CLEMSON, S.C. – Righthander Clate Schmidt (Acworth, Ga.) and infielder Eli White (Easley, S.C.) will both return for the 2016 season after being selected in the 2015 MLB draft in June. Schmidt was drafted in the 32nd round (No. 951 overall pick) by the Boston Red Sox and White was drafted in the 37th round (No. 1,117 overall pick) by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but both elected to return to the Tigers for the 2016 season. The deadline for players to sign with an MLB team was Friday at 5 p.m.
“Clate has been a big part of our pitching staff the last three years,” said head coach Monte Lee. “He has made more starts than any other returning starter on the 2016 team. We expect big things from Clate.
“I’m also really excited about Eli coming back for his junior year. He’s been a big part of our program over the last couple of years and will be a centerpiece of our team in 2016.”
Tiger signee and lefthander Jake Higginbotham (Cumming, Ga.) will also join the 2016 Tigers after being drafted in the 27th round (No. 809 overall pick) by the New York Mets.
“Jake is a newcomer who set a lot of records in high school in Georgia,” added Lee. “We’re looking forward to seeing him work on the mound when we start practice in the fall.”
As a junior in 2015, Schmidt had a 2-3 record and 4.67 ERA in 18 appearances (six starts). Clemson had a 5-1 record in six starts by Schmidt, who was also drafted in 2012 out of Allatoona High School. He was diagnosed with nodular sclerosing Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May, then was drafted by the Red Sox on June 10, the same day he began chemotherapy.
White was a Third-Team All-ACC selection in 2015 after hitting .297 with four homers, 29 RBIs and 11 steals in 61 starts at shortstop. He was a member of the Fullerton (Calif.) Regional All-Tournament team after going 4-for-9 (.444). It was also the second time White was drafted, as he was selected in the 2013 draft after his high school career. The All-ACC Academic selection was a draft-eligible sophomore in 2015.
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