Sophomore Carlos Cortes, junior Adam Hill, redshirt sophomore Cody Morris and senior Madison Stokes of the University of South Carolina baseball team were selected on day two of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday afternoon (June 5). Cortes (3rd round) and Hill (4th round) both were selected by the New York Mets, Morris was a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Indians while Stokes was picked in the 10th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cortes is hitting .260 with a team-best 15 home runs to go along with nine doubles and 44 RBI for the Gamecocks. He was named to the Greenville Regional All-Tournament team after going 4-for-5 with three runs scored in the regional championship game win over UNC Wilmington. Cortes has scored 51 runs and has walked a team-high 40 times, leading to a .379 on-base percentage. This is the second time the Mets have selected Cortes, as he was a 20th-round pick by the organization out of high school in 2016.
Hill is 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched for Carolina this season. The junior from Anderson, S.C., has held opponents to a .191 batting average while allowing just 11 extra-base hits. Hill had back-to-back 14-strikeout performances in wins over Charleston Southern and Clemson this year and had six punchouts in the Greenville Regional championship opener against Ohio State. This is the second time Hill has been selected in the MLB Draft. The San Diego Padres picked him in the 39th round in 2015.
Morris is 8-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 78.1 innings pitched this season for the Gamecocks. Morris was named to the Greenville Regional All-Tournament team after defeating East Carolina on June 2. Morris struck out seven in a career-high 7.1 innings pitched in the 4-2 victory. Morris had 10 strikeouts in wins over Florida (March 17), Kentucky (April 10) and Missouri (May 13). He also earned a win at Texas A&M, striking out seven in seven innings of work. This is the second time Morris has been selected in the MLB Draft. He was a 32nd round pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 2015.
Stokes is hitting .331 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 43 RBI in 47 games played for the Gamecocks this season. Stokes is slugging .587, has a .417 on-base percentage and has 20 multi-hit games this season. He had a big two-run double in the seventh inning of the regional championship win over UNC Wilmington on June 4. Stokes drove in four runs in a win over LSU on April 21 and went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in the regular-season finale against Texas A&M (May 19). This is the second time Stokes has been picked in the MLB Draft. The New York Yankees picked him in the 40th round of the 2014 draft.
A pair of South Carolina signees also were picked in the MLB Draft. Owen White was a second-round selection by the Texas Rangers Monday night while Taj Bradley was picked by the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth round Tuesday afternoon.
The MLB Draft will conclude with rounds 11-40 on Wednesday afternoon (June 6).
SOUTH CAROLINA SELECTIONS IN THE MLB DRAFT
Round (Pick) Name Team
2 (55) Owen White*
3 (83) Carlos Cortes
New York Mets
4 (110) Adam Hill
New York Mets
5 (150) Taj Bradley*
Tampa Bay Rays
7 (223) Cody Morris
10 (287) Madison Stokes
* - Signee