04 Jun

bunch of stuff

There is a lot to digest from a not-so-sleepy-or-dusty third of June: In the Hattiesburg Regional, the anticipated Southern Miss-LSU winners bracket game will take place tonight (6 p.m.) after the Golden Eagles blanked Army 2-0 and the Tigers rallied past Kennesaw State 14-11 on Friday. The Pete (Taylor Park) will be packed. … At Coral Cables, Fla., Ole Miss’ regional opener against Arizona was pushed back to today because of rain. … In Enid, Okla., Pearl River Community College pummeled Madison (Wisc.) College 19-1 to set up a decisive Game 3 in the NJCAA Division II World Series. No. 1-ranked PRCC rode the bats of Alex Perry (home run, three RBIs) and D.K. Donaldson (three RBIs) and the pitching of Dakota Lee (six innings, one run). … At Pearl’s Trustmark Park, the Mississippi Braves’ Jalen Miller reportedly hit a home run over the batter’s eye in center field — no mean feat — en route to an extra-inning win against Montgomery in the Double-A Southern League. … In Appleton, Wisc., ex-Hattiesburg High standout Joe Gray Jr. had a 4-for-5 game, including his seventh homer and ninth stolen base, for High-A Wisconsin. Gray, a highly rated Milwaukee prospect, is batting .202 in his second stint at that level. … At Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Corey Dickerson, the former Meridian CC star from McComb, hit his first two homers of the season for St. Louis in a blowout win against the Cubs. Dickerson, who chose to wear Mark McGwire’s No. 25 in his first year with the Cardinals, has 130 career homers and has hit as many as 27 in a season. He is batting .194 in sporadic playing time. … Ex-Mississippi State standout Brent Rooker has been called up by San Diego. The former Minnesota Twins outfielder, traded this spring, was hitting .242 with nine homers at Triple-A El Paso. … Ole Miss product Lance Lynn, on the injured list all year for the Chicago White Sox, made his second rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte and yielded three runs in four innings. … Colorado announced that left-hander Ryan Rolison, another former UM star, will undergo shoulder surgery and miss the remainder of the season. A highly rated prospect, Rolison has been on the IL all year. … And last but certainly not least, Jackson Academy outfielder Dakota Jordan received the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year award. The MSU signee, who aims to play football and baseball, hit .524 with 16 homers this season. He is ranked as the No. 176 MLB draft prospect by MLB Pipeline.

15 Jul

road not taken

The lone high school player from Mississippi picked in the MLB draft this week was not Braden Montgomery, the former Madison Central two-way star and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year award winner. (It was Brennon McNair, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound shortstop from Magee, who was plucked by Kansas City in the 11th round as something of a sleeper pick.) Montgomery, a Stanford signee, was rated as the No. 66 draft prospect by mlb.com, but apparently his asking price to sign did not match up with what teams were willing to offer. So, he’s off to Stanford, which is still pretty awesome. A local scout called him “an exciting talent.” Montgomery posted a .479 average with seven home runs and 50 RBIs and compiled a 9-0 record on the mound with a 0.74 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings. He’ll be eligible for the draft again in three years, perhaps following the path of J.T. Ginn, the 2018 Gatorade POY at Brandon. Ginn was picked in the first round by the Los Angeles Dodgers that year but turned down a reported $2.4M to pitch at Mississippi State. He sparkled as a freshman but suffered an elbow injury that required surgery early in 2020, his sophomore season. Nevertheless, the New York Mets took him in the second round last year. The right-hander signed for $2.9M and recently began his pro career. He is 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in Low-A ball. The 2020 and 2019 Gatorade POYs were drafted in 2020, DeSoto Central’s Blaze Jordan going to Boston in the third round and Biloxi’s Colt Keith to Detroit in the fifth and final round. Jordan signed for $1.75M and is playing in the Florida Complex League, batting .194 with a homer. Keith, a junior when he won the POY award, signed for $500,000 and is now in Low-A ball, batting .291. The 2017 and 2016 Gatorade award winners weren’t drafted, then or since. Trey Shaffer, from Biloxi, went to Southeastern Louisiana and recently transferred to LSU. Jason Barber, from Oxford, signed with Ole Miss, pitched very little as a freshman in 2017 and then gave up baseball. P.S. Walker Powell, C-USA pitcher of the year at Southern Miss, has signed with the Chicago Cubs as an undrafted free agent, according to Baseball America. The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 10-2, 2.31 ERA this season for the Golden Eagles.