Pelham nixes Marlins’ offer

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MLB amateur draft

By Robert Howey



Lancaster High School southpaw pitcher C.D. Pelham will be heading to Spartanburg Methodist College in the fall.

Pelham wasn’t drafted in the annual Major League Baseball amateur draft, which began Thursday, June 6 and continued to Saturday, June 8.

Pelham did receive a call from the Florida Marlins about midday Saturday afternoon.

“The Marlins called and asked if I would take $100,000 (signing bonus) and four years of college,” he said. “I didn’t take it.”

Pelham had also worked out for the Texas Rangers last month, but didn’t receive a call from the American League West organization.

“I’m going to Spartanburg Methodist and see what my situation will be after that,” he said. “That’s an outstanding junior college program and I look forward to going there. They played in the junior college world series this year.”

Pelham signed with the Pioneers, who are led by Lancaster natives Tim Wallace and Matt Williams, last month at LHS.

Pelham, in Major League Baseball scouting terms for the draft, was regarded as a “pop-up prospect.”

Scouts didn’t know a great deal of Pelham’s draft status for the MLB amateur draft until this spring when the Bruins’ southpaw hurler came on strong.

In his senior season, Pelham earned Class AAAA all-state baseball honors, all-region laurels and was selected to play in the annual N.C. vs. S.C. Select All-Star game in Charlotte.

A three-sport standout at LHS, he received the school’s Mr. Bruin Award as the top senior athlete.

Lancaster did have a local connection in the MLB draft.

u Former University of South Carolina Lancaster outfielder Taylor Johnson, who completed his college baseball career at Furman University, was drafted in the 31st round by the Los Angeles Angels.

Johnson, a Greer native, began his career at Erskine College and transferred to USC Lancaster where he played one season before going to Furman.

Johnson hit .332 with 10 home runs and team-leading 82 hits and 56 RBI this year in helping the Paladins to a 32-25 overall record and sixth place finish in the Southern Conference.

In three seasons at Furman, Johnson saw action in 153 games and posted 132 starts, batting .317 with 18 home runs and 106 RBI.

Two years ago, Jarrett Miller, who played at USCL before moving on to UNC Greensboro, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves.

The Easley native now plays for the Lynchburg (Va.) Hillcats of the Class A Advanced Carolina League.

u Gaither Bumgardner, a Fort Lawn native who played high school baseball at Great Falls High, was drafted in the 23rd  round by the New York Mets out of the USC Upstate in Spartanburg.

Bumgardner, the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year as a junior, posted a 5-2 record with a 4.25 earned run average and a .354 batting average this season. He batted .376 with 12 doubles and three triples as a junior.

His father, Gaither Bumgardner, is a former assistant principal at Buford High School.

His high school baseball coach at Great Falls was Brett Blackmon, the Lancaster High School baseball coach.