This time last week, Clemson pitcher Charlie Barnes was worrying about how he could possibly help his team get out of a regional in the NCAA Tournament. Today, the lefty is focused on his future.
Barnes, 5-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 2017, is one of five Clemson players expected to be drafted in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft which is scheduled to begin tonight at 6 p.m. on the MLB Network.
The network will air the first two rounds tonight, while rounds 3-10 will be on Tuesday and rounds 11-40 will be on Wednesday. Barnes, a late fourth- or fifth-round projection, will not be drafted tonight, but he is looking forward to the moment he hears his named called.
“It’s going to be pretty exciting,” the junior said. “It is something you think about when you are growing up. When that moment comes, it will be pretty exciting.”
Tuesday should also be exciting for Clemson catcher Chris Williams. He is the highest of all Clemson players and commitments expected to be drafted. Baseball America has the junior going in the third round of the draft. They have him listed as the 101st overall player on the board. Barnes is No. 133.
Some wonder if Williams’ stock might fall after suffering a shoulder injury in the Nevada series in May. He did not catch at all for the Tigers since and was just 2 for his last 28 after the injury. He was hitting over .300 and led the Tigers in home runs and RBIs prior to the injury.
Other Tigers expected to be drafted include outfielder Reed Rohlman, pitcher Alex Eubanks and outfielder Chase Pinder. Like Barnes and Williams, Rohlman and Pinder are juniors and are likely going to turn pro.
However, Eubanks is a redshirt sophomore and has a little more negotiating power, and could possibly come back to Clemson for another year and improve his draft positioning. Eubanks was 7-6 this year with a 4.09 ERA. He had 104 strikeouts to 14 walks.
Senior pitchers Pat Krall and Tyler Jackson may also be drafted. Krall pitched well for the Tigers in the regional as a reliever and as a starter, while Jackson had a complete-game, two-hit shutout in a win over Vanderbilt in the regional.
As for Clemson’s incoming freshmen, Sam Keating is the highest rated prospect according to some draft analysts. Baseball America ranks Keating as the 51st overall prospect in the draft.
Right-handed pitcher Spencer Strider (6-1, 205) could be drafted as high as third round. He is listed as the 103rd best overall player on Baseball America’s draft board. Outfielder Kier Meredith (5-11, 175) is a possible seventh- to eighth-round pick. He is ranked 198 overall on the board.
Other freshmen that could be drafted include Sam Keating, Sam Weatherly and Sam Hall.