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CayceCock13
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re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
LHP John Parke's first outing as a Gamecock Commit

quote:

GREENVILLE - The recruiting world shook last week when left-handed pitcher John Parke (Greenville/Greenville) flipped from Clemson and signed with South Carolina. Just four days after his decision, he took the mound in a playoff game against Belton-Honea Path in front of one of his future coaches.

Recruiting coordinator Sammy Esposito made the short drive to Greenville High School to see his prized southpaw. He wasn’t the only one there to see Parke though as a dozen scouts had their radar guns out ready to clock and evaluate.

Parke pitched well but he didn’t have the most memorable of outings as his team lost 4-0 after making some mistakes that led to a four-run fifth inning. Parke allowed just four hits in the game and registered 10 strikeouts but the Red Raiders could only muster two hits in the game.

“I threw the ball pretty well tonight,” Parke said. “I came inside a few times tonight and got ground balls. The defense had a little bit of a rough night tonight but we’ve played well all season and I’m sure we’ll bounce back.”

Parke said that when he’s pitching well, he commands the outside corner to right-handed hitters. The left-hander has been as high as 91 mph this year on the radar gun but sat comfortably at 86-88 most of the night on Tuesday against the Bears.

The recruitment of Parke was a team effort for the South Carolina staff. Parke visited twice during the Kentucky weekend and Esposito visited with the Diamond Prospect Diamond Kings award candidate.

While Esposito handled the bulk of the work, it was all hands on deck, including head coach Chad Holbrook.

“It all came down to where I wanted to play baseball over the next four years,” Parke said. “It felt like family at South Carolina. Coach Holbrook did a great job of making me feel comfortable. Coach Buscher, coach Esposito and coach Meyers took me around campus and I loved the campus. I can really see myself playing there the next four years.”

In addition to the coaching staff and feeling comfortable in Columbia, the former Clemson commitment pointed to the fact that playing in the Southeastern Conference was important as well as pitching in one of the best atmospheres in college baseball.

“You play in the SEC against the best teams in the country,” Parke said. “You play against the best teams around and it’s a great atmosphere.”


Other recruiting notes


-- South Carolina will host several unofficial visitors this weekend for the Vanderbilt series. More are certainly expected to add their name to the list but some include 2013s shortstop Jordan Gore (Conway/Conway) and outfielder Gene Cone (Columbia/Spring Valley). Class of 2014 commitments include right-handed pitcher Tyler Johnson (Richmond, Va./Trinity Episcopal) and outfielder Clark Scolamiero (Greenville/Greenville). Uncommitted players expected to visit this weekend include 2013 infielder and right-handed pitcher Matt Williams (Belton/Belton-Honea Path) and 2016 right-handed pitcher Duncan Callahan.

-- Class of 2013 signee Gene Cone (Columbia/Spring Valley) has been on a tear since the playoffs started. He’s knocked a home run in three of the four games. His high school team will have to defeat Dorman twice on Wednesday night at Dorman to advance out of the district round of the playoffs.
This post was edited on 5/1 at 3:27 pm


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
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Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Article on Several Gamecock Commitments (Class of '13, '14, & '15) per JW of TheBigSpur

Elliot Caldwell 3B (JUCO) ('13)
Cody Mincey RP (JUCO) ('13)
Canaan Crooper RP ('13)
Alex Destino SP ('14)
Brandon Murray SP ('14)
Kaleb Bowman RHP ('15)
Kep Brown OF ('15)

quote:

Junior college players are supposed to make an immediate impact and two that South Carolina signed for next baseball season got a little taste of what next year should be like. Spartanburg Methodist standouts Elliott Caldwell and Cody Mincey played in an exhibition game on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium and both showed off for their future coaches.

With the South Carolina coaching staff in the stands watching their every move, Caldwell and Mincey showed off in their potential roles for the 2014 season. They were wearing their Pioneers jerseys but, this time next year, they’ll trade their blue for garnet.

Caldwell started at third base and hit cleanup in the order for SMC, which begins the Region X tournament this weekend as the conference’s top seed. He was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and an RBI in the game but he also made a couple of highlight reel defensive plays at the hot corner.

“I’ve been playing well, especially the last month or so,” Caldwell said. “I got off to a slow start but the last month has been awesome. I feel like I’ve been doing a good job of being aggressive. I’m attacking pitches early in the count and doing a good job of not missing pitches.”

With current third baseman Chase Vergason set to graduate this year, the spot will be open for the 2014 season. Current freshman George Iskenderian has eyes on the position and he’ll certainly be in a heated position battle with Caldwell, who comes to Carolina with two years of at-bats at the college level under his belt.

“I just want to keep working on my swing and being consistent,” Caldwell said. “I don’t want to have a slow start next year like I did this year. I want to keep consistent going into the summer and in the fall. Hopefully once the spring gets here, I’ll be rolling.”

Mincey, a relief pitcher by trade, is the potential closer of the future for the Gamecocks. That role will be wide open as well given that senior Tyler Webb will take his game to the professional level after the season.

“It’s real exciting coming somewhere like this next year,” Mincey said, still standing on the dirt at Carolina Stadium. “Playing here tonight, it has set in that this is where I’m going to be next year. It was exciting to get out there and pitch in this stadium and I can’t wait to be here in a few months.”

Pitching coach Jerry Meyers had a chance to speak with his future right-handed arm after Tuesday night’s win and the message for him was simple. Mincey said that Meyers said the expectations for next year were to, “Come in, throw strikes, get outs, and pound the zone.”

That’s what Mincey was able to do to close out the 12-0 win over USC Lancaster registering the final two outs of the game.

“I feel like I’ve done alright this season. I’ve been throwing my fastball well and trying to spot it up,” Mincey said. “When I can do that, it makes my offspeed a lot more effective. I’ve been working on my location and trying to get ground balls. I’m trying to be more smooth, let the ball go, and throw some strikes.”

Tuesday night’s game in a Pioneers jersey was just a taste of what Caldwell and Mincey will experience next year. They were under the lights at Carolina Stadium but the colors were off and the crowd was a bit light. This time next year, the field will be the same but the stage will be bigger.


Other recruiting nuggets


-- We highlighted several players who plan to visit this weekend for the Vanderbilt series in this recruiting feature but there are a few more who plan to come visit this weekend. Class of 2013 right-handed pitcher Canaan Cropper (Salisbury, Md./James M. Bennett) and 2014 left-handed pitcher Alex Destino (Weaverville, N.C./North Buncombe) also plan to visit.

-- Class of 2014 right-handed pitcher commitment Brandon Murray (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) threw a no-hitter last week and followed it up on Tuesday night allowing three hits in a complete game shutout. He struck out 12 in his 91-pitch outing.

-- Class of 2015 right-handed pitcher commit Kaleb Bowman (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) threw a complete game and allowed two runs on seven hits in his team’s win on Tuesday night. He struck out 12 in the game. Bowman visited South Carolina for the Texas A&M series earlier this year.

-- Class of 2015 outfielder commit Kep Brown (Mount Pleasant/Wando) was 2-for-4 with a single and a home run on Tuesday night against West Florence. He hit a home run off of right-handed pitcher Akeem Bostick, who is projected to be drafted in the top 15 rounds of the MLB Draft this June. He’s signed to play for Georgia Southern.

This post was edited on 5/1 at 3:42 pm


CayceCock13
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Member since Oct 2012
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re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
-- South Carolina commitments and signees from in-state still in the playoffs include:

Class of 2013: LHP John Parke will pitch Monday night for Greenville High School at home against Travelers Rest. … Lexington High School is home to three players signed or committed to play at South Carolina next year - LHP Josh Reagan will pitch on Monday night at 7 p.m. at home against South Aiken. Catcher Nick Ciuffo will continue to hit in the three-hole in the order. LHP Cole McMillian is not currently scheduled to throw but he plays every game in right field for the Wildcats. … RHP/1B Taylor Widener and his South Aiken squad will face Lexington. … RHP Cory Thompson of Mauldin is scheduled to play on Monday.

2014: Centerfielder Clark Scolamiero, along with Parke and his Greenville High School team, is scheduled to play at home against Travelers Rest on Monday at 6 p.m.

2015: Catcher Tyler Romanik and his Blythewood High School team won its playoff game on Saturday and is scheduled to play at home on Tuesday of this week. The time and opponent are still to be determined.

Games to watch for if you're interested:

Travelers Rest @ Greenville Monday
South Aiken @ Lexington 7:00 EST Monday
Blythewood @ Mauldin Tuesday


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CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
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Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Article on 2013 Commitment Relief Pitcher Canaan Cropper per TBS

quote:

South Carolina has brought in a lot of players over the years that come from some of the top programs nationally. The tradition continues with 2013 right-handed pitcher Canaan Cropper (Salisbury, Md./James M. Bennett) as he has led his high school team to the Maryland state record winning streak, which capped at 56 games a couple of weeks back.

Cropper, who has been on James M. Bennett High School’s varsity team since his freshman season, was on the mound when the team broke the state record of 54 straight wins. Even though the team lost a couple of games later, the mark is one that Cropper is proud of.

Even with a loss in the column, the Clippers are set for a deep playoff run. One of the biggest reasons the team has been on top is because of Cropper, who does it all for his team. When he’s not on the mound, he’s playing centerfield or third base and hitting in the middle of the order.

“We’ve been pretty successful this year,” Cropper said. “Things have been going really well as far as pitching for me. I wanted to see a good jump on my velocity and I think that’s come to pass. I’ve been working really hard on my changeup from the fall until now. I’ve been working on getting it in the zone and getting it to be a three strike pitch. Everything has kind of fallen into place and every outing I’ve been getting a little bit better, so I’m happy with my performance this year.”

Cropper is 6-0 on the mound and hitting above .500 so far this year at the plate. The 6-foot righty will strictly be a pitcher for the Gamecocks and he brings a much-needed power arm to the staff.

The Salisbury, Md. native made the trek south to Columbia over the weekend to take in both of the games against Vanderbilt. Cropper and his father, Bill, left on Sunday morning impressed with the atmosphere at Carolina Stadium.

“It’s been pretty incredible,” Cropper said. “The fan base is there and the atmosphere is incredible. They’ve battled both games against great pitching and a great team. I can see the heart out there every inning and the drive. I’ve had a great time watching them play this weekend and hope I can come in and contribute next year.”

Cropper had the chance to spend a lot of time with the entire coaching staff, including head coach Chad Holbrook, pitching coach Jerry Meyers, and recruiting coordinator Sammy Esposito.

Following his time in Columbia, Cropper said that the visit only intensified his drive to become a better pitcher. Over the course of the next few weeks of the regular season and into the summer, Cropper will work on continuing to perfect his pitches but also add some strength in the weight room before coming back to school in August.

“Working out hard, hitting the weight room hard and gaining some good weight,” Cropper said of his goals before enrolling in school. “I want to keep my arm healthy and my stamina up as well as increase my velocity. All around, I can get better and hope for big things in the fall.”

The plan right now for Cropper is to enroll in the fall but he is also a player who could be selected early in the MLB Draft this June. If he makes it to campus, the chances are high that he will play a big role on next year’s team.

Cropper already provides something that the Gamecocks lack on the mound - a power arm from the right side - but there are also a lot of innings to go around with the departure of several key seniors from the roster.

“They expect me to come in and be an elite guy, step in and throw as a freshman,” Cropper said. “Nothing is set in stone but they want me to come in and play a serious role. They want me to throw hard, get guys out, and get a good amount of innings as a freshman. They want me to come in and make a huge impact.”



CayceCock13
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Member since Oct 2012
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re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Article on 2013 Commitment SS/RP Jordan Gore per TBS

quote:

When class of 2013 shortstop Jordan Gore (Conway/Conway) committed to South Carolina in July 2011, the Gamecocks thought they were getting one of the best position players in the Palmetto State. While that turned out to be true, Gore has also flourished into one of the top pitchers in the state as well.

Gore committed to the Gamecocks overs offers from Clemson, The Citadel and College of Charleston prior to his junior season. Recruiting coordinator at the time Chad Holbrook promised Gore he would be the only middle infielder he committed in the class and those were words he stuck by.

Over the course of nearly two years since his commitment, Gore has grown into the No. 10 player in the state, regardless of position, as ranked by Diamond Prospects. Those rankings were done in the preseason and it’s likely Gore makes a jump with the season he’s put together for Conway High School, which bowed out of the playoffs last week in the District round.

A switch hitter, Gore finished the season hitting .495 at the plate with five doubles, a home run and 22 walks. On the mound, he sported a 5-1 record with a 1.17 earned run average. He struck out 52 in 52 innings worth of work.

“I had a pretty good season,” Gore said. “I’ve been hitting the ball really well and my right-handed swing has gotten a lot better. That’s mainly what I wanted to work on going into the season. My left-handed swing has been going great. It’s usually my better side but my right-handed swing has come along to evenly match it.”

Holbrook first identified Gore as a shortstop and he will play at that position from the time he steps on campus. South Carolina does return a two-year starter at short, Joey Pankake, and with DC Arendas waiting in the wings, it will be tough to earn immediate playing time at the position.

While he’ll play in every scrimmage at shortstop, Gore also won’t miss a bullpen session with pitching coach Jerry Meyers. The Gamecocks don’t have a whole lot of 90 mph arms who show much consistency at the moment so Gore could earn a shot there. He’s clocked consistently in the low 90s this season and he’s going to get a shot on the bump in 2014.

“I wanted to work on my arm strength and becoming a pitcher more so than just throwing it,” Gore said. “I think I’ve done good in doing that. I throw a split-finger and it drops off the table pretty good. That’s my go-to pitch.”

Gore has made two recent trips to Columbia, one with his family to meet with the South Carolina coaching staff about the MLB Draft and one to see the Gamecocks take on Vanderbilt.

“The whole aspect of getting to play for a program with such prestige. It’s going to be great,” Gore said. “I’ve been to some of the games and the coaches have been asking me how my games have going. I’m really excited to get up there for good real soon.”

Other recruiting nuggets

-- South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook made the four hour drive up I-26 and across I-40 to see class of 2013 signee Wil Crowe (Pigeon Forge, Tenn./Pigeon Forge). The reason for the visit was two-fold - to see him pitch and to meet with Crowe and his family to discuss the MLB Draft.

Crowe threw 55 pitches on Saturday and wasn’t scheduled to throw on Tuesday afternoon. He did, however, tell his coach that he wanted the ball, at least for a short outing, and that demand was granted. Crowe ended up pitching all five innings in a complete game shutout scattering a handful of hits with 10 strikeouts in his team’s 10-0 victory.

Following the game, Holbrook met with Crowe and his parents for about 45 minutes to discuss the MLB Draft. The meeting was a good one for both parties as Holbrook gave the pitch to come to school. There is still more baseball to be played and about a month until time for teams to select so feelings can go back and forth on which option is the best for his future.

-- Class of 2013 left-handed pitcher Cole McMillan (Lexington/Lexington) was still in the hospital on Wednesday but we understand that he’s doing fine and will make a complete recovery. He’s going to need reconstructive surgery after fouling a pitch off of his nose and right eye.

-- There have been some rainouts lately in high school baseball and games featuring South Carolina commitments will be played on Wednesday night. Class of 2013 left-hander John Parke will pitch and 2014 outfielder Clark Scolamiero will play center for Greenville High School at home against Travelers Rest at 6 p.m. Class of 2014 outfielder K.J. Bryant and Wade Hampton also have a home game scheduled for 6 p.m. against 2015 catcher commitment Tyler Romanik and Blythewood. Class of 2013 1B/RHP Taylor Widener and his South Aiken squad play at home against Sumter at 7 p.m.
This post was edited on 5/8 at 11:14 am


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
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Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Keith Law on 2013 Catcher Commitment Nick Cuiffo:

LINK


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Article on Future HS Prospects in the Playoffs

quote:

Bleach blond-headed and blocking out back pain, class of 2014 commitment Braden Webb (Owasso, Okla./Owasso) stepped onto the mound on Saturday night looking to cap a perfect season with a state championship. After seven innings of three-hit baseball, his Owasso teammates dog piled on the mound to celebrate a 36-0 season and a title.

Webb, one of South Carolina’s prized pitching recruits in the junior class, had missed the last three weeks with some lower back pain. He lived in an ice bath with the hope he could get back on the mound at least one more time this season.

On Saturday night, he told his coach he would be able to pitch and helped his team to a 5-1 victory over Norman North.

“The first inning was a little rough. I had to get through the first inning so I could get the mound rust off,” Webb said. “In the second inning, when we were up 2-1, I knew that we had it under control. I zoned in and I could get people out. I trusted in my defense and bought into the plan the coaches had for us.”

After allowing the first inning run, Webb settled in and began to return to form. Ranked as the No. 33 player in the country regardless of position by Perfect Game, the right-hander used his low 90s fastball and dropped in a breaking ball every so often to shut out the opposition the rest of the way.

His hitters put up five runs over the first five innings, which was plenty for Webb, who allowed one earned run on three hits and no walks in his complete game performance. He struck out four hitters on the night against a team that tried to put down a lot of bunts and challenge the infield defense.

“I was just there to get outs and try to bring a championship back to our school,” Webb said. “It’s been four years and it was important to everyone in the town and our team. We had to bring it back. There was some pressure to get that 36th win and getting into the dog pile but we thought we had it under control.”

Webb entered the season with general goals in mind, mainly which related to the team. He wanted to improve his overall game, win a state championship and also improve his mound presence.

This summer, playing full-time with the EvoShield Canes, his goals are similar.

“I want to add some more velo consistently,” Webb, who has been clocked as high as 91 mph in a Perfect Game event, said. “I want to stay strong through the whole game and develop more mound presence. I want to mature more, basically. Of course, I want to win a national championship.”

Webb, who last visited South Carolina in March for the Texas A&M series, has stayed in close contact with the South Carolina coaching staff. He shared in the excitement with his future coaches after the championship win.

“Coach Holbrook told me that I’ve made them excited and they’re really proud of me,” Webb said. “Coach Meyers, he tells me just to keep throwing the ball. They’re excited to have me in a couple of years.”

Other recruiting nuggets

-- Class of 2013 left-handed pitcher commitment Josh Reagan (Lexington/Lexington) moved his record to a perfect 10-0 on the season pitching his team to a Game 1 victory in the best-of-three state championship series against Blythewood on Monday night. Reagan allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits and a walk. He struck out six on 99 pitches in his complete game win.

Reagan, in front of more than 1,000 fans, likely finished his high school pitching career with the victory. Over the last two years, he is a perfect 17-0.

Class of 2013 catcher signee Nick Ciuffo was 1-for-2 with an RBI and two walks in the game. Left-handed pitcher Cole McMillan, who also serves as the team’s left fielder, returned from a nose and eye injury just a week before to make the start. He was 1-for-3 in the game.

Class of 2015 commitment Tyler Romanik (Blythewood/Blythewood) was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

-- Class of 2013 right-handed pitcher signee Reed Scott (Roswell, Ga./Blessed Trinity) is helping his high school team make a deep playoff run. Last week, in the round of 16, he threw a complete game allowing two runs, both of which were unearned. He struck out 13 in the seven-inning affair.


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CayceCock13
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Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Saw both Lex/Blythewood games this week so far, good to see 4 commits out there on the field.

Reagen dealed on Monday, was solid only gave up 2, 1 unearned. Once he got in a groove he wasn't going to be stopped.

McMillan has yet to pitch b/c of his injury to his face earlier in the playoffs I'm interested to see if he'll get the ball in G3 or will Hucks give it back to Reagen.

Ciuffo has a cannon & is a really good defender behind the plate, he's had limited appearance due to walks, but has had 2 hits which came w/ 2 RBI's.

Blythewood has a 2015 Commit @ 3rd that's a C/1B, big guy decent arm, has some pop to the bat. He raked in tonights game had some clutch hits along with 3 RBI's.


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CayceCock13
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Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
South Carolina just recieved another commitment for the 2013 Class in Walk-On Matt Williams from BHP 3rd Baseman.

Some stats from his HS career:

quote:

Williams played in 10 games as an eighth grader at B-HP and started all four years in high school. He finished his career hitting .411 in 120 games played. He scored 106 runs, drove in 102, had 28 doubles, and struck out 17 times in five years vs. 66 walks. On the mound, he was 25-5 in 38 games started. He threw 179 innings, struck out 175 and walked 50.


Insider Notes from JW on TheBigSpur:

quote:

We've written about Matt Williams a few times before in the VIP Room detailing him as a player who wanted to walk on at South Carolina. About the time we posted that, other schools started showing him great interest. Furman and Winthrop were the main two schools with USC Upstate getting in the mix as well. Spartanburg Methodist was also a school that was very high on Williams and tried to get him to come to their program on scholarship. At the end of the day, Williams weighed a scholarship offer from Furman, one at SMC, and a walk-on chance at South Carolina. He had three very different decisions and decided to go to the school he wanted to attend - South Carolina.

The thing about Matt is he was a three-sport athlete at B-HP as the starting quarterback in football, guard on the basketball team, and shortstop/pitcher for baseball. Even though he's the son of the head baseball coach at B-HP, Williams always devoted a lot of time to football in the summer, which limited his exposure and growth as a baseball player. If he focused on baseball year around, I think he's going on scholarship to a bigger school - potentially South Carolina. But he wanted to play three sports and flew under the radar at bit.

I think he has a chance to flourish into a very good baseball player in time. Tools wise, I think he profiles as a corner infielder, which is why I have him listed as third base in his profile. I don't think first base is out of the question for him. I think as he gets baseball strong, he's going to develop into a very good hitter. He throws right-handed but hits from the left side. He likes to work using the opposite side of the field. Very good plate discipline and good awareness on the field. You can tell he's the son of a coach. His bat speed needs to improve some but I think he gets there as he does baseball workouts.

It's very hard for freshmen to walk-on and make the team their first year. It's going to be just as difficult for Williams as it would be for any other freshman. He's a tough kid, good team guy, very well-liked in the dugout, and also has some very good attributes as a player. He's going to be one of those guys to develop over the course of the next year or two. I look for him to redshirt next year but be a valuable piece going forward.


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
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Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Another article on Walk-On Matt Williams from Belton-Honea Path

quote:

Over the last several weeks, Williams pondered whether he wanted to walk on at South Carolina, accept a hefty scholarship offer at Furman, or play for Spartanburg Methodist, a junior college powerhouse making its second straight JUCO World Series appearance, with the chance to transfer later.

Williams knew where he wanted to end up in his college baseball career, so he figured he might as well start there.

“Ultimately, I felt like I wanted to end up at Carolina in the long run,” Williams said. “I feel like my heart is at Carolina. I’m just a Gamecock. I’ve been around Carolina a good bit. When I went down for a game, the coaches were real nice. For my visit, they showed me around. They were all laid back. I feel like I fit well with the coaches.”

Williams played shortstop for his Belton-Honea Path High School team but he projects as a corner infielder at the next level. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is likely to start off at third base for the Gamecocks during fall practice but he’s versatile enough to play a number of positions.

During his time in Columbia, Williams could play either corner infield or corner outfield position. He could also see some time at short, which gives the South Carolina coaches plenty of options.

“I don’t mind playing anywhere, really,” Williams said. “I’ve been getting a lot of work this summer at third. Short is like home to me. Third is becoming like short is to me. I won’t say it’s easy, but I’m really improving there.”

Williams, who is a left-handed hitter, finished his high school season hitting .370 with 18 RBIs, 32 runs scored and 10 hits for extra bases. Over his five-year career, which included 10 games played as an eighth grader on the varsity team, Williams hit .411 with 102 RBIs.

“I like hitting gap-to-gap,” Williams said. “I’m a really good backside hitter. I’ve been working a lot on my top hand trying to get more pop on the ball pull side. I want to keep teams off balance, lay down a few bunts here and there, and just get on base.”

Coming in as a walk-on, Williams understands the challenges he will face. There are only eight walk-on spots on college rosters and there will be at least double that number trying out next year to make the squad.

Williams said that he’s going to come in and work hard to earn one of those eight spots but if it’s in his best interest to redshirt, that’s what he will do. Between now and the start of fall practice though, the AAA All-State selection has some areas of emphasis to work on.

With the high school season over and his senior year winding down, Williams has spent at least a portion of each day at TNT Sports, a facility in Williamston that has indoor batting tunnels and an outdoor turf field to take ground balls, along with a workout and recovery areas. He’s working with former South Carolina and Citadel baseball player Jay Reames, who also coaches his summer team.

“I’ve been hitting the weight room hard lately trying to get bigger and trying to get a little bit more pop,” Williams said. “Arm strength, foot work, quickness - I’ve been going to TNT a lot, which is where I’ve been working out., to develop those areas. Those guys are trying to get me ready for the next level.”

Williams is working every day to get ready for the next level. He wanted South Carolina to be his ultimate destination, so he figured that’s where he’d begin.


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CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
VIP Notes from TheBigSpur:

Recruiting

quote:

-- Holbrook met with class of 2013 signee John Parke (Greenville/Greenville) and his family on Sunday afternoon to discuss the draft. The South Carolina coaching staff is busy educating the players expected to be drafted on the benefits of coming to college versus signing a professional contract. Holbrook has met with several of the signees so far and more are forthcoming. Parke is not a player who is expected to sign but he has top 10 round talent. If he’d sign for slot, he’d likely be taken somewhere between the fifth and eighth rounds. Slot money in that range of rounds is not nearly enough for Parke to sign, so he’s expected to be at South Carolina.

-- Along the same draft lines, optimism still remains high that right-handed pitcher signee Wil Crowe (Pigeon Forge, Tenn./Pigeon Forge) that he will enroll at South Carolina. Crowe could be a top four round type of pick but he wants first round type of money, which is something he’s unlikely to get this year.

As far as early impact players go in the 2013 class, there are more pitchers who should play an immediate role on next year’s team. Parke, Crowe, and right-hander Canaan Cropper (Dematha, Md./James M. Bennett) are the three who come to mind as far as freshman pitchers who are expected to enroll and should come in and be immediately ready to pitch. There aren’t many position players expected to make a big impact next year but there are definitely some pitchers who could throw big innings.

-- The staff found out this week that they have five spots to bring in players this summer. Baseball at South Carolina doesn’t work the same way as football as football can bring in everyone. The baseball program is limited in the amount of spots. Obviously, it’s not as big of a deal to bring in players early for baseball. The coaches have five spots to play with. Outfielder Brock Maxwell (Suwanee, Ga./Lambert) is certain to be one of them. The rest are pretty much set in stone but the staff is currently in the process of making those arrangements.

-- There’s not a whole lot going on in the world of recruiting right now as coaches are focused primarily on their team. Recruiting coordinator Sammy Esposito did spend Monday morning in Charleston catching a Diamond Devils game to see a few younger players. Summer ball gets started hot and heavy this upcoming weekend but South Carolina coaches will be involved in the Regional. Not a lot of recruiting information is expected until the season ends.

-- Class of 2014 left-handed pitcher target Devin Smeltzer committed to Florida Gulf Coast last week. He’s a player that South Carolina liked and offered but didn’t really push for late in the process.


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CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
2013 Commitments Ciuffo & Crowe both earned Gatorade POY honors for their states South Carolina & Tennessee respectively.

This post was edited on 5/28 at 11:37 am


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
quote:

@johnmwhittle 3h
#Gamecocks get a nice little boost. LHP John Parke (@johnparke11) will honor his commitment and attend South Carolina skipping the MLB Draft


quote:

@johnmwhittle 4h
Eight #Gamecocks, all recruits, are ranked in @BaseballAmerica's Top 500. Kinda surprised no Tyler Webb

List: Nick Ciuffo 22, Travis Demeritte, 56, Cory Thompson 121, Wil Crowe 141, Matt Vogel 374, John Parke 415, Widener 454, Canaan Cropper 492

Article here: Baseball America Top 500 Prospects
This post was edited on 5/28 at 5:04 pm


CockInYourEar
South Carolina Fan
Charlotte
Member since Sep 2012
22458 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
4 of the Top 150 is pretty good, considering how many teams there are.


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Agreed lets just hope most of em dont go pro.


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CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
A funny quote I saw tonight from 2014 Catcher Commitment Hunter Taylor:

quote:

At North Carolina, it’s pretty much a basketball school, Baseball has like 500 people at a game and South Carolina has like 5,000. The fans at South Carolina are awesome.


Taylor chose us over both North Carolina & Virginia.


This post was edited on 5/30 at 1:19 am


HoldenOversoul
South Carolina Fan
South Carolina
Member since Oct 2012
129 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Draft day is here, any guesses as to who we lose to the draft out of this class? Ciuffo seems pretty obviously gone.


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CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Ciuffo, Demeritte, & Thompson are all likely to sign straight out of HS.


CayceCock13
South Carolina Fan
Braves / Hornets / Rams Fan
Member since Oct 2012
17527 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Speaking of the Draft, John Whittle wrote up his MLB Draft Preview for Current Players & Recruits, here's what he had to say on Recruits:

quote:

C Nick Ciuffo: The first name with South Carolina ties off the board should be Ciuffo, who is probably a late teens or early 20s pick in the first round of the draft. He’s been invited and accepted a trip to New York for the draft, which is a pretty good indication of his intentions to sign. Area scouts, crosscheckers and scouting directors have come in droves to see Ciuffo, who has also done multiple pro workouts in leading up to the draft. St. Louis is a team that likes him a lot and they have picks at 19 and 28 in the first round. The Cardinals may not be ready to take him at 19 but he certainly won’t fall past 28. I feel like he’ll go to the Rays at pick No. 21 but Baltimore at 22 is another possibility. I expect him to get in the $2 million range and sign.


quote:

RHP Canaan Cropper: With Cropper, he’s kind of hard to project at this point. He’s set a dollar amount that I think will keep him from being drafted early enough to sign. I don’t think there’s going to be a team that’s willing to give him the money he wants, which will probably cause him to fall way down the boards. He’s a player who is a top 10 round kind of talent but could easily not be selected at all.


quote:

RHP Wil Crowe: Probably a fourth round pick if he’d sign for slot money, Crowe could easily fall towards the bottom of the draft or completely out of it altogether. Crowe’s signing bonus figure has done nothing but go up in recent weeks and he wants first round money to sign a professional contract. He won’t get that though and should be in school this fall.


quote:

RHP/3B Travis Demeritte: Another player not to get too attached to is Demeritte, who could end up anywhere from late first round to the second round. He’s a tremendous athlete and one of few players who profile as a position player or pitcher who will probably wind up at a position. It shouldn’t take too long for Demeritte to get his deal worked out once he is drafted.


quote:

OF Brock Maxwell: A lot of scouts have taken in Maxwell’s games this high school season as he does very little in the summer and fall because of high school football. Scouts view him as a currently a 7-10 round talent but he’s not going to consider signing at slot there. We’ll pass along if something changes but we expect Maxwell to be in school this summer.


quote:

LHP John Parke: In late May, Parke said he will honor his commitment and attend South Carolina this fall. There’s no reason to believe that won’t stick. He probably a 5-8 rounder if he showed the willingness to sign, but he’ll come to school for a few years.


quote:

RHP/SS Cory Thompson: Some like Thompson as a position player but almost everyone likes him as a pitcher. Thompson had a lot of draft “helium,” a scouting term used to describe a player moving up draft boards, in the spring. Scouts love his athleticism in the field and love his easy arm action and effortless 92-94 mph delivery on the mound. The teams that like him as a pitcher like him in rounds 4-6 while the teams that see him as a position player like him 6-8. He should come off the board as a pitcher.


quote:

RHP Matt Vogel: The New Yorker may be the hardest player in this draft to project, not only where he will go but what he will do. Vogel has worked out for several teams and he’s still raw as a pitcher. It’s hard to tell just how much teams like him as a project and where he would be selected. He’s a player we don’t have a great feel for and will just have to keep tabs on as the summer wears on. For the record, he says he believes he will end up at South Carolina but he’s had at least some contact with every MLB team except for one. Vogel has had various workouts for scouts in the area in recent weeks and also flew to Arizona to work out for the Diamondbacks. Aside from the three of Ciuffo, Demeritte and Thompson, he’s the player most likely to sign, but that isn’t a projection I’m ready to make at this point.


quote:

RHP/1B Taylor Widener: Scouts’ jaws dropped in January 2012 when Widener showed 91 mph on the radar gun at Diamond Prospects Pro Day and was as high as 93 as a junior. He was a player to watch this year but he never quite was able to hit those numbers again with much consistency. If Thompson had helium, some air was let out of Widener’s balloon. It doesn’t mean that he had a bad season or isn’t a good player, but he will not be drafted as high as initially expected. Unless he drops his bonus demand, he will be in school this fall.


HoldenOversoul
South Carolina Fan
South Carolina
Member since Oct 2012
129 posts

re: Baseball Recruiting Discussion
Sucks to lose some, but I suppose that's just the nature of the beast when you recruit well in college baseball. Looks like Holbrook is bringing in a hell of a class.

I've got to do a better job keeping up with our baseball recruiting, thanks for passing it along.



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