USF lefty McClanahan could be Bulls highest ever draft pick

- When he was younger, Shane McClanahan knew there was only one way for him to get to the next level. 

"Once I figured out I couldn't hit, I had to figure out what I could do to hopefully play at the next level. So, pitching was the last resort," he explained. 

He was 16. 

"Playing at the collegiate level has always been my ultimate goal, you know, I wanted to get there any way I could, figured that was on the bump," said McClanahan. 

Now he's 20-years-old, and could be USF's highest ever draft pick in program history. He's expected to be a top 10 pick. 

Baseball America says he's the top college left-hander in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft class. The publication named him first-team preseason All-American. He was also a unanimous preseason all-conference selection by the American Athletic Conference. 

"You know, I'm not really worried about that stuff," said McClanahan. "I'm more worried about what we're going to do as a team this upcoming season. You can be recognized all you want, but ultimately, at the end of the day, we're going to be judged how successful we are on the field as a team." 

It's that maturity that has escalated McClanahan to the leader of this Bulls clubhouse, under first-year head coach Billy Mohl. 

"You know, watching him grow as a human being over the last three years in terms of becoming a more mature kid, I mean that's really helped his development on the field as well," said Mohl.  

He led the AAC last season with 12.32 strikeouts per nine innings. That was good enough for eighth nationally. 

But McClanahan will tell you his statistics are only possible because of his teammates. Only together can they reach the pinnacle of college baseball -- the College World Series. It's something the Bulls hope to finally reach this season. 

"We've been around each other for a while now so we have great comradery as a team, and I think that's probably one of the most important things you can have as a team is good chemistry," he said. 

McClanahan will more than likely be the Bulls starting pitcher when USF opens up their season February 16th against North Carolina. 

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