Top Mississippi 2020 MLB Draft Prospects

Image credit: Mississippi State righthander JT Ginn (Trevor Birchett, Mississippi State Athletics)

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State List Talent Ranking: ????????
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale relative to what the state typically produces, with 1 being the weakest)

Nat Rank Player Pos School Ht Wt B-T Commit/Drafted
23 JT Ginn RHP Mississippi State 6-2 192 R-R Dodgers ’18 (1)
After being selected by the Dodgers in the first round out of high school in 2018, Ginn entered the 2020 season as a draft-eligible sophomore with a chance to double up on the accomplishment. However, he made it through just three innings of his first start of the season against Wright State before exiting the game. It was later announced the Ginn would need surgery on his right elbow and that he would miss the season. While the rest of the college season was canceled due to the novel coronavirus, Ginn’s status is more up in the air after being considered a top-15 caliber player in the 2020 draft class. He has plenty of prospect pedigree going back to his high school days, when his pure stuff stacked up among the best arms of a loaded 2018 prep pitching class. As a high schooler, Ginn ratcheted his fastball up to 99 mph and buried a mean, wipeout slider as well. Rather than sign with Los Angeles at the back of the first round, he had a strong freshman season at Mississippi State and proved he could be a dominant starter. He posted a 3.13 ERA over 17 starts and 86.1 innings, while striking out 105 batters and walking 19. When healthy, Ginn possesses two potentially double-plus pitches. His fastball has impressive velocity, but the pitch’s life and running action makes it even more impressive. His slider has also been graded as a future plus-plus offering by some evaluators, and he has a solid changeup as well. Ginn showed he could hold his stuff over longer outings, repeat his delivery consistently and throw enough strikes to start, but now teams will have to decide whether to take the risk on his health. He could again be a difficult sign because of the additional leverage that comes with being a draft-eligible sophomore.
33 Jordan Westburg SS Mississippi State 6-3 191 R-R Never Drafted
An impressive athlete with plus speed and plus raw power, Westburg has steadily improved as a hitter throughout his college career and had an exceptional summer in the Cape Cod League in 2019. In 25 games with Hyannis, Westburg hit .326/.385/.516 with four home runs and six doubles—enough to rank as the No. 4 prospect in the league. Westburg has been an aggressive hitter at times, with a tendency to strike out at a high clip, but he has made big strides in that department. After whiffing in 25 percent of his plate appearances as a freshman, Westburg cut that to 21 percent as a sophomore and then again to 18 percent through a small, 14-game sample in 2020. Still, scouts think he might wind up as more of a fringe-average hitter because of those concerns. While he does have plus raw power, he’s never been able to fully tap into that during games, and his six home runs in 2019 were the most he’s managed in a season. He’s been more of a doubles and gap hitter, but has a 6-foot-3, 203-pound frame that could add more weight and allow him to take a step forward in that area. Defensively, Westburg has a shot to stick at shortstop. He’s not the elite defender that scouts want to see at the position, but he’s quick, athletic and has a strong enough arm. Depending on the situation around him, he could likely handle the position, but a move to third base or second might be a better long-term fit. If a team thinks he has a chance to be an average hitter, he could go in the back of the first round, with good supplemental tools to fall back on.
36 Justin Foscue 2B/3B Mississippi State 6-0 201 R-R Never Drafted
You have to be a standout hitter to be a day one prospect as a second baseman, and Foscue fits the bill. After a mediocre freshman season with Mississippi State (.241/.332/.353), Foscue took off in 2019 when he hit 14 home runs and posted a .338/.402/.582 slash line while finishing fifth in the SEC in hits and third in total bases. Scouts believe Foscue will be an above-average hitter, though he does it with a fairly significant leg kick in his load and an approach that gets pull-heavy. Evaluators thought Foscue quieted the lower half a bit in his 14 games this spring. His strikeout and walk rates were significantly better than he’s shown before, but it was a very small sample. He has plus raw power in the tank, though scouts wonder how much of that he’ll tap into during games with a wooden bat. He played 12 games last summer with Team USA and hit just .255/.288/.362 with wood. Foscue will need to improve his defense to stick at second base, and there’s some concern that he’ll wind up in an outfield corner, which would hurt his overall profile. Coaches praise Foscue’s work ethic and baseball IQ though, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he took the steps necessary to stick in the dirt. If Foscue were lefthanded or a bit bigger (he is listed at 6-foot, 203 pounds) it would be easier to see him in the back of the first round. A team that thinks he’s a plus hitter could still take him there, but it is more likely he goes in the second.
57 Colt Keith SS Biloxi (Miss.) HS 6-3 195 L-R Arizona State
A 6-foot-3, 195-pound infielder, Keith made a name for himself as an underclassman and was named the Gatorade 2018-19 Mississippi Player of the Year after hitting .527 with eight home runs. Keith showed a knack for putting the barrel on the baseball last summer against the top pitchers in the 2020 class and scouts believe he has an impressive array of plus tools. He has plus raw power, is a plus runner and also has plus arm strength. He has gotten on the mound and throws in the low 90s, but he’s definitely a pro prospect as a hitter. A shortstop now, Keith might be forced to move to another position as he fills out his frame and gains strength. Some evaluators think he gets by defensively because of his natural athleticism and wonder if he has the hands for the position. Some scouts believe third base or an outfield position could be better fits, and he has the arm strength to hang at the hot corner or right field. Keith could be an average hitter, with good impact ability now and more on the way. He drives the ball hard to the opposite field and can easily pull the ball out of the park. Keith has an upright stance with some hand movement that prevents him from getting fully extended all the time, but when he does, he can do plenty of damage. His pure tool set fits in the second round or better but what a team thinks of his most likely defensive home and the quality of his hit tool will determine if he gets signed or makes it to campus at Arizona State.
90 Blaze Jordan 3B/1B DeSoto Central HS, Southaven, Miss. 6-2 218 R-R Mississippi State
One of the most well-known prospects in the 2020 class thanks to his loud home run displays at showcases and viral YouTube videos that started appearing when he was just a freshman, Jordan is also one of the youngest players in the 2020 class after reclassifying from the 2021 class. He doesn’t turn 18 until December and has had little trouble hitting with impact against the top pitching in his class and against older players throughout his high school career. Jordan has a mature approach at the plate, with quick, fluid hands and an all-fields approach in batting practice and in games despite his plus raw power. Teams were impressed with how he cut down his frame to give himself a chance to handle third base, though he needs plenty of improvement with his footwork, hands and throwing ability to stick there. It’s still likely he winds up at first base, which puts even more pressure on his bat. This spring, scouts believed Jordan’s weight loss affected his power output and he didn’t impress with the bat as much as the right-right corner infield prospect needed to this spring or last summer. He shows flashes of the impact hitter he could be, but didn’t do it consistently enough for scouts to put him higher than the third- or fourth-round range. Jordan could make it to campus at Mississippi State and fully tap into his hitting ability and power potential against SEC competition, but he might be a tough sign for teams as a below-average runner and a right-right likely first base prospect down the line. Teams frequently make players of Jordan’s profile prove their bat in college, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Jordan did just that.
91 Anthony Servideo SS Mississippi 5-10 175 L-R Never Drafted
Maybe it’s the hair. For the past two years at Ole Miss, Servideo had played out of position in deference to 2019 second-round pick Grae Kessinger, bouncing between right field, center field and second base. But this was Servideo’s year to take over at shortstop, and like many Rebels shortstops before him, he bleached his hair, transforming his brown hair with a shaggy blonde flow. It’s hard to argue with the results. Servideo showed significantly more strength and power, cranking five home runs in 59 at-bats, after hitting four in his first two seasons combined. His .390/.575/.695 start to the season helped erase the memories of his awful 2019 summer in the Cape, where he hit only .149/.277/.228 with a wood bat. Servideo’s offensive emergence is significant because scouts were already comfortable with his defense. He’s one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball. A plus runner, Servideo has the first-step quickness, footwork and hands to be a plus defender at shortstop and he has an above-average arm that lets him plant and fire on balls to his right. Servideo is small-framed (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) but his strong start to the spring will likely push him into third-round consideration.
114 Tyler Keenan 3B Mississippi 6-4 250 L-R Never Drafted
A three-year starter at third base for the Rebels, Keenan feasted on the non-conference portion of Ole Miss’ schedule before the coronavirus shut down the season, hitting .403/.488/.791 with seven home runs in only 17 games. Keenan’s plus power is legitimate—he also led Ole Miss with 15 home runs in 2019. If scouts were confident Keenan could stay at third base, he’d likely go higher. But he’s listed at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, which means he’s heavier than any current MLB third baseman other than Vladimir Guerrero Jr.—and heavier than any third baseman in MLB history who played 500 or more games at third other than Pablo Sandoval and Pedro Alvarez. Keenan’s hands are soft and he has an accurate arm, but his range is quite limited. As a first baseman, Keenan should be fine and his bat looks potent enough to make the switch. He has shown that he will take his walks if a pitcher tries to nibble and if they leave something over the plate, he has all-fields power. There aren’t many college hitters who can hit for average and power, so Keenan should go high enough even with defensive concerns.
148 Slade Wilks OF Columbia (Miss.) Academy 6-2 215 L-R Southern Mississippi
Wilks has one of the higher offensive upsides among this year’s high school class thanks to his power potential. A physically mature lefthanded hitter who can drive the ball to the power alleys, Wilks takes big, powerful hacks, but he has shown an ability to make plenty of contact throughout his amateur career. He has a hitch to his swing, but it has not hampered his ability to square up velocity. Defensively, he needs some work to polish his reads and routes, but as an above-average runner with an average arm, he has enough tools to be a solid corner outfielder. Wilks has signed with Southern Miss.
231 Bryson Ware SS Pearl River (Miss.) JC 6-2 193 R-R Auburn
An Auburn signee, Ware is one of the toolsier juco players in the country. His athleticism and ability to stay at shortstop in pro ball stand out, but questions about his bat may push him to Auburn. Ware has an excellent, physical 6-foot-2, 193-pound frame with body control and an above-average arm. Ware does need to speed up his actions and internal clock. His swing has some length, but he’s making more consistent solid contact now that he’s junked the more spread-out stance he used during high school. Ware has power potential that could allow him to play second or third base long-term.
234 Joshua Day SS Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) JC 6-3 200 R-R Missouri
It’s a great year for Mississippi juco shortstops, as Day has battled Bryson Ware of Pearl River (Miss.) JC for the attention of scouts. Day is less likely than Ware to stick at shortstop long-term. He shows plenty of range and excellent athleticism, but his average arm might fit better at second base or in center field. Day is a power/speed prospect with plus raw power and plus-plus speed. His swing needs to be cleaned up and limits his projection as a hitter—he hit .267/.393/.489 for Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) CC in the shortened season. Day is coachable and impresses scouts with his heady play. He’s signed with Missouri.
243 Gabe Shepard RHP Southern Mississippi 5-10 180 R-R Never Drafted
Shepard helped lead Mobile, Ala.’s Faith Academy to a 5A state title as a senior, although he missed the end of the season with Tommy John surgery. Shepard made an immediate impact for the Eagles with a strong finish to his freshman season once he was freed from pitch limits as he worked back from the surgery. Shepard threw 7.1 innings of a combined no-hitter against Rice while going 3-0, 2.35 in 30.2 innings. As a draft-eligible sophomore, Shephard’s control took a big step backward, something he also battled during fall ball. He didn’t make it out of the third inning in two of his three starts. Shepard has a fast arm and can touch 97 mph, although he generally sits 91-95. He mixes in a slider, change and cutter, but none of three is better than average. A short (5-foot-10) righty, Shepard will have to prove he can remain a starter, as some see his velocity and control issues and expect him to eventually move to the bullpen.
244 Tanner Allen 1B/OF Mississippi State 5-11 184 L-R Rockies ’19 (34)
A 36th-round pick of the Cubs in 2017 out of high school and a 34th-round pick of the Rockies last year as a draft-eligible sophomore, Allen has a near picture-perfect lefty swing, with good hand-eye coordination and a selective batting eye. Allen didn’t get much of a chance to show what he could do this spring, as he was sidelined in early March with a broken bone in his hand and didn’t get to return before the season was cancelled. Allen was hitting .240/.387/.400 at the time of his injury. But scouts have seen what Allen can do at the plate before 2020. He hit .349/.426/.516 as a sophomore and hit .308/.357/.359 last summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. What Allen doesn’t have is a clear profile. He played first, third and left field as a freshman, first base as a sophomore and right field in 2020. He’s a fringy defender in either corner-outfield spot because of his average speed. He has a shot to be an above-average hitter, but his power is mostly fringe-average.
283 Kellum Clark 3B Brandon (Miss.) HS 6-4 221 L-R Mississippi State
Clark has long been a smooth-swinging hitter, but he’s starting to become interesting on the mound as well. At 19, Clark is old for the high school class and will be a draft-eligible sophomore if he goes to Mississippi State. A big, lefthanded hitter, Clark can show feel to hit and power, but he has to choose which he wants to do—scouts who see a plus hit tool think it will come with below-average power while others see plus power with a below-average hit tool. His profile is a question because he’s a first baseman/right fielder. A righthanded thrower, his arm is an asset in right field and he’s steadily gained velocity on the mound, showing the ability to sink a 91-95 mph fastball and mix in a promising breaking ball.
374 Kemp Alderman 1B/RHP Newton Academy, Decatur, Miss. 6-4 240 R-R Mississippi
At one point, there was a hope that Alderman may turn into a catcher with power and a strong arm. Catching didn’t really take, which isn’t all that surprising considering he’s already 6-foot-4, 240 pounds with plenty of strength. But he still has a strong arm that generates 91-94 mph bowling balls with heavy sink on the mound. His breaking ball is currently sweepy and needs to get tighter and his arm action is lengthy. Alderman also has some promise as a hitter with plus raw power and some barrel feel. Aderman is young for the class—he won’t turn 18 until August. He didn’t get to play much this spring because he was on the basketball court into February. He’s a Mississippi signee.
428 Rowdey Jordan OF Mississippi State 5-10 185 B-R Never Drafted
Jordan doesn’t really have much of a pro position as he’s an undersized, 5-foot-10, 180-pound switch-hitting left fielder whose a much better hitter than slugger. In a normal year, he’d be a day three type as a productive gamer who can hit for average. He’s a .304/.381/.446 career hitter for Mississippi State.
456 Cade Smith RHP DeSoto Central HS, Southaven, Miss. 6-2 170 L-R Mississippi State
A 6-foot-2, 170-pound righthander committed to Mississippi State, Smith has shown exciting future potential with his fastball and curveball combo. Over the summer he pitched in the 89-91 mph range and showed terrific shape and bite with a 77-80 mph curveball. More recently scouts saw his heater up in the 93-94 mph range. Because of his current size, most scouts were more inclined to let him get to campus where he could add more strength, fill out and improve his control, which was below average at times over the summer. He has a long arm stroke with hooking action in the back and a wrist wrap that could hinder the consistency of his strikes. Smith has also shown a firm, mid-80s changeup, though it’s clearly a third pitch at the moment. Smith attends the same high school as Blaze Jordan, who is also committed to Mississippi State.
498 Hunter Stanley RHP Southern Mississippi 6-0 175 R-R Never Drafted
Stanley was excellent for Southern Miss in the abbreviated 2020 season, posting a 1.42 ERA in eight appearances with an exceptional 22-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12.2 innings. Stanley was a solid member of the Golden Eagles bullpen in 2019 as well. He mixes a 90-93 mph fastball with heavy sink and run and an average slider. He spots both of them well with above-average command. A short, 6-foot, 175-pound righthander, Stanley could be a useful senior sign.

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