There are always surprises in the MLB draft, which begins today (6 p.m., MLB Network/ESPN). It would be a bit of a surprise if a player from Mississippi is picked in the first round. A sampling of mock drafts (Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, The Sporting News) turns up just one instance of a state player pegged in the top 30: Baseball America has Mississippi State pitcher Landon Sims going 28th to Houston. Sims, the closer on the national title team in 2021, had Tommy John surgery this spring, creating questions about his status as a first-rounder. BA rated Sims No. 22 among draft prospects. MLB Pipeline placed Sims No. 44 among its Top 250 draft prospects, three spots behind Bulldogs catcher Logan Tanner. Bradley Loftin, a lefty pitcher at DeSoto Central High, is No. 77; Northeast Mississippi Community College righty Colby Holcombe No. 134; Ole Miss catcher Hayden Dunhurst No. 155; MSU outfielder Brad Cumbest No. 173; Jackson Academy outfielder Dakota Jordan No. 177; Madison Central catcher Ross Highfill No. 197; and South Panola outfielder Emaarion Boyd No. 245. Baseball America ranks Tanner No. 68, Dunhurst No. 139 and Holcombe No. 154. No state high school players made BA’s Top 200, though the magazine did rank four state schools in its final Top 50 for 2022: No. 2 Sumrall, No. 5 Northwest Rankin, No. 21 Jackson Prep and No. 33 Madison-Ridgeland Academy. Day 1 of the draft includes the first two rounds plus supplemental picks, a total of 80. The 20-round draft runs through Monday and Tuesday. P.S. Twelve players from state schools were drafted in 2021, including two first-rounders (MSU’s Will Bednar, No. 14, and UM’s Gunnar Hoglund, No. 19). Hoglund, like Sims this year, was coming off arm surgery. … Two Jackson State players made the list of HBCU draft prospects compiled by blackcollegenines.com. Right-hander Nik Gallatas and infielder Ty Hill are joined on that list by Grambling State right-hander Shemar Page, a former Pearl River CC star from Laurel, and Southern U. outfielder O’Neill Burgos, a Brookhaven Academy and Jones College alum. Page, also a hitter at Grambling, was the SWAC pitcher of the year. … A recent mlb.com feature focused on the small number of top three overall draft picks who failed to reach the major leagues. On that list are former MSU pitcher B.J. Wallace, No. 3 by Montreal in 1992, and Oak Park High third baseman Ted Nicholson, No. 3 by the Chicago White Sox in 1969. Wallace had injury issues, while Nicholson’s career may have been short-circuited by military duty.