19 Jun

on the dotted line

With the signings on Thursday of Austin Riley by Atlanta and Jacob Taylor by Pittsburgh, the top six Mississippians taken in the 2015 MLB draft reportedly are under contract. Riley, a third baseman from DeSoto Central High taken at No. 41 overall, and Taylor, a right-hander from Pearl River Community College picked in Round 4, join RH Scott Weathersby (Ole Miss, Houston), RH Witt Haggard (Delta State, New York Mets), 1B Sikes Orvis (Ole Miss, Chicago White Sox) and 2B Dalton Dulin (Northwest Mississippi CC, Washington) as major league hopefuls. Most, if not all, of these players will head to the Gulf Coast or Arizona rookie leagues, which start next week. Some others who have signed include Southern Miss RH James McMahon (Colorado), DSU RH Stephen Milligan (Kansas City), Alcorn State OF Earl Burl (Toronto), Mississippi Valley State OF Kalik May (Toronto) and former East Mississippi CC OF LaDarious Clark (Texas). Third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, son of Hattiesburg native and ex-big league star Charlie Hayes, has signed with the Pirates; he was the 32nd overall pick out of a Texas high school. P.S. Former Mississippi Braves standout Jordan Schafer has been released by Minnesota. Schafer, the Twins’ opening day center fielder, hasn’t played since mid-May because of a knee injury and was hitting just .217. The recent promotion of top prospect Byron Buxton made him expendable. Schafer arrived in Mississippi as Atlanta’s No. 1 prospect in 2008, was hit with a drug suspension just days into the season and rode a rollercoaster over his career from then on.

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