CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Nine players with ties to the Mississippi State University baseball team heard their names called Friday and Saturday in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft.
On Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected junior shortstop Adam Frazier, the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, in the sixth round (179th overall). He has until July 12 to decide whether he’ll sign a professional contract or return for his senior season at MSU.
MSU senior starting pitcher Kendall Graveman was taken in the eighth round (235th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays. One round later, Toronto selected MSU left-handed relief pitcher Chad Girodo in the ninth round with the 265th pick.
Five other players with MSU ties were selected Saturday, the last day of the draft. Junior right-handed pitcher Evan Mitchell went in the 13th round to the Cincinnati Reds, junior right-handed pitcher Daryl Norris went in the 22nd round to the Detroit Tigers, and senior left-handed pitcher Luis Pollorena went in the 23rd round to the Texas Rangers.
MSU signees Dakota Hudson, a right-handed pitcher Dakota Hudson, and infielder Reid Humphreys also were drafted. Texas drafted Hudson in the 36th round. The fast-rising prospect from Sequatchie County (Tenn.) High School hit 92 mph as a senior this spring. Humphreys, a Northwest Rankin High School standout, the half brother of former MSU player and current Washington Nationals outfielder Tyler Moore, went in the 36th round to the Nationals. If he chooses MSU, Humphreys is expected to compete for time on the mound.
The seven current MSU players selected in the three-day draft is one short of the school record set in 2003. It matches the total from the past two years combined.
“It’s an exciting time, it’s a fun time,” MSU coach John Cohen said. “You don’t want to take anything away from your players who are going to have that experience. I remember somebody in our dugout telling me I had been drafted during a College World Series game. That’s a strange sensation when you’re playing in the College World Series and somebody said, ‘Hey, by the way, you were just drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Congratulations.’ ”
Frazier, a starter in all 64 games this season, is hitting.358 with 100 hits and an SEC-leading 229 assists.
Graveman made his 17th start of the season and the 46th of his career Saturday in a 11-6 victory against the University of Virginia in game one of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional. Graveman was selected last summer in the 36th round by the Miami Marlins and elected to return to MSU for his final season with the Bulldogs.
Girodo (7-1, 1.10 ERA) is second on the team in victories. He had 12 of his 53 strikeouts Monday in a 6-1 win against the University of Central Arkansas that clinched the NCAA Starkville Regional.
Junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe, of Crystal Springs, was the 13th player taken in the 2013 draft Thursday by the San Diego Padres. He became the 12th MSU player all-time chosen in the opening round of the MLB draft.
MSU last had four top-10 round draft selections in 1999. A school-record five Diamond Dogs, including first-round picks Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro, went in the first 10 rounds of the 1985 draft.