29 Apr

that other draft

While Ole Miss has tumbled from the national rankings this season, Jacob Gonzalez’s MLB draft stock has remained steady. The Rebels shortstop, regarded as a top 10 pick entering this season, is rated No. 8 in MLB Pipeline’s new list of the Top 150 prospects for this summer’s draft. Gonzalez is batting .322 with seven homers and 37 RBIs for the 22-20 Rebels, last year’s national champs. The left-handed hitter, who goes 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, has a .317 career average with 37 homers in three seasons at UM. Five other players from the state are in the Top 150: No. 43 Cooper Pratt, shortstop at Magnolia Heights; No. 47 Colton Ledbetter, Mississippi State outfielder; No. 64 Kemp Alderman, Ole Miss outfielder; No. 101 Tanner Hall, Southern Miss pitcher; and No. 145 Calvin Harris, UM catcher. Ranked 11th is Hurston Waldrep, who pitched at USM in 2022 but is now at Florida. Ledbetter, a Samford transfer, has been a standout during a tough year for State, hitting .322 with 10 homers, 46 RBIs and 15 steals. Hall, last year’s Ferriss Trophy winner, is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA for the Golden Eagles, who are battling for the Sun Belt Conference title. P.S. Lexington beat the York Revolution 5-4 Friday night in Barry Lyons’ debut (see previous post) as manager of the Counter Clocks of the independent Atlantic League. Former Delta State star Trent Giambrone went 2-for-4 for York in his ALPB debut. Harrison Central High alum and ex-big leaguer Bobby Bradley homered for Charleston in his indy ball debut. … The Chicago White Sox lost their ninth straight game Friday after MSU product Kendall Graveman gave up a ninth-inning homer in a 3-2 defeat against visiting Tampa Bay. Graveman (1-2) has a 5.06 ERA in 11 relief appearances for the 7-20 White Sox. … Tim Anderson, on a rehab assignment for the ChiSox, went 0-for-4 for Triple-A Charlotte in Game 1 of a twinbill. Also in the Knights’ lineup was Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton, the demoted big league vet who went 2-for-3 to improve his average to .186. He has three stolen bases.

11 Jun

short stories

They will be where the action is this weekend. They hit near the top of the order and play in the middle of the field. It won’t be a surprise if the opposing shortstops in the Hattiesburg Super Regional prove to be central figures in the outcome of the best-of-3 series. Southern Miss’ Dustin Dickerson is the leading hitter at .326 for the Golden Eagles, the No. 11 national seed aiming for a second-ever trip to the College World Series. Ole Miss’ Jacob Gonzalez was an All-SEC pick this season and is batting .274 with 17 home runs for a Rebels team seeking a sixth CWS trip. Dickerson played at Laurel’s West Jones High, where he was the Class 5A player of the year for a state champion in 2019. His father, Bobby, played college and pro ball and is now the infield coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. The younger Dickerson can pick it on defense; he made several big plays in USM’s run to the regional championship. He’s not a power hitter but did smack 24 doubles this season, driving in 32 runs and scoring 44. The good-hit, good-field label also fits the UM shortstop. Gonzalez, also the son of a minor league player (Jess), came to Oxford as a highly rated recruit from California. He has lived up to the promise, earning freshman All-America honors last season and making USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last year and this. He’ll be a high MLB draft pick in 2023. Taylor Park will be slammed for this series, which starts today (3 p.m., ESPNU). It’ll be loud. It’ll be intense. And it’ll be memorable, moreso for one of the two shortstops than the other.