CLEMSON — By fulfilling his four-year commitment to Clemson baseball, right-handed pitcher Scott Firth‘s third draft selection was a charm, escalating his stock and being taken in the 19th round (556th overall) by the Colorado Rockies in Saturday’s conclusion of the three-day 2013 MLB Draft.
He was the only Clemson player selected this week, after 40 rounds and 1,216 picks.
Firth’s name was called in the 2009 36th round out of high school by the Orioles, and again in the 32nd round by the Phillies last year. Both times he chose to stick with Clemson.
A co-captain this season, the 6-foot, 175-pounder from Buffalo Grove, Ill. had just okay stats in his fourth letter year – 6-5 with a 3.23 ERA in 19 appearances (six starts.) He did not appear in Clemson’s fateful NCAA Columbia Regional, though had the Tigers forced a regional final date with South Carolina, Firth likely would have gotten the ball.
Firth walked 18 and struck out 41 in 61 1/3 innings this year, a workload ranking third on the Tigers behind regular starters Daniel Gossett and Matthew Crownover.
His four-year numbers were 17-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 195 2/3 innings logged. He was 4-0 with a 2.09 ERA and career-best 44 punchouts in 2012.
This year was the longest Clemson had to wait to see its first representative selected since 2003, when pitcher Steven Jackson (32nd round) was its only draftee. There had been at least one Tigers taken in the first ten rounds every year the past decade, including five first-rounders.
Third baseman Shane Kennedy and second baseman Scott Wilkerson went undrafted. Both infielders are expected to return for their senior seasons in 2014.