Two HS stars must choose: Gamecocks or Pro Ball?

Shon Carson is signed to play football and baseball at USC

It's the most anxious time of the year for a college baseball coach. The MLB Amateur Draft which begins on Monday and concludes on Wednesday is layered in a way that effects a college program's current roster as well as its future roster. The draft consists of high school prospects and college baseball players in their third and fourth year. As a result, a college player drafted after his junior year can skip his senior season for the minor leagues. For high school seniors, the top prospects have signed letters of intent to play college baseball, but can forgo college and go right to professional baseball.

That's the decision that is about to come for Gamecock signees Shon Carson and Tanner English. Carson has signed to play both football and baseball for the Gamecocks. The Lake City product is the 2010 WPDE Zoneman winner for outstanding high school football player in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand. Saint James centerfielder Tanner English is also signed to play for Ray Tanner's program. Both high school stars are expected to get drafted within the first ten rounds.

Shon Carson's Scouting Report from

Shon Carson is a 2011 SS/OF with a 5-10 195 lb. frame from Scranton, SC who attends Lake City HS. Very tightly wound athletic body, plus strength. Exceptional speed/power combination. 6.35 runner, quick first step, accelerates immediately. Switch-hitter, primary right handed and should stick to that. Quick compact swing from spread stance, very strong hands, ball jumps hard off the bat, speed impacts the game on the bases. Good outfield actions, enough arm strength, good to the ball, quick release. Has the ability to play the infield with enough repetitions. Very high level running back prospect in football, may have higher ceiling in baseball. Carl Crawford type profile. Good student, will have choice of colleges for either sport.

Tanner English's Scouting Report from

Tanner English is a 2011 OF/RHP with a 5-9 165 lb. frame from Murrels Inlet, SC who attends St James HS. Shorter athletic build, compact strength. Very quick twitch athlete. 6.37 runner, quick to the ball, very clean loose release, top level arm strength, low on line throws, pure centerfield tools. Balanced hitting stance, simple one piece swing, quick hands, could develop a better trigger, short to the ball, aggressive swing, plus raw bat speed, ball jumps hard, line drive swing plane. Also pitched, steady 88 mph fastball, simple delivery, high 3/4's release, threw strikes. Impressive high level tools, great approach to the game. Very good student, signed with South Carolina.

The Signing Bonus

In the 2010 MLB Draft, every first round draft pick except one was given a signing bonus of over $1,000,000 (the last pick in the first round got a $954,000 signing bonus). There are still big paydays in the later rounds. Last year, Wando's Drew Cisco was drafted in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Reds and turned down the Georgia Bulldogs for a $975,000 signing bonus. There was one 8th round pick last year that received a $1,000,000 signing bonus. 2010 MLB Signing Bonus chart Rounds 1-25

After getting drafted, Carson and English will have the summer to decide if they want to accept the signing bonus or head to Columbia to play for the Gamecocks. If Carson and English go to USC, they will not be eligible to be drafted until the 2014 MLB Draft.