Pair of Gamecocks represent South Carolina baseball well at MLB Draft Combine

South Carolina baseball pitcher Roman Kimball and 2024 signee PJ Morlando had great showings at the MLB Draft Combine.
South Carolina baseball pitcher Roman Kimball at the SEC Tournament
South Carolina baseball pitcher Roman Kimball at the SEC Tournament / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 MLB Draft Combine began this week, and there are several current South Carolina baseball players and Gamecock signees in attendance. Two, rising redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Roman Kimball and class of 2024 left-handed hitter PJ Morlando, have performed very well so far. According to data collected by 643Charts, the current Gamecock and potential future Gamecock put up some impressive advanced data numbers.

On Wednesday, the first day of competition in Phoenix, Arizona, Kimball showed himself to have some of the best movement on his pitches of any of the hurlers at the event.

With advanced technology available to track things like pitch movement and spin rate, Kimball ranked near the top in several pitching categories from the first day of the combine. Among all pitcher's breaking balls, Kimball posted the 2nd-best spin rate (2757 RPM), the best vertical break (17.6 inches), and the 5th-best horizontal break (11.1 inches). He also showed off the 4th-best horizontal-breaking change-up/off-speed pitch (17.3 inches). His fastball (sinker) had the 3rd-biggest vertical break among all fastballs (21 inches).

Morlando showed off his ridiculous upside as a hitter, as well.

During his opportunity to take swings on the field, Morlando his three home runs on his first three swings. He also posted the 3rd-best exit velocity of any hitter (111.7 miles per hour). What makes that particularly impressive is that he posted a better exit velo than all but one college bat and all but one high school bat at the combine.

After playing his freshman year at Notre Dame, redshirting in 2023 after Tommy John surgery, and pitching for USC in 2024, Kimball still has up to two years of eligibility in college remaining if he elects to return to school.

Morlando is a solid South Carolina baseball commitment, but if offered enough money by whichever team selects him in the MLB Draft, he could forego his college experience and head straight to the professional level.

The 2024 MLB Draft will take place from July 14-16.

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