USC Baseball's Chandler Champlain, Ben Ramirez, Alex Cornwell Selected in 2021 MLB Draft
LOS ANGELES – The 2021 MLB Draft was held this week and three USC baseball players were selected, with Chandler Champlain, Ben Ramirez and Alex Cornwell hearing their names called.
Champlain was the first Trojan off the board, going to the New York Yankees in the ninth round. Ramirez was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the 13th round and the St. Louis Cardinals selected Cornwell in the 15th round. The three selections make 344 total in the history of the USC baseball program and extends the Trojans' streak of having a player selected every year since 1965 when the draft was instituted.
RHP Chandler Champlain – New York Yankees, 9th round, 273 overall
Champlain has played the last three years for the Trojans, coming to USC as a freshman in 2019. Over those three years, which include a shortened 2020 season, the big righty has tossed 127 innings over 21 starts and 15 relief appearances. This past season he threw a career high 74.2 innings, amassing 69 strikeouts and 22 walks. A few uneven outings ballooned his ERA to 5.06 for the year, but in 15 games started, Champlain gave up three or fewer runs 12 times, posting a 4-4 record. He was off to the best start of his career in 2020 before the season was cut short, posting a 1.23 ERA in six relief appearances.
Champlain was also selected out of high school when he was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in the 38th round of the 2018 draft. The hard-throwing righty was the 120th prospect in that 2018 draft class.
SS/3B Ben Ramirez – Seattle Mariners, 13th round, 384 overall
Ramirez is coming off his best season to date as a redshirt-junior in 2021, leading USC with a .304 batting average while posting 54 RBI and 20 extra-base hits (10 HR, 3 3B, 7 2B). In his four years at USC, including the shortened 2020 season, Ramirez hit .286 with 15 homers, 23 doubles, five triples, 108 RBI and 74 runs scored. He hit over .300 each of the last two seasons and only hit below .270 once, when he was a freshman in 2018 (.265).
Ramirez picked up All-Pac-12 recognition in 2021 after posting the fourth most RBI in the league and leading the team with 19 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games. His 54 RBI were the most by a Trojan since 2010.
LHP Alex Cornwell – St. Louis Cardinals, 15th round, 451 overall
Cornwell had to persevere through two injury-plagued seasons before finally making his USC debut, but was worth the wait, showing electric stuff from the left side of the mound in 2020 and 2021. Over those two seasons, including the shortened 2020 campaign, Cornwell tossed 98.2 innings, starting all 19 of his collegiate appearances. He had a 3.66 ERA and 2-1 record before last season was called, and this year struck out 79 batters while walking 26. Similar to Champlain, his 5.35 ERA was due to a few tough starts, with Cornwell allowing three or fewer runs nine times in 15 appearances.
Cornwell was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of high school when he was taken in the 37th round of the 2017 draft.