USC baseball recruits land in latest MLB Draft top 250 prospect list

·3 min read
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The MLB Draft is just over two weeks away. Like last year, a few Gamecock baseball recruits have a shot at getting drafted.

Major League Baseball released an updated list of its Top 250 Draft Prospects on Wednesday, and two signees and a commitment from South Carolina’s 2022 recruiting class made the cut.

High school recruits making the list isn’t out of the ordinary. High school graduates who have not attended college are allowed to enter the draft.

In a press conference on Wednesday, South Carolina head coach Mark Kingston said that — for now — it’s to be determined how the draft will affect the Gamecocks’ recruiting class.

“Obviously there’s a couple guys that are right there up on that border of, ‘Do they sign, or do they not sign?” Kingston said. “You should have a couple of those guys every year. If you’re not, you’re not recruiting at a high enough level, so we’ll have a few guys there that will have some decisions to make.”

Last year, South Carolina lost three commits from its recruiting class. Second baseman Cooper Kinney and pitchers Hunter Parks and Andrew Baker were all taken in the draft and signed deals with their respective pro teams.

College coaches are are used to this happening, Kingston said, adding that they expect to lose high school recruits taken in the first round. Colleges have a better chance at retaining players who are drafted beyond that.

“Like always just try to educate them on the value of college, both on and off the field,” Kingston said. “You hope they make the best decisions for their family, and then most of the time you hope that works out for your program as well.”

Here’s a look at the prospects that South Carolina could lose to this year’s draft, set for July 17-19.

Eli Jerzembeck, RHP

The Charlotte, North Carolina native is ranked as the No. 184 prospect in the latest MLB.com projections.

Jerzembeck led the Providence High School Panthers to a 34-0 record this season and capped it off with a Class 4A state championship. On the mound he was flawless, going 13-0 on the season and throwing a national best 195 strikeouts. Through 87.3 innings pitched, Jerzembeck also flaunted an impressive 0.42 ERA.

He was also a member of the 2022 American Baseball Coaches Associations/Rawlings High School All-American First Team.

Jerzembeck signed his letter of intent in December 2021. If he decides to attend college, he’ll be eligible for the draft again in 2024.

Ethan Petry, 3B/RHP

Petry is ranked the No. 230 prospect in this year’s MLB Draft.

The Orlanda, Florida native played at Cypress Creek and is said to be a solid two-way player, per his bio on MLB.com.

Scouts said that Petry has “tremendous raw power” and the potential to show a little resemblance to Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley. They also said that the 6-foot-4 athlete has touched as high as 96 mph on the mound.

Jacob Zibin, RHP

The No. 131-ranked draft prospect originally is from Canada but reclassified from the class of 2023 to be eligible in this year’s draft.

Zibin played at TNXL Baseball Academy in Kissimmee, Florida.

According to his bio on MLB.com, Zibin has a fastball that sits around 93 mph and has a slider that is between 77-80 mph.

He hasn’t signed a letter of intent, but was listed as a hard commit to the Gamecocks by 247 Sports.