Top South Carolina baseball signee mocked in 1st round of 2024 MLB Draft

South Carolina baseball signee PJ Morlando was mocked in the 1st round of the 2024 MLB Draft.
South Carolina baseball venue Founders Park
South Carolina baseball venue Founders Park / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

South Carolina baseball coach Paul Mainieri and his assistant coaching staff of Monte Lee, Terry Rooney, and John Hendry have no intention of rebuilding the Gamecocks.

Instead, according to Mainieri during his introductory press conference, the plan is to "win now." Thanks to strong work from Lee during his time as the interim head coach and a clear belief from those in the program in what Mainieri and his staff can do in Columbia, that is a realistic goal.

Carolina has not endured much turnover in the transfer portal or from the ranks of the committed future Gamecocks. Naturally, some players have defected, but so far, that number has been much smaller than in most coaching transitions.

One important name that the South Carolina baseball program hopes to bring to school is class of 2024 Summerville High School standout PJ Morlando. Morlando, an outfield/first base prospect, has prodigious power, solid speed, and a smooth left-handed stroke that has many believing he will be a star.

The Gamecocks aren't having to fight off a potential decommitment from Morlando as he has signed with the program and hasn't shown any interest in backing off from that decision. However, USC has one major player vying for his services, as well: the 2024 MLB Draft.

On Friday, Perfect Game released their updated mock draft for the 1st round (39 total picks this season), and Morlando slotted into the mix. Projected as the 31st overall pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the current South Carolina baseball commitment would be in line to make a lot of money if things were to play out this way.

It would be difficult to pass up 1st round MLB money, especially since Morlando would have to go to college for at least two years if he enrolls at the University of South Carolina (most prospects have to spend three years in college before becoming draft-eligible, but Morlando is already 19 years old). The talented young man has a decision to make, but he isn't the only one.

Several other Gamecock signees have a chance to head straight to the pros, as well. Right-handed pitcher/infielder Carson Messina is expected to be taken relatively high in this year's draft, and infielder/right-handed pitcher Dalton Wentz, left-handed pitcher/first baseman Beau Hollins, and left-handed pitcher Brandon Clarke (junior college) were also invited to the MLB Draft Combine along with Morlando.

Current Gamecock catcher Cole Messina, right-handed pitcher Eli Jones, right-handed pitcher Eli Jerzembeck, and right-handed pitcher Roman Kimball received invitations, as well.

The 2024 MLB Draft begins on July 14th.

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