gone, and could easily become a second round draft pick himself with another year or two of experience in college ball.