Sunday a few Clemson players will get to reap the rewards of their hard work throughout their time in college.
The 2021 MLB Draft starts on Sunday and several Tigers will get the opportunity to take a swing at making their big-league dreams come true.
The draft starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday for the first round and Competitive Balance Round A with picks 30-36. Day 2 commences on Monday at 1 p.m. with the second through 10 rounds and the draft wraps up on Tuesday with rounds 11-20 starting at noon.
While there won’t be any Tigers who have played at Doug Kingsmore Stadium taken in the round there is still plenty to keep an eye on in Day 1 that will impact both Clemson baseball and football. Tigers head coach Monte Lee could receive an immediate boost to help turn things around after a disappointing season
On Sunday it is likely that three Clemson signees could receive a life-changing call that will lead to a big decision.
Most mock drafts have former Dutch Fork standout centerfielder and quarterback signee Will Taylor leaving in the first round. Taylor brings a lot to the table on the diamond and is coveted by a lot of MLB teams but has shown a lot of interest in trying his hand at being a two-sport star at Clemson.
Bubba Chandler from North Oconee High School, Ga. is in the mix for the first Tiger signee to get a call he shows promise on the mound and as an infielder but has also made it clear in recent weeks, he has loved his summer on campus at Clemson so far and would take a lot to change his mind.
The other name to watch for is Joe Mack a catcher from Williamsville East High School, N.Y. ESPN analyst Kiley McDaniel projected Mack to go during Competitive Balance Round A on Sunday. It would be a surprise if Mack elected to come to Clemson after an early call.
Monday and Tuesday
Several Clemson graduates and draft eligible student-athletes have gone through the draft process and are waiting to see what their fate will be in the draft. Those Tigers will likely learn more about their next step on Monday and Tuesday in the draft.
The most likely players to get calls are James Parker, Kier Meredith, Bryce Teodosio, Sam Hall and Adam Hackenberg.
Parker led the Tigers in batting average this season at .324 with 38 RBIs and eight home runs and hopes to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Tim Parker played for the Tigers from 1987-90 and went in the third round to the Chicago Cubs.
Meredith was drafted out of Glenn High School, N.C. in 2017 in the 28th round by the Cubs but decided to come to Clemson and earn a degree. The left fielder hit .283 this season in 47 starts with 12 walks, 19 hit by pitches and six stolen bases.
Teodosio flashed his ability as an outfielder this season which earned him All-Tournament honors in the ACC Baseball Championship this past spring. He also improved significantly at the plate and hit .235 with eight homers and 21 RBIs.
Hall decided to move on following the 2021 season and entered the transfer but showed his potential as a prospect. He gave Clemson a boost at second base and hit .241 with an .853 OPS in just 25 games after injuries in the preseason kept him in the dugout.
Hackenberg played three seasons for the Tigers at catcher and played well this year despite nagging injuries. He hit .258 with a .749 OPS in 32 starts and added an incredibly efficient 17 RBIs.
Tiger starting pitchers Davis Sharpe, Keyshawn Askew and Mack Anglin are all eligible for the draft but will have a decision to make if their names are called because of eligibility remaining in Clemson.
All things considered the 2021 MLB Draft will impact the future of Clemson athletics and the baseball program significantly.