Triggs goes in 24th round, USC commits taken early and often

Last week, USC right-hander Andrew Triggs said he expected to go anywhere from the fourth to the 40th round in this week's MLB draft.

It turns out he was right.

The redshirt sophomore was selected in the 24th round (720th overall) on Tuesday by the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first Trojan player to be chosen in the 2010 draft.

Triggs, who entered the season ranked as the No. 38 overall draftable prospect by Baseball America, suffered a shoulder injury in April that prevented him from finishing out the season as the Trojans' No. 1 starter. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery during his senior year of high school, Triggs sat out his first year at USC but developed into a bona fide weekend starter during his redshirt freshman season.

Triggs said last week that he would take all of MLB's allotted time — until mid-August — to attempt to prove to whichever team drafted him that he was healthy and worthy of a hefty signing bonus. If he and his family deem the the eventual offer not up to par, Triggs said he has no qualms with returning to school for his redshirt junior season — after which he would still retain the all-important negotiating aspect of leverage to return to school.

While Triggs was USC's only selection through two days of the draft, six high school prospects who have committed to and/or signed with the Trojans were chosen on the draft's second day.

The highest of those was shortstop/outfielder Angelo Gumbs (Torrance, Calif/Torrance), a second-round choice of the New York Yankees. Right-hander Austin Wood (Niceville, Fla./St. Petersburg College) was taken in the fourth round by the Tampa Bay Rays, outfielder Joc Pederson (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) was taken in the 11th by the Dodgers and center fielder Omar Cotto (Puerto Rico/Bonneville School) went to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th.

Outfielder Frankie Christian (Upland, Calif./Upland) and catcher Jake Hernandez (Los Osos, Calif./Los Osos) wrapped up the selections, taken by the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers, respectively.

Each of those players now face the choice to either sign with a major-league organization and receive a signing bonus or head to USC, where — excluding the possibility of a transfer — they will not be eligible to be drafted until the 2013 draft.

As for 2010 Trojans, remaining possibilities include center fielder Mike O'Neill, catcher Keith Castillo, right-hander Kevin Couture and infielder Joe De Pinto, with only De Pinto possessing the opportunity to return to school next year. Rounds 31-50 of the draft will happen Wednesday.