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Where Are They Now? 2010-2012 South Carolina Gamecocks
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks had a terrific run of success in recent years. They won the NCAA Division I College World Series in both 2010 and 2011, and were the runner-up in 2012.
But winning college baseball games isn't exactly the same thing as developing future major leaguers. Let's take a look at players who were drafted from these three squads, and see how they are faring thus far in professional baseball.
Parker Bangs, RHP, 2008-2010: Reliever, drafted by the Royals in the 31st round in 2010. Pitched poorly in pro ball (10.08 ERA in 28 innings) and was released in 2012.
Jackie Bradley Jr, OF, 2009-2011: Drafted by Red Sox in supplemental first round in 2011. Has played very well so far in pro ball, hitting .311/.423/.473 with 91 walks and 43 doubles in 499 at-bats, also showing fine defense, emerging as one of the best outfield prospects in the minors. Should reach Boston sometime in 2013, and clearly the best prospect the Gamecocks have produced of late.
Blake Cooper, RHP, 2007-2010: Drafted in 12th round by Diamondbacks in 2010. A starter in college, he's been a decent reliever in A-ball thus far, posting a 3.49 ERA in 119 innings with a 118/42 K/BB ratio, picking up 16 saves. He will reach Double-A in 2013 and projects as a back-of-the-bullpen asset.
Sam Dyson, RHP, 2008-2010: Fourth round pick by the Blue Jays in 2010, missed 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Posted 2.38 ERA with 22/15 K/BB in 45 innings this year in Triple-A, pitched in two major league games with poor results (three runs, four hits in two-thirds of an inning). Note low strikeout rate, but he's a sinkerball guy. Assigned to Arizona Fall League to position himself for another big league try in '13.
Bobby Haney 2B, 2009-2010: Drafted by Giants in 22nd round in 2010. Didn't do much in '11 (.236/.317/.308 in Low-A) but was more effective in '12 (.310/.359/.386 in 64 games in High-A). Organization player with some chance to be a utility guy.
Bryan Harper, LHP, 2011: Drafted by Nationals in 30th round in 2011. Bryce Harper's older brother, Bryan has been ineffective in pro ball, posting a 10.59 ERA with a 21/11 K/BB and 34 hits allowed in 19 innings in the New York-Penn League. He was considered a legitimate prospect in junior college, but the last couple of years have been disappointing.
Evan Marzilli, OF, 2010-2012: Drafted by the Diamondbacks in the eighth round in 2012. Off to a good start, hit .332/.403/.389 in 211 at-bats for Missoula in the Pioneer League. We'll have to see if his line drive/low power approach will work at higher levels, but he is a "gamer" type who will get lots of slack to prove himself.
Adam Matthews, OF, 2009-2012: Drafted by the Reds in the 29th round in 2012. Hit well in rookie ball, .325/.407/.470 in 117 at-bats, but as a college senior he was facing much younger competition. Still, he did enough to get a full shot as an organization player at least.
Whit Merrifield, 2B-OF, 2008-2010: Drafted by the Royals in the ninth round in 2010. Has hit .259/.330/.379 in 1139 minor league at-bats including .260/.314/.333 in 96 at-bats in Double-A this year. Has stolen 57 bases in 81 attempts, but otherwise a non-remarkable offensive player. Some chance for a utility job eventually.
Peter Mooney, SS, 2011: Drafted in the 21st round in 2011 by the Blue Jays, hit .286/.403/.491 in 112 games in rookie ball and Low-A, but missed all of 2012 with an injury. Status unclear at this time.
Adrian Morales, INF, 2010-2011: Drafted by the Royals in the 49th round in 2011. Played in the Appalachian League this year and hit .170/.248/.234 in 94 at-bats. That won't cut it.
Steven Neff, LHP, 2009-2011: Drafted in the 41st round in 2011 by the Giants. Posted a 3.81 ERA with an 86/29 K/BB in 76 innings in Low-A this year, allowing 82 hits. Strike-throwing organization arm at this point with a chance to be a LOOGY (he held lefties to a .213 mark this year) at higher levels.
Matt Price, RHP, 2009-2012: Drafted in the seventh round in 2012 by the Orioles but has yet to pitch professionally. Effective closer in college, racking up 43 saves over the last three years, with a 2.76 ERA and a 267/80 K/BB in 212 innings, allowing only 152 hits. Orioles are being careful with him due to college workload and shoulder concerns.
Michael Roth, LHP, 2009-2012: Drafted by the Angels in the ninth round in 2012. Soft-tosser was extremely effective in college but scouts still aren't sure his stuff will hold at higher levels. Posted 4.91 ERA with a 21/11 K/BB in 22 innings for Orem in the Pioneer League, 23 hits allowed. The early returns don't tell us much given the sample size, but he'll get a shot as an organization arm at least due to his track record.
Christian Walker, 1B, 2010-2012: Drafted in the fourth round by the Orioles this year, hit .284/.376/.420 in 81 at-bats in the New York-Penn League. He controls the zone well and has solid pure hitting skills, but there's disagreement about how his power will play at higher levels and if it will be sufficient for a first baseman. We'll see.
Scott Wingo, 2B, 2008-2011: Drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round in 2011. Hit .246/.367/.337 with 56 walks, 77 strikeouts, 13 steals in 353 at-bats this year in High-A. He has some skills and could last awhile as an organization/utility guy, but isn't likely to hit his way into top prospect status.
(This is a prototype for a new feature. If you guys like it I can do more teams)