USF baseball LHP Shane McClanahan was selected with the 31st pick overall and first pick the compensatory round by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft.
McClanahan, part of the vaunted 2015 recruiting class brought in by former head coach Mark Kingston, becomes the highest drafted Bull since Jason Dellaero was taken 15th overall by the Chicago White Sox in 1997.
He joins former Bulls Brandon Lawson (2016) and Phoenix Sanders (2017) in the Rays system.
The redshirt sophomore missed the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery, but returned in 2017 to strike out 104 batters in just 76 innings of work as the Saturday starter. His 12.32 K/9 led the American Athletic Conference and was eighth in the nation. He was named to the Baseball America all-freshman team after the season.
Prior to the 2018 season, McClanahan was selected to multiple preseason all-american teams, including first-team all-AAC, and Baseball America’s first-team list.
McClanahan began the season with an 11 strikeout performance versus #6 UNC, but he also walked six batters, which would plague him throughout the season. He walked two or fewer batters in just three of his 15 starts. He also struck out 120 batters in 76.1 innings, which places him fourth all-time for K’s in a single season.
The lefty began the season with 31.1 straight innings without giving up an earned run, but the wheels fell off in conference play where he had an ERA of 6.56 in seven starts despite opposing batters hitting just .216 against him.
Scouts I’ve spoken with say he projects more as a reliever than a starter in the MLB and when you can touch 100 MPH from the left side with two average-to-above average secondary pitches you can move up quickly. He needs to harness his control and command while maintaining his velocity to realize the gallons of potential he has. To be fair, command and control are the last things to come back to a pitcher after TJ.
McClanahan was drafted by the New York Mets in the 26th round in the 2015 MLB Draft.
If someone said McClanahan was going to be available at 31 overall, I would’ve laughed in your face.
Congratulations Shane, and good luck.