21 Jun

it happens

There are pot holes on the road to the big leagues, and a trio of Mississippians in the minors — each one a former high draft pick with MLB aspirations — ran smack into a few on Thursday. Former Mississippi State star J.T. Ginn, ex-Ole Miss standout Doug Nikhazy and former Southern Miss ace Tanner Hall endured rough starts for their respective clubs, with Ginn and Nikhazy getting tagged with losses. Ginn, a second-round pick in 2020 now in Triple-A with Oakland, allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings for Las Vegas. Making his fifth Triple-A start, the right-hander fell to 0-2 with a 6.66 ERA. He went 4-1, 4.15, at Double-A Midland to rate the promotion. Left-hander Nikhazy, a second-round pick in 2021, coughed up five runs in five innings for Double-A Akron and got his first decision in 11 outings. He is 0-1 despite a 3.17 ERA over 48 1/3 innings for the Cleveland affiliate. Hall, a fourth-round pick last summer, worked four innings and yielded four runs for Low-Class A Fort Myers, escaping with a no-decision. Hall is 0-0, 4.08, in eight appearances. Minnesota has limited Hall’s innings after he started the season on the injured list (glute strain); he has pitched just 17 2/3. To be sure, there will be better days for this trio. … One Mississippi product did get a win in the minors on Thursday: Ole Miss alum Mike Mayers, 32, former big leaguer in his 12th pro season, worked a clean 1 1/3 in the middle innings and plucked a victory for Triple-A Buffalo in Toronto’s system. He is 2-3, 5.04, in 21 games for the Bisons. P.S. Jackson Prep’s Konnor Griffin has been named the national player of the year by Baseball America. The outfielder/shortstop/pitcher, an LSU signee, is projected as a first-round pick in next month’s MLB draft. “I’ve tried to do my best to prepare him for that part of it,” Jay Powell, the former big league pitcher who is Prep’s pitching coach, told BA, “for the things he’s going to be faced with when he gets into professional baseball.” … MSU alum Hunter Hines put on a power show during Wednesday’s workouts at the MLB Draft Combine in Arizona. The lefty-hitting first baseman reportedly hit five 400-foot homers, with a best of 441.7, during his batting practice session. The ex-Madison Central star, No. 174 in MLB Pipeline’s draft prospect rankings, hit 54 homers in three seasons in Starkville and 13 in the Cape Cod League last summer.