Players From

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position School Bonus
1 17 Toronto Blue Jays D.J. Davis OF Stone HS, Wiggins, Miss. $1,750,000
Davis is fighting a difficult profile out of Mississippi. The state has produced 32 first-round and supplemental first-round picks since the draft's inception. But the only players drafted out of the Magnolia State in the first round who signed out of high school and reached the majors are outfielder Don Castle (1968 draft), who played four games in 1973, and Steve Pegues (1987 draft), who had a 100-game career. In fact, infielders Charlie Hayes (1983) and Bill Hall (1998) have had the best careers of Mississippi prep products in draft history. That history may move Davis down some draft boards, but his talent puts him squarely in the first round. He's faster even than Reds prospect Billy Hamilton, the state's current standard-bearer, turning in 6.4-second 60 times, and has more than enough range for center field, with below-average but playable arm strength. Moreover, Davis has good strength in his hands and forearms, with a real chance to hit for average. He's fast enough to be a slap hitter but isn't one. He has an old-fashioned handsy, whippy swing and has shown gap power and consistent hard contact against good competition, such as at East Coast Showcase and playing for the Mets scout team in the fall. He has better instincts more polish than the average Mississippi prep player, which gives some ammunition to counter the state's track record in the first round. He's considered signable, having committed to Meridian (Miss.) CC.
1 20 San Francisco Giants Chris Stratton RHP Mississippi State $1,850,000
Undrafted out of high school, Stratton just missed being eligible as a sophomore last year; he'll turn 22 in August, so he's a bit old for his class. Stratton went just 10-10, 5.25 in his first two seasons but gained needed confidence last summer in the Cape Cod League. He has a perfect pitcher's frame at 6-foot-2, 197 pounds, and has shown flashes of three above-average pitches this spring. He had everything working in a mid-March start against LSU, striking out 17, and has maintained a similar quality of stuff since then. His fastball sits in the 91-93 mph range with his fastball, regularly touching 95 and at times reaching back for a bit more. His fastball also features natural, late tailing action that he has learned to harness. His slider is his best secondary pitch, a true plus offering, but Stratton also throws a solid-average curve that at times is above-average as well, if a bit shy of plus. Scouts laud his poise and improved feel for pitching. He's able to throw his slider both for strikes and as a chase pitch, leading scouts to give him average to slightly above-average grades for his overall command.
3 112 Toronto Blue Jays Anthony Alford OF Petal (Miss.) HS $750,000
Alford, a two-sport athlete, has committed to Southern Mississippi for both baseball and football. He's teammates in baseball with Garren Berry, son of USM baseball coach Scott Berry. And the Golden Eagles have a new football coach, Ellis Johnson, who has hired Alford's prep football coach onto his staff. In April Alford indicated he plans to go to college and play both sports. That's too bad, because many scouts considered Alford one of the class' elite athletes. Big and fast at 6 feet, 200 pounds, he was the Magnolia State's football player of the year as a quarterback and chose Southern Miss over such football powers as Louisiana State and Nebraska. He threw for more than 2,000 yards and ran for more than 1,700 as a senior, accounting for 44 touchdowns, but he's at least as intriguing on the diamond, where he's a 70 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale with power potential, too. He helped Patal High win back-to-back state 6-A championships before the team lost in the third round this spring, as Alford batted .483 with four homers.
4 147 Los Angeles Angels Alex Yarbrough 2B Mississippi $302,800
Yarbrough hopes to join a parade of Mississippi infielders who have reached the majors in recent years, from Matt Tolbert to Cam Coghlan to Zach Cozart. He's closer to Coghlan as an offense-first infielder with modest athleticism and excellent hands, and he's hit his way into consideration for the first five rounds. His hands play on both sides of the ball; Yarbrough has excellent bat control and manipulates the barrel well. He has natural hand-eye coordination and a patient approach that helped him hit .389 through mid-May in Southeastern Conference play, second-best in the conference. Coaches consider him a calming presence defensively. He doesn't get to a ton of groundballs but makes the plays on balls he gets to, with no errors in league play and just two overall. He also showed solid pop in the Cape Cod League last summer, ranking second on Cotuit behind Victor Roache in home runs and doubles, and figures to hit his share of doubles. Yarbrough's arm strength is sufficient for second base and turning the double play; he's a fringy to below-average runner. He'll have to hit to be a regular, but plenty of scouts think he'll do just that.
6 192 Baltimore Orioles Lex Rutledge LHP Samford $196,200
Rutledge ranked just behind Mississippi State's Chris Stratton among Mississippi high school pitchers in 2009, and he spurned the Brewers as a 26th-round draft pick to attend Samford. The Bulldogs made him a closer and he thrived in that role, going 5-1, 1.71 with 11 saves in 2010 and striking out 65 in 47 innings. Rutledge struggled with command when he moved into the weekend rotation in 2011 and moved back into the bullpen in 2012. Walks remained a problem, though, and he has 84 in 142 career innings with a 6.81 ERA this spring. Rutledge has thrown hard in two summers in the Cape Cod League, hitting 97-98 mph in short spurts. His fastball has resided more in the 91-93 mph range this spring but touched 95-96. If he throws strike with it, he can put hitters away with one of the draft's better curveballs, a power pitch in the 79-82 mph range with downer action. It's a swing-and-miss pitch that at times gets slurvy. He hasn't shown strong stuff when used on back-to-back days. He could go as high as the second round, but more likely will last into the fourth or fifth.
9 296 Los Angeles Dodgers Zack Bird RHP Murrah HS, Jackson, Miss. $140,000
Bird's father Eugene lettered at Southern Miss, and the raw Bird was expected to follow his dad to Hattiesburg. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder has touched 92 mph and has a projectable frame that scouts like. He's inexperienced, which shows in his inconsistent delivery and control as well as little things like fielding. He has his share of athletic ability, throws a curveball around 70 mph that could use more power but has fair shape, and the makings of a changeup.
10 321 Chicago White Sox Brandon Hardin RHP Delta State (Miss.) $20,000
Hardin was a starter at Kaskaskia (Ill.) JC for two seasons, then again as a junior at Division II Delta (Miss.) State. As a senior, he shifted to the bullpen and thrived in the role, touching 95-96 at times and adding a breaking ball and split-finger pitch. The 6-foot, 210-pounder went 5-4, 1.03 with a 36-9 strikeout-walk ratio in 35 innings.
10 337 New York Yankees Matt Snyder 1B Mississippi $10,000
Most of the top home run hitters in Division I are older, physical hitters who have the "man strength" needed to drive the ball with the new BBCOR bats. That description applies to the 6-foot-6, 215-pound Snyder. He has big league bloodlines with brother Brandon in the majors with the Rangers and his father Brian pitched in the big leagues. Matt Snyder led the Southeastern Conference with 10 homers in league play this spring, and while some scouts lament his lack of athleticism, he has strength and hitting smarts. He's improved defensively at first but is a 20 runner prone to hitting into double plays.
13 402 Baltimore Orioles Wade Wass C Meridian (Miss.) JC
14 451 Boston Red Sox Dylan Chavez LHP Mississippi
Chavez is at his third school, having pitched one year at St. Mary's and spending 2011 at American River (Calif.) JC. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has some deception in his delivery and an average fastball that at times bumps 92 mph, with good life. At his best, he pitches off the fastball, making his slurvy breaking ball and nascent changeup play up. He's tried to start and struggled in the role, but he throws strikes out of the bullpen, almost to a fault.
15 466 Pittsburgh Pirates Jon Youngblood OF Meridian (Miss.) JC
16 502 Cincinnati Reds Nick Routt LHP Mississippi State
17 527 Miami Marlins Bubba Keene OF Brookhaven (Miss.) Academy
Keene is a raw, 6-foot-4, 190-pound athlete who intends to play football and baseball at Copiah-Lincoln JC in Mississippi. He had some late looks from scouts because of his physical frame and above-average speed but was more athlete than baseball player at this point.
19 597 Los Angeles Angels Aaron Newcomb RHP Delta State (Miss.)
Newcomb was Delta State's leading winner in 2012, helping the team reach the Division II College World Series by going 11-4, 3.07. He throws strikes with a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball, cutter, changeup and curve. He's reached the 889-92 mph range with his heater, but most of the year the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder's velocity was down in the mid-to-upper 80s.
19 603 Arizona Diamondbacks R.J. Hively RHP Mississippi
Hively is a fifth-year senior who started his college career at Cal State Fullerton, taking a redshirt year and then missing a year with a back injury. The 23-year-old righthander lacks a plus pitch, though he can throw his four-seamer, two-seamer and cutter to all four parts of the strike zone.
23 712 Cincinnati Reds Daniel Sweet OF Northwest Rankin HS, Brandon, Miss.
27 819 Houston Astros Tanner Mathis OF Mississippi
Mathis is the opposite of teammate Zack Kirksey. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder has a feel for the barrel and is a consistent hitter with excellent command of the strike zone and solid baseball instincts on the basepaths and in center field. Mathis has no home run power in his slap approach and doesn't run as well as a similar player, former Ole Miss leadoff man Jordan Henry.
28 861 Chicago White Sox James Hudelson RHP Delta State (Miss.)
29 904 Detroit Tigers Zach Kirksey OF Mississippi
Kirksey is a power-hitting senior with surprising athletic ability for his size. The 6-foot, 214-pounder has the advantage of hitting left-handed, but his defense is lacking. He was Ole Miss' DH much of the season and would be limited to left field as a pro. Kirksey's bat got exposed in Southeastern Conference play, and he batted just .189 in 74 SEC at-bats and struck out more than one-third of the time (23 K's).
31 961 Boston Red Sox Austin Davis RHP Southern Mississippi
33 1006 Pittsburgh Pirates Carlos Leal C East Central (Miss.) JC
36 1097 Miami Marlins Kendall Graveman RHP Mississippi State
Graveman stepped into the weekend rotation this season and was an excellent wing man for ace Chris Stratton, complementing Stratton's power approach with average velocity on his two-seamer, usually sitting in the 87-89 mph range. Graveman doesn't miss a lot of bats, but he had given up only one homer all year. He has a decent slider and average to plus changeup with similar sink as his two-seam fastball. His best attribute is his smooth, easy delivery, which contributes to his excellent control (19 walks in 86 innings).