While MSU has made it to Virginia by now in preparation of their Super Regional series coming up on Saturday, several Bulldogs will hear their name called prior to that. One of those who is expected to hear his sooner than later is junior right fielder Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe has been expected to be a first-rounder all season long and even his slump towards the end of the season didn't push him down the mock draft boards.
The first round begins tonight at 6 p.m. with the following rounds ensuing Friday and Saturday. Keep it tuned in to MLB.com and MLBTV as well as right here on forwhomthecowbelltolls.com for all of your MLB and MSU coverage.
Thursday 7:25 p.m.: Hunter Renfroe, Junior OF: 13th Pick overall, 1st Round San Diego Padres- Renfroe became the 12th player in school history and second in the last two years to be selected in the first round of the Major League Draft. Renfroe came to MSU as 100% raw prospect and saw his tools come together in summer ball and developing under the Bulldog coaching staff. After going to Bethesda, Maryland and having his number retired during the summer of 2012, he was selected as a preseason All-American. He lived up to the hype as he's already been named a first-team All-SEC player in right field as well as garnering a Louisville Slugger All-American honor. His 15 home runs are tied for tops in the league and he has consistently hit over .350 all season. He comes in to this weekend's Super Regional at Virginia batting .352 on the year with 80 hits, 58 RBI and 51 runs scored.
As the 13th pick, he was the fourth-highest selection in Mississippi State history (Will Clark 2nd, B.J. Wallace 3rd and Paul Maholm 8th). It was only the second time in school history that MSU has had back-to-back seasons with a first round selection the only other time coming from 1992-94.
The Bulldogs competed against four teams that had a first round selection this season (Florida, Samford, Oral Roberts and Arkansas). They went 6-3 in those games. Included in those selections were two SEC pitchers, Ryan Stanek from Arkansas and Jonathan Crawford from Florida. The Bulldogs beat both of those pitchers.
Friday 1:10 p.m.: Cord Sandberg, OF; Manatee High School, FL: 89th pick overall, 3rd Round Philadelphia Phillies- Cord Sandberg has been a question for Bulldog fans for a year now. He committed to Dan Mullen last summer to play quarterback for the Bulldogs and never took a look at anyone else. He signed with the Bulldogs in February, but State fans have been skeptical on whether or not they will ever see Sandberg on campus.
Sandberg has made it known that if he comes to college he would want to play both sports. We may never know if he would because this might be a high enough pick to get him to the next level instead of college.
The lefty has a dollar amount in his head and if that number is reached, you will not see him on campus in the fall. Only time will tell.
John Lembo, a writer for the local paper in Bradenton, Fla., reports that the Phillies and Sandberg have agreed on a number. While Sandberg still has over a month to make a decision, the likelihood of him becoming a Bulldog is getting slimmer. We will keep you posted.
Friday 2:57 p.m.: Adam Frazier, Junior SS: 179th pick overall, 6th round Pittsburgh Pirates- State fans knew that Hunter Renfroe would be gone but they were hoping that Frazier would be able to come back for a final year. While it appeared maybe he would drop far enough, he was taken in the sixth round to the Pirates and is in a tough position to turn down that money and risk losing that chance coming back for a final season. Frazier, regardless of being snubbed two straight years on the All-SEC team, has back-to-back 90-hit seasons and is only the third player in school history to reach that. His career-high 94 hits this season is ninth all-time in single-season records and is nine hits away from the single-season record of 103.
Friday 4:04 p.m.: Kendall Graveman, Senior P: 235th pick overall, 8th round Toronto Blue Jays- After getting drafted in the 36th round after his junior season, Graveman sees his stock go way up after his fourth year at State. The senior led the team in innings (98.0) and starts (16) and was the only pitcher with a complete game (3) and a shutout (1). Graveman will make possibly his final start of his career tomorrow against Virginia in the opening game of the Super Regionals.
Friday 4:55 p.m.: Chad Girodo, Senior P: 265th pick overall, 9th round Toronto Blue Jays- Just 30 picks after his senior teammate and fellow pitcher was selected. Girodo follows suit to the same franchise. Following a phenomenal performance of relief in the Bulldogs regional-clinching victory against Central Arkansas, Girodo sees himself drafted in the top 10 rounds of the draft. Left out to pasture by most, Girodo changed his arm slot and has become a force out of the bullpen. Prior to the season, John Cohen mentioned how big of a jump Girodo would make. While some fans scoffed looking at his career 6.70 ERA, Girodo proved everyone wrong. This season, he led the Bulldogs in appearances (33) and carried a 7-1 record with a 1.10 ERA. In 41.0 innings, Girodo struck out 53 batters including a career-high 12 last Monday night in relief. His 33 appearances this season are tied for the fourth-most all-time in MSU history.
Saturday 12:42 p.m.: Evan Mitchell, Junior P: 405th pick overall, 13th round Cincinnati Reds- As expected, Mitchell gets drafted during his junior season. Mitchell has some seriously nasty stuff but for some reason has not been able to put it all together. It will be interesting to see if he takes the route of Devin Jones and sees a much better opportunity to just start his career and forego his senior season.
Saturday 2:26 p.m.: Daryl Norris, Junior P: 666th pick overall, 22nd round Detroit Tigers- A little bit of a surprise here. Norris came to Mississippi State as a dual-threat player and was billed to be an excellent hitter. He started off strong during his freshman season but a couple of injuries set him back a bit and he's been lost in the shuffle at third base. A couple of good relief outings on the mound have shown promise and it appears that his talent at the next level is as a pitcher. He, like MItchell, has a decision to make about whether or not to return for a senior season.
Saturday 2:34 p.m.: Luis Pollorena, Senior P: 700th overall, 23rd round Texas Rangers- The man that continues to defeat all the odds. Pollorena, diagnosed with cancer as a child, works his way into the starting rotation at MSU and now has been drafted into the major league. His home-state Texas Rangers take him in the 23rd round and he is able to continue his career. Could not happen to a better person. He is the seventh Bulldog drafted.