Pankake drafted by Detroit: 'Hoping to make the most of it'

nwhite@thestate.comJune 6, 2014 

South Carolina's Joey Pankake

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

South Carolina third baseman Joey Pankake got some good news when he was selected in the seventh round of the MLB draft Friday.

He’s headed to the same organization as his roommate Grayson Greiner, the USC catcher who was drafted in the third round.

“When I saw my name come up with Detroit, I said, ‘There’s no way this is real.’ I texted (Greiner) and said, ‘It looks like our roommate days aren’t over just yet,’ ” Pankake said. “It’s pretty crazy how that happened.”

Pankake, who hit .292 with 18 homers and 100 RBIs in his three-season career with the Gamecocks, was the No. 220 overall pick in the draft. The signing bonus for his slot is $165,000.

“This is what you play for. You just want a chance to play professional baseball,” he said. “I’m hoping to make the most of it.”

The Tigers listed him as a third baseman, even though there were questions surrounding his best defensive position at the professional level. Some teams viewed him as an outfielder instead of an infielder.

“That’s nice (to be listed at third), especially with as much work as I’ve put in over there this year at the position,” Pankake said. “It’s good to have a shot to stay there at the next level.”

Pankake and Greiner will likely make the trip together to Lakeland, Fla., the Tigers’ spring training home, to take their physicals.

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