Yesterday marked the end of the 2014 MLB Draft and the next step forward in each ambitious, young prospect's career. Now that the draft has concluded we can begin to examine its results. As Clemson fans, no one here really wants to know anything more about the MLB draft than the following question: "Where did our former Tigers go?"
Well let's take a look. Listed in chronological order, here's where each Tiger ended up:
Second Round: 65th Overall - Oakland Athletics: Daniel Gossett, RHP:
I posted in another article that there's no better GM in the MLB than Billy Beane when it comes to finding good, quality ballplayers in the draft. So it speaks wonders about Daniel Gossett's potential that Beane was willing to spend a second round pick on him. If Gossett can keep his ERA down and continue to strike guys out in the minors like he did in Clemson, he projects a middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher for the Athletics.
Eighth Round: 241st Overall - Baltimore Orioles, Steve Wilkerson, 2B:
As an Orioles fan it pleases me to see Baltimore select a second baseman. It pleases me even more that this second baseman hails from Clemson. Over the past few years, second base has been a wide-open position for the Baltimore Orioles with mostly replacement-level players rotating in and out of the starting line-up. Steve Wilkerson will have a chance to compete for this position in a few years if Dan Duquette and the rest of the Orioles brass are pleased with his progression.
Ninth Round: 279th Overall - L.A. Dodgers, Matt Campbell, RHP:
After an impressive year as a closer for Clemson, accumulating a 0.84 ERA in 25 games, with 45 strikeouts and 15 walks in 32 innings, Campbell was selected by the Dodgers in the ninth round. Due to a lack of variety in his pitches, Campbell will more than likely remain a relief pitcher in the MLB. While he certainly has the mental capacity and competitive spirit to perform in the majors, if he ever wants to get called up he has to add an effective third pitch to his repertoire behind his fastball and change-up.
Sixteenth Round: 485th Overall - Cincinnati, Garrett Boulware, C.
Twenty-First Round: 621st Overall - Seattle, Jay Baum, SS.
Twenty-First Round: 628th Overall - San Francisco, Matt Crownover, LHP.
Honestly, these three players will probably never crack a major league roster and project to be perennial minor leaguers. While I certainly hope to be wrong about that last statement, it is rare to see such late picks have any sort of success in the MLB. However, it is still impressive to see a fair amount of Tigers taken in the draft, and I wish all of these young men nothing but success in their future.