WJTV – The first guy with Mississippi ties to be picked on the final day of the MLB Draft was Mississippi State shortstop Ryan Gridley.
Gridley, an All-SEC first team player, was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the 11th round with the 321st overall pick. He was second on the Bulldogs in batting average this season, hitting .327.
Meanwhile, Jake Mangum got picked too, but he won’t be going pro. After being selected by the New York Yankees in the 30th round, the Jackson Prep alumnus announced he would be returning to Starkville.
That’s a big deal for the Bulldogs. He was second on the team in hits this season with 90. Mangum was named an All-SEC second team player as well.
The next biggest news of the day came when a Jackson State Tiger heard his name called.
The Tampa Bay Rays selected JSU outfielder Bryce Brown in the 15th round with the 439th overall pick. He is the highest Jackson State draft pick since 2002.
Brown ranked third in the country in on base percentage (.514) and 11th in steals (26).
The Rebels finally heard their first player get drafted in the 12th round. The Philadelphia Phillies took pitcher David Parkinson.
Parkinson was the only Rebel to start in the team’s rotation in all 14 weekends this season. He led the team in innings pitched (77.0) and strikeouts (76) while posting a 3.39 ERA.
Four other Ole Miss players got drafted too. The next one was second baseman Tate Blackman in the 13th round, as the Chicago White Sox took him with the 387th overall pick.
In 2017, Blackman led his team in runs (46), triples (4), walks (34), slugging percentage (.525), and on base percentage (.420). He also ranked second in hits with 61 and home runs with nine.
Colby Bortles would be the next Rebel off of the board. The Detroit Tigers snagged the slugger in the 22nd round with the 665th overall pick.
Bortles led Ole Miss with 10 home runs and 42 RBI this season. He ranks 10th all-time in program history with 153 career RBI.
Brady Feigl heard his name called in the 35th round. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim took him with the 1,045th overall pick.
He pitched 53.0 innings this season, mixing time as a starter and reliever. He did not give up an earned run in seven of his 11 relief appearances.
Finally, Kyle Watson rounded out the Rebel draft class. The Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the 37th round with the 1,108th pick.
Watson was mainly a bench player in 2017, scoring 11 runs while hitting four doubles and a home run.
The 2017 Conference USA Player of the Year heard his name called on the final day. Southern Miss’s Dylan Burdeaux went to the Detroit Tigers in the 20th round.
The 605th overall pick finished his USM career with 298 hits, ranking third in program history. He batted .337 while leading the team in runs (67) and RBI (69).
Finally, the Colorado Rockies took Hayden Roberts in the 34th round with the 1,016th overall pick. The USM pitcher had a 5-2 record with a 4.30 ERA in 20 games, including 10 starts. He finished with 86 strikeouts.