22 Jun

and they’re off

Matt Wallner, the second player drafted out of Mississippi this year, is 2-for-8 with an RBI and a run in his first two pro games. The former Southern Miss standout, a power-hitting outfielder taken 39th overall by Minnesota earlier this month, is playing at rookie-level Elizabethton. Ole Miss product Grae Kessinger, a second-round pick by Houston, went 1-for-4 with a double in his debut at Tri-City, a short season Class A club. Shortstop Kessinger is a third-generation pro, following his dad Kevin and grandfather Donnie, a big league star for many years. James Beard, drafted out of Loyd Star High in the fourth round by the Chicago White Sox, has played in two games in the rookie Arizona League and is 2-for-9. Reputedly the fastest player in the draft, Beard, an outfielder, doesn’t have a stolen base yet. Pitcher Will Ethridge, a fifth-round pick out of Ole Miss by Colorado, is on the short season Class A Boise roster. Outfielder Brandon Parker, picked by Atlanta in the 10th round out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, is 1-for-3 at rookie Danville. Draftees out of Mississippi State, eliminated in the College World Series on Thursday, will start signing and hitting the field as pros very soon.

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