Photo: Mississippi State

MLB Draft Preview: Mississippi

Draft : : State Preview
Allan Simpson        
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Mississippi State-by-State List

With the development of Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe into a prime-time prospect and overnight emergence of East Central shortstop/outfielder Tim Anderson and Northwest Mississippi lefthander Cody Reed into two of the elite junior-college players in the nation, Mississippi has become a prime-time destination this spring for scouts. Few states have changed their profile in a positive direction over the course of the 2013 season more than Mississippi has.

Hard-throwing Ole Miss righthander Bobby Wahl was considered the state’s only sure bet to be drafted in the first couple of rounds at the outset, but he now has plenty of company at the top of the draft board. The Mississippi high-school ranks aren't expected to contribute as much to the state’s expected draft haul. It’s possible that no prep player from the state may be drafted in the first 10 rounds—something that hasn’t occurred since 2005.

High-end junior-college prospects
WEAKNESS: High-school talent
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 4

Mississippi State
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Oak Grove HS, Hattiesburg

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Cody Reed, lhp, Northwest Mississippi CC.
Reed was a virtual unknown to the scouting community at the start of the 2013 season, but his emergence as a possible first-round pick in the span of just three months speaks volumes about possibly the best rags-to-riches success story in this year’s draft. The 6-foot-5 Reed exploded on the scene with his combination of size, mid-90s fastball and smooth mechanics from the left side.

WILD CARD: Silento Sayles, ss, Port Gibson HS, Pattison.
Sayles has drawn his share of comparisons to record-breaking base stealer Billy Hamilton, drafted out of a Mississippi high school in 2009 and now a top prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Though Sayles is extremely raw at this stage of his development, he can fly—as a record 103 stolen bases this spring at the high-school level attest—and he could be a premium-round draft on the basis of his speed alone.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Mississippi Connection:
Jacoby Jones, 2b/of, Louisiana State University (Attended high school in Richton)
Top 2014 Prospect: Mason Robbins, of/lhp, University of Southern Mississippi
Top 2015 Prospect: Jacob Robson, of, Mississippi State University


Highest Pick, Draft History:
Will Clark, 1b, Mississippi State University (1985, Giants/first round, 2nd pick)
2008 Draft: Lance Lynn, rhp, University of Mississippi (Cardinals/1st round, 39th pick)
2009 Draft: Billy Hamilton, ss, Taylorsville HS (Reds/2nd round)
2010 Draft: Drew Pomeranz, lhp, University of Mississippi (Indians/1st round, 5th pick)
2011 Draft: Conner Barron, ss, Sumrall HS (Marlins/3rd round)
2012 Draft: D.J. Davis, of, Stone County HS, Wiggins (Blue Jays/1st round, 17th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 3/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 5/4


Best Athlete:
Tim Anderson, ss/of, East Central CC; Hunter Renfroe, of, Mississippi State University
Best Hitter: Hunter Renfroe, of, Mississippi State University
Best Power: Hunter Renfroe, of, Mississippi State University
Best Speed: Tim Anderson, ss/of, East Central CC; Silento Sayles, ss/of, Port Gibson HS, Pattison
Best Defender: Stuart Turner, c, University of Mississippi; Adam Frazier, ss, Mississippi State University
Best Velocity: Bobby Wahl, rhp, University of Mississippi
Best Breaking Stuff: Bobby Wahl, rhp, University of Mississippi
Best Pitchability: Kendal Graveman, rhp, Mississippi State University; Andrew Pierce, rhp, University of Southern Mississippi


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. HUNTER RENFROE, of, Mississippi State University
The real Hunter Renfroe has stood up this spring, and there may not be a player in the 2013 draft class who has a better overall tool-set than the powerful Mississippi State right fielder. After playing sparingly for the Bulldogs as a freshman and hitting a modest .252-4-25 as a sophomore, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Renfroe has busted out with a monster junior season and leads his team with a .410 average, 14 homers and 45 RBIs. He has hit more homers than the rest of his teammates combined, and those numbers are more in keeping with the near-iconic status he achieved in two years of summer ball while playing for the Bethesda Big Train of the Cal Ripken League. Renfroe was selected the top prospect in that league two years running—first for his ability to hit tape-measure home runs as a power-hitting catcher while also lighting up radar guns to the tune of 98-99 mph as a strong-armed relief pitcher. Even with a move last summer to center field in his return to the Big Train, Renfroe was so dominant that he set a league record for home runs before the 2012 season was barely half over, and established numerous other offensive records. Though he is viewed as a legitimate big-league prospect at any number of positions, Renfroe seemed to find a comfort zone this spring for the Bulldogs as a right fielder, and his easy transition to that position speaks to his superior athleticism and versatility. There isn’t a tool in his bag that doesn’t rate as above average but it’s his prodigious power at the plate, both for distance and frequency, that truly sets him apart. Click here to read Renfroe's detailed Draft Focus report.

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