Jeff Clement Selected As No. 3 Overall By Seattle In 2005 MLB Draft
June 7, 2005
LOS ANGELES - USC junior catcher Jeff Clement (Marshalltown, Iowa/Marshalltown HS) was selected as the third overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in today's Major League Baseball draft. Clement is the 38th Trojan to be selected in the first round and the first since 2001 when Mark Prior was a No. 2 overall pick by the Chicago Cubs.
Two other Trojans were selected in the first day of the draft: third baseman Billy Hart (Tustin/Mission Viejo HS) in the fifth round by the Houston Astros and pitcher Jack Spradlin (Bonita/Eastlake HS/Southwestern College) in the eighth round by the Washington Nationals.
This season, Clement leads USC in most offensive categories including batting average (.347), hits (75), doubles (17), home runs (13), RBI (50), walks (44) and on-base percentage (.474). He has only three errors on the season (.994 fielding percentage) and has thrown out 24 of 59 runners (41%), including one pickoff at second base.
Clement is one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur player by USA Baseball. He earned 2005 USA Today Sports Weekly and Collegiate Baseball All-America first team honors, as well as his third consecutive All-Pac-10 Conference honor.
He is third on USC's career home run list with 44, behind Mark McGwire (54) and Geoff Jenkins (45).
Last summer, Clement made his second straight appearance for the U.S. National Team, batting .275 (19-for-69) with three home runs and 15 RBI. His team won the gold medal at the FISU II World University Baseball Championships in Taiwan, helping Team USA to the championship after hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth in a 5-2 win over Chinese Taipei.
Clement was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in his 2002 season after batting .298 with 21 home runs and 53 RBI, as well as being named Collegiate Baseball Freshman National Co-Player of the Year and Baseball America Freshman All-America first team.
He finished his high school career in 2002 with 75 home runs, setting a national high school record. He led Marshalltown to the 2002 4-A state championship.
USC is 40-20 on the season and will compete this weekend in an NCAA Super Regional against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. The winner of this weekend's series advances to the 2005 College World Series in Omaha, Neb.