Passed over in draft after draft by MLB clubs, Tre Hobbs will launch his pro career in the independent Frontier League. The former Delta State star reportedly has signed with the Southern Illinois Miners, who are based in Marion, Ill. Don’t be surprised by any success Hobbs might have. The 5-foot-10 left-hander from Greenville won 22 games over two seasons at Delta State, posting 15 complete games and tossing four shutouts. He was a consensus All-America pick in 2016, when he went 13-2 with a 3.18 ERA. He wasn’t as dominant this year but still won nine games with a 4.18 and 90 strikeouts in 92 innings, helping the Statesmen reach the NCAA Division II World Series. He threw a brilliant three-hitter in a CWS elimination game. … The Frontier League, which has been around since 1993, claims a large number of alumni who have signed with affiliated teams and made the big leagues, including former Ole Miss pitcher Matt Duff and ex-Mississippi Braves hurler Brandon Cunniff.
Wendell Fairley, a former first-round draft pick out of George County High, recently signed to play in 2015 with the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League. Fairley, who’ll be 27 in March, apparently has not played organized ball since 2012, his last season in the San Francisco system. The left-handed hitting outfielder was the Giants’ top pick in 2007 and batted .257 with eight home runs, 149 RBIs and 26 steals over five seasons. The Giants invited him to their big league spring training camp in 2010, but he never played above the Double-A level. P.S. They will be called the Biloxi Shuckers, but the new Southern League team’s plans for where they’ll play in 2015 remain unknown (see previous post). No new information was revealed at Monday’s nickname announcement ceremony. … It’s unlikely that David Goforth, a Meridian native and ex-Ole Miss standout, will play for the Shuckers, Milwaukee’s Double-A affiliate, next season. Goforth went 5-4 with 27 saves and a 3.76 ERA for the Huntsville Stars in 2014 and earned a spot on the Brewers’ 40-man roster. If he doesn’t make the big club, Goforth figures to pitch in Triple-A.