CLEMSON - A bleary-eyed, emotionally spent Tyler Lumsden met the media outside of Clemson's Doug Kingsmore Stadium late Monday afternoon. But even his sleep-deprived condition wasn't enough to chase the smile away from his face.
Lumsden, the lefthander who just wrapped up his junior season at Clemson, was taken by the Chicago White Sox with the 34th overall pick Monday in the first day of the annual Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. The pick was one of 11 supplemental draft choices made between the first and second rounds.
Lumsden was the fourth of five consecutive pitchers taken at the outset of the supplemental round, chosen just ahead of Central Florida's Matt Fox.
"It's been an exciting day," Lumsden said. "I've been through it once, but I was hoping I'd end up in a better position than I did coming out of high school (fifth round). I was a little nervous going in, but now that it's all said and done I feel pretty good."
As the 34th overall pick, Lumsden can expect a healthy signing bonus that could approach seven figures. He wouldn't talk in specifics about his financial hopes, but said he thought his advisor would "look at the same pick from the last couple of years and maybe go for the average."
Whatever the dollar figure is, it's almost a sure bet that Lumsden has pitched his last game in a Clemson uniform.
"I'm excited about taking this next step in my career," he said. "I won't say there's no way I'll be back at Clemson next year, but I'm hoping to get something done with the White Sox."
Despite the fact that his 2004 season was something of a disappointment (5-4, 3.98 ERA), Lumsden's upside - enhanced greatly because he's lefthanded - had Major League teams calling him within minutes of Clemson's elimination Sunday night in the NCAA Regional tournament in Athens, Ga.
The calls came, but the sleep didn't. Lumsden said he got little rest Sunday night, partly because of the emotional loss to Georgia and partly in anticipation of Monday.
"We were down 9-2 in that first game and came back to win," he said. "We were feeling great, got off to a great start in the second game and then lost it the way we did. But today has me right back up there again. It's been a good day."
Lumsden is expecting to meet with White Sox officials sometime in the next couple of days, and already seems to have his thoughts on where his next stop - his first professional outing - will be, and how soon.
But when asked if his college experience was a positive one, Lumsden was quick to glance back at his recent history.
"It's all been positive, every moment at Clemson," he said. "Even the bad times (on the field), I learned positive lessons. I loved it here. I've got three years in toward my education.
"There's nothing bad to say about it."
Lumsden was one of six Tigers drafted Monday. The others include:
- Relief pitcher Collin Mahoney, taken in the fourth round (103rd overall) by Detroit;
- Catcher Lou Santangelo, fourth round (124) by Houston;
- Third baseman Brad McCann, sixth round (188) by Florida;
- Pitcher Steven Jackson, 10th round (296) by Arizona;
- Relief pitcher Patrick Hogan, 14th round (428) by Florida.
The draft wraps up today with the final 32 rounds.