There were some splashy pro debuts last summer from Mississippians taken in the 2023 draft — see Colton Ledbetter, Cooper Pratt, Matthew Etzel — but Tanner Hall, the fourth player chosen out of the state, did not make an official appearance. The most-decorated pitcher in Southern Miss history will make a much-anticipated debut sometime this season in Minnesota’s system. Hall, a 6-foot-1, 186-pound right-hander, was a two-time All-America pick, a two-time conference pitcher of the year and the 2022 Ferriss Trophy winner. He posted a 22-8 career record and 2.92 ERA in three seasons at USM. Not a hard thrower, Hall might best be described as a crafty right-hander who relies on a changeup and control. He averaged 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings at USM. The Twins drafted him in the fourth round ($510,000 bonus), and he is rated their No. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline. … The ’24 MLB draft is roughly six months away, but when the high schools and colleges hit the field there are several players with local ties who’ll be getting lots of attention from pro scouts. Jackson Prep’s Konnor Griffin (No. 8), former Madison Central High star Braden Montgomery of Texas A&M (No. 10) and Mississippi State’s Dakota Jordan (No. 27) are ranked among the top 100 prospects by MLB Pipeline, and MSU’s Hunter Hines reportedly just missed that list. … Ole Miss’ Campbell Smithwick, former Oxford High catcher, made Baseball America’s short list of potential impact freshmen for the coming season, which starts for NCAA Division I schools on Feb. 16. … A well-maintained, 20-year-old, 5,500-seat ballpark in a metro area with a population of 400,000-plus might be attractive to an independent team owner. Pearl is losing its Double-A team after the 2024 season (see previous post), and there’s really no telling what the future might hold for Trustmark Park. But indy ball could be a possibility. Jackson has hosted indy teams before at Smith-Wills Stadium. There are slew of independent leagues out there, and four of them (American Association, Atlantic, Frontier and Pioneer) are designated as partners of Major League Baseball and collaborate with MLB on various initiatives. Both the AA and the FL have teams in the midwest. … Reports are that Garrett Crochet, the Ocean Springs High product now with the Chicago White Sox, is going to be moved to the team’s starting rotation this spring. A first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2020, the hard-throwing left-hander has a career ERA of 2.71 in 72 relief appearances. He missed the 2022 season following elbow surgery. P.S. On the transaction front: Ex-Ole Miss star Errol Robinson has signed a minor league deal with Baltimore. The 29-year-old shortstop, a minor league vet, played in the St. Louis chain in 2023. … Former Mississippi State and MLB pitcher Jonathan Holder has signed as a minor league free agent with Texas. He had a 5.40 ERA in Triple-A for the Los Angeles Angels last year. … Ex-MSU star Travis Chapman is returning to the New York Yankees’ staff as first base coach and infield instructor. … Ex-Delta State standout Barry Lyons, after a season of managing in the independent Atlantic League, recently announced he is returning to his ambassador role with the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers in his hometown.