In recent years, the South Carolina baseball program has produced top draft picks such as Clark Schmidt and Carmen Mlodzinski. In this year’s MLB draft, Gamecock didn’t hear his name until Day 3.
MLB teams picked four current Gamecocks and one USC spot on the third and final day of the 2022 Major League draft on Tuesday. Three of these players were selected in the fifteenth round.
Rookie right-hander James Hicks was the first USC drafted and first pick in the 15th round, selected by the Baltimore Orioles with 437 picks from the draft. Transferring to Junior College from Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, Hicks opened his Gamecocks career on the weekend course, but started only twice this spring before injuring his elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery. Hicks hit seven runs and allowed four runs in seven innings for USC, while displaying a powerful punch and ball break.
Three picks later, the Pittsburgh Pirates used their 15th-round pick over Josiah Settler, the Gamecocks’ number one baseman. A native of Gaston, Sightler was also drafted from Swansea High School in the 12th round of the 2018 draft but chose to enroll in USC. Although he struggled with injuries at USC, Sightler is coming off a career best season as he hit .300 and rattled 15 times at home.
The Cleveland Guardians picked Adam Sirwinsky, the spot on USC in-state, also in the 15th round. The 6-foot-5 left-handed bowler from Eastside High School will have a decision to decide whether to sign, play college ball or not.
And current Gamecock’s second baseman, Braylen Wimmer, will have to make a decision after the Philadelphia Phillies pick him up in the 18th round. Regarded as the team’s top prospect, Wimmer’s slip into the draft could mean he’ll be back for his first season having hit 0.312 with seven home runs as a junior.
Although it’s not guaranteed, the potential return of Wimmer next season will be a boost to the offensive in which top hitters Brandt Belk and Andrew Eyster lose out to graduate.
In more good news for Gamecocks, both top signers Eli Jerzembeck and Ethan Petry have gone without drafting, meaning they should be able to help USC next season. Jerzembeck, the right bowler, ranked 184 on MLB.com’s top 250 odds list. Petrie, third baseman, is booked at #230.
In the 20th and final round of the draft, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired right Noah Hall, who transferred to USC from Appalachian State and emerged as the team’s top player during SEC play after injuries decimated the staff. Hall recorded a 4.34 ERA, taking 78 to 31 walks in 76.2 runs.
Former Gamecocks player Julian Bosnich was also recruited Tuesday, in Round 14 by the Buccaneers. However, Bosnic has already announced his intention to move from USC and has committed to participating in Arkansas next season. Having missed the entirety of last season with an elbow injury, Bosnic could choose to go to pro football or play another team year with the Razorbacks.