Two USC baseball players were taken in the Major League Baseball draft conducted late last week. Junior infielder James Roberts was drafted in the 15th round by the Cleveland Indians with the 441st overall pick, and senior second baseman Adam Landecker was drafted in the 21st round by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 629th overall selection.
Roberts was drafted in the 42nd round out of high school in 2010, and although he has a year of eligibility left at USC, it is unlikely he will return to school. Roberts hit .320 for USC while moving to third base midway through the season. He lead the team in both home runs (4) and RBI (28), and finished the year with a .429 slugging percentage and .379 on-base percentage.
Landecker made All-Pac-12 honorable mention for his performance this year, leading the Trojans with a .351 batting average and finishing with 25 RBI, .480 slugging percentage and .401 on-base percentage, earning the nickname “Captain Clutch” for his timely hitting throughout the year.
For USC, however, the bigger news came out of the potential commits that were drafted. First baseman Dominic Smith (Serra High School) was taken by the New York Mets with the 11th overall pick in the first round. Shortstop J.P. Crawford (Lakewood High School) went to the Phillies with the 16th overall selection in the first round. While both had committed to play at USC if they went to college, it is highly unlikely that either will.
Third baseman Ryan McMahon (Mater Dei High School) went to the Colorado Rockies with the 42nd overall pick in the second round, and shortstop Riley Unroe (Mesa, Ariz., Desert Ridge High School) was also picked in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 60th overall pick. Both will have to decide whether to sign with their respective pro teams or head to USC for the three years that would be required of them should they not sign directly out of high school.
Two more USC commits were also picked: first baseman Rowdy Tellez (Elk Grove High School) and catcher Jeremy Martinez (Mater Dei). Tellez was expected to be picked in the first few rounds but inexplicably fell all the way to the 30th round, where he was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays. While not as highly touted as Tellez, Martinez also fell well below his expected slot, going in the 37th round to the Toronto Blue Jays. With their dramatic drops, both can be expected on campus next fall.