Clemson catcher and T.L. Hanna product Garrett Boulware was the first Tiger off the board on day three at the MLB draft.
He was picked in the 16th round (pick 485) by the Cincinnati Reds.
After a lineup shakeup, Boulware played left field for the latter half of the year, hitting over .300 (.302) for a second-straight season. He totaled 35 RBI – third on the team in total bases (96) and extra-base hits (20).
Over three seasons of significant playing time, the co-captain has posted 82 RBI, 150 hits and 43 extra-base hits. At Hanna, he earned Independent Mail player of the year honors his senior season after hitting .533 with nine homers and 27 RBI.
Boulware is the highest drafted Clemson catcher since Spencer Kieboom in 2012, a junior who opted for pro ball with the Washington Nationals as a fifth round pick (174 overall).
Before this year’s edition, Clemson had three junior catchers picked in the first 16 rounds since 2004 – two signed (Lou Santangelo in 2004, 4th round, pick 124; Kieboom) and one didn’t (Doug Hogan in 2007, 16th round, pick 497; he dropped 46 spots and two rounds the next season).
Boulware split the designated hitter and catcher roles with rising sophomore Chris Okey in the season’s first half, who drove in the second-most runs (41) despite a .248 batting average.
Boulware was picked in the 42nd round out of high school, pick 1,283 overall, by the San Diego Padres.
Alpharetta, Georgia product Jay Baum made ESPN SportsCenter’s top-10 plays during the ACC Tournament in only his 14th career start at shortstop. That and some more spectacular plays were enough for the Seattle Mariners to grab their second Tiger shortstop in four drafts, joining Brad Miller as a 21st round pick (621 overall).
Baum had a lineup-low 19 strikeouts, batting a career-high .293 – second in extra-base hits (19) with 29 RBI.
Not long after Baum, the West Coast love continued with the San Francisco Giants selecting sophomore left-hander Matthew Crownover in the 21st round.
The Ringgold, Georgia native figures to be a hard sell with two years of eligibility left and still coming into his own off from Tommy John Surgery two years ago.
In his first season as a weekend rotation stalwart, Crownover posted a 2.90 ERA, going 8-6 with a team-leading K:BB ratio (4.5).
He is the sixth Tiger to be drafted this week, joining junior right-handed pitcher Daniel Gossett (2nd round), senior second baseman Steve Wilkerson (8th round) and senior closer Matt Campbell (9th round). Two signees were selected in the first two days as well in infielder Michael Chavis (1st round) and right-handed pitcher Austin DeCarr (3rd round).
The six going in the first 25 rounds was the fourth-most of any school nationally. Clemson had just one player picked in the 2013 draft (Scott Firth, 19th round).