Complete list of Mississippi prospects taken in MLB Draft

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All 40 rounds of the 2019 MLB Draft have been completed, and a large number of players from Mississippi heard their names called. Below, you’ll find all of the selections from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and several JUCOs, along with quite a few high school prospects that were selected.

  • Mississippi State:

LHP Ethan Small – Round 1: Pick 28 – Milwaukee Brewers

As the Bulldogs’ ace this season, Small is 9-2 with a 1.88 ERA, and he has yet to allow more than three runs in a single start this year. In 96 total innings of work in 2019, Small has struck out 160 batters, the second-highest total in MSU single-season history. He has only walked 27 batters and he owns the second-best WHIP in the NCAA at 0.83.

After he was selected, Small tweeted a message to Mississippi State fans ensuring that he’s ready to stay focused on the task at hand as the Bulldogs look ahead to their Super Regional matchup with Stanford this weekend.

MLB.com analyzed the pick and said that since the Tommy John surgery that sidelined him in 2017, Small has bounced back nicely.

“Small doesn’t throw as hard as he did in the past but is much more effective. His fastball ranges from 86-92 mph yet generates a lot of swings and misses and weak contact…He has a curveball with similar velocity and good depth, though he rarely uses it in games because he hasn’t needed to. His control and command also are much improved since his Tommy John surgery, giving him a high floor and a chance to be a No. 4 starter.”

Small returned to Starkville after he was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 26th round of last year’s draft.

CF Jake Mangum – Round 5: Pick 118 – New York Mets 

The SEC’s all-time hit leader is off the board.

This is the second year in a row that the Mets have drafted Mangum, but he opted to return to Starkville for his senior season.

RHP Colby White – Round 6: Pick 188 – Tampa Bay Rays

In 25 appearances this season, White has posted a 3.28 ERA while striking out 45 batters and issuing just 7 walks. MLB.com says that White’s fastball has him on track to be a solid reliever.

“White has a big arm for a smaller pitcher, typically sitting in the mid-90s with the ability to ramp his fastball up to 97. He throws primarily fastballs, however, which makes him better suited for a relief role if his secondary pitches don’t develop.”

P Trysten Barlow Round 16: Pick 489 – Colorado Rockies

“The lefty reliever from Mississippi State usually sits in the low 90s with his fastball but can dial it up to 94. His slider is especially effective against lefties, which means he could have a future as a lefty relief specialist down the line.” – MLB.com

C Dustin Skelton – Round 15: Pick 531 – Miami Marlins

“Originally taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 36th round of the 2016 Draft, Skelton has emerged as a solid all-around catcher at Mississippi State. He was named to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional All-Tournament Team as a sophomore in 2018, and his bat has steadily improved throughout his college tenure. He’s currently hitting over .300 with good power, including 10 homers.” – MLB.com

P Jared Liebelt – Round 20: Pick 602 – Arizona Diamondbacks

James Keegan Round 29: Pick 759 – Colorado Rockies

P Peyton Plumlee – Round 31: Pick 946 – Houston Astros

P Cole Gordon Round 32: Pick 958 – New York Mets

1B Tanner Allen – Round 34: 1029 – Colorado Rockies

“Originally drafted in the 36th round of the 2017 Draft by the Chicago Cubs, Allen made a strong first impression at Mississippi State in 2018 by making the SEC All-Freshman team at first base and earning Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. An excellent hitter with a good batting eye, he batted .288 with 27 extra-base hits while reaching based in 56 of his 68 games played as a freshman. He’s taken his game to another level this year, as he’s currently batting .352 as a sophomore.” – MLB.com 

  • Ole Miss:

SS Grae Kessinger – Round 2: Pick 68 – Houston Astros

Kessinger arrived at Ole Miss despite being drafted out of high school, and after posting a .175 average during his freshman season, the Oxford native has improved each year to become one of the most consistent bats in the Rebel lineup.

This season, Kessigner boasts a .332 batting average, which is good for second on the team. During SEC play, he hit .405 and was among the top 10 in the league in doubles, total bases, slugging percentage, RBI and stolen bases.

Kessinger has been named as a finalist for the 2019 Brooks Wallace Award, presented to college baseball’s top SS each year. MLB.com says that while Kessinger doesn’t have the most power or the strongest arm, he has the instincts to make it in the bigs.

“As one evaluator said, “You don’t hit .400 in the SEC by accident.” He has a history of making contact with a controlled right-handed swing and line-drive approach, and he has hit the ball harder than ever in 2019. He draws walks and plays quicker on the bases than his below-average speed out of the box, though he has modest home run power at best. Kessinger makes plays at shortstop despite lacking classic tools for the position. He’s not twitchy or flashy and his arm is merely average, yet he compensates with instincts and positioning. He likely will move to second base in pro ball and may be more of a utilityman than a regular, though his strong makeup and surprising junior season may foreshadow him exceeding expectations.”

Like Small, Kessinger still has work to do with the Rebels traveling to Arkansas for a Super Regional matchup this weekend.

RHP Will Ethridge – Round 5: Pick 159 – Colorado Rockies

Ethridge is 7-6 this season with a 2.91 ERA. MLB.com says that Ethridge is one of the “safer bets” in this class.

“Ethridge excels at pitching to contact with a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95, creating groundballs and awkward swings with sink and the extension in his low-three-quarters delivery. His low-80s slider can be a solid offering when he stays on top of it, though it also can get sweepy and slurvy at times. His fading changeup similarly varies between effectiveness and inconsistency. Strong and durable, Ethridge does a nice job of repeating his simple mechanics. He doesn’t overpower hitters but he puts his pitches where he wants and limits damage done by walks or home runs. He’s one of the safer bets in this year’s college class to become at least a back-of-the-rotation starter.”

OF/C Thomas Dillard – Round 5: Pick 163 – Milwaukee Brewers

Dillard plays left field for the Rebels, but he was announced as a catcher. His lack a true position worries some scouts, but it’s his bat that makes him a commodity. Dillard has 13 HRs this season and has driven in 60 runs.

“Scouts still aren’t sure where he fits best, but he’s a switch-hitter who has hit for power in the Southeastern Conference and draws some “poor man’s Kyle Schwarber” comparisons. Dillard generates impressive raw pop with a combination of bat speed, strength and loft in his swing. He has improved his plate discipline and contact rate throughout his college career and has a chance to hit for average as well. Though he has below-average speed, he’s aggressive on the bases and has a good feel for picking spots to steal. Dillard has played mostly left field at Mississippi, showing at least average arm strength but limited range. The hope is that he can become an adequate defender in left, but he could wind up at first base or DH. He was a catcher in high school and has seen brief action behind the plate for the Rebels, though the consensus is that he doesn’t receive well enough to do so in pro ball.”

C Cooper Johnson – Round 6: Pick 172 – Detroit Tigers

The Rebel catcher has caught 18 of 23 runners stealing this season, and while MLB.com calls his consistency at the plate into question, they say his arm is as good as advertised.

“Any discussion of Johnson still starts with his arm, a well above-average cannon that regularly registers sub-1.9-second pop times and helped him erase 45 percent of base stealers during the 2019 regular season. He has worked hard to improve his receiving and blocking, which had been subpar in the past but now elicit average to solid grades. His overall defensive game is good enough to project him as at least a big league backup. While scouts still aren’t sold that Johnson will hit enough to be a regular in the Majors, he has gotten better. He has a more selective approach, is putting together more competitive at-bats and is making better contact. He’s stronger and his right-handed swing looks quicker, giving him a chance to produce close to average power.”

P Parker Caracci Round 21: Pick 627 – Toronto Blue Jays

“Caracci was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 37th round of the 2018 Draft after an impressive sophomore season at Ole Miss in which he went 5-2 with 10 saves and a 2.25 ERA in 48 innings. He showed good control as well with a 5.2 K/BB ratio and dominated batters with a 13.9 K/9 rate. He was chosen for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer as a result. His 2019 hasn’t been as strong, but his prior success makes him an intriguing prospect.” – MLB.com

1B Cole Zabowski – Round 22: Pick 652 – Detroit Tigers

“He’s not merely a one-dimensional slugger, either, as he was named to the SEC All-Defensive team. He doesn’t have much speed due to his size, but his strong bat and defense make him a promising prospect.” – MLB.com

P Zack Phillips – Round 27: Pick 799 – Kansas City Royals

“Phillips flourished in junior college before joining Ole Miss, going 10-1 as a starter with a 2.70 ERA en route to earning 1st team All-Conference and 1st team All-Region honors. He hasn’t had the same level of success this year at Ole Miss, but his ability to pitch backwards and throw strikes has him poised for success going forward. The lefty’s fastball typically tops out around 92 and is balanced by a good changeup.” – MLB.com

P Houston Roth – Round 29: Pick 858 – Baltimore Orioles

  • Southern Miss

RF Matt Wallner – Competitive Balance Round A – Minnesota Twins

Taken by the Twins in the round sandwiched between the first and second rounds, the all-time HR leader in USM history became the highest Golden Eagle baseball player ever selected in the MLB Draft.

A co-captain this season as voted on by his teammates, he batted .323 during his junior campaign, with 12 doubles, 23 home runs and 60 RBI, earning Conference USA first-team honors. Wallner ranks fifth on the career charts for RBI (190), sixth in slugging percentage (.652), seventh in total bases (449) and first in walks (141).

MLB.com says that Wallner will have to prove he can adapt to the velocity at the next level, but his raw talent makes him an intriguing prospect.

“Wallner’s size, strength and aggressive left-handed stroke combine to give him some of the best raw pop in the 2019 college class. He needs to prove he can handle quality velocity and may have to tone down his approach a bit, as he’ll chase pitches out of the zone rather than let his prodigious power come naturally. He still draws a healthy amount of walks because pitchers are loathed to challenge him.”

P JC Keys – Round 23: Pick 684 – Cincinnati Reds

 

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast JC 

RF Brandon Parker – Round 10: Pick 307 – Atlanta Braves 

  • Northwest Mississippi CC

P Dalton Fowler – Round 27: Pick 808 – New York Mets

“Fowler also displays some feel for a changeup, giving him the potential for a nice three-pitch mix. He’s still figuring out how to keep his long arms and legs in sync in his delivery, and he has trouble finding the strike zone when he can’t. He needs a lot of polish but has more upside than most left-handers in this Draft.” – MLB.com 

  • Pearl River CC 

2B Jordan Dexter – Round 16: Pick 496 – Houston Astros

  • Mississippi College

1B Blaine Crim – Round 19: Round 565 – Texas Rangers

  • High School Prospects

Loyd Star HS – CF James Beard – Round 4: Pick 110 – Chicago White Sox

George County HS – P Trevor McDonald – Round 11: Pick 326 – San Fransisco Giants

Smithville HS – P Isaiah Johnson – Round 14: Pick 427 – Atlanta Braves

Clinton HS – CF Christian Johnson – Round 19: Pick 578 – Tampa Bay Rays

Jackson Prep – CF Jerrion Ealy – Round 31: Pick 932 – Arizona Diamondbacks

Today is the final day of the draft, so check back when it’s over for a complete list of prospects from the Magnolia state that heard their name called.

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