Mississippi State's superb second baseman was picked up by the Tigers in the 23rd round, #700 overall on day-three of the June draft. He was the fourth varsity Bulldog taken, the only non-pitcher of the bunch. Also, he was the lone drafted senior after a trio of juniors were taken.
A Tyler, Texas native, Pirtle signed on with Mississippi State out of Panola College where he only hit .222 and did not draw much senior college attention. But the Bulldog recruiting staff saw something and made the offer, and it proved inspired. Pirtle settled in at second base immediately and batted .310 as a junior with 60 starts in 68 games. He also became maybe the most unique ‘cleanup' batter in the college game, but it was that move of the MSU order that sparked State's run to the 2013 College World Series.
It also now makes what Pirtle did this senior season that much more impressive, perhaps even historic. Without the same sort of order-protection as enjoyed last year, Pirtle became the best batter on the ball club with a .363 average. That was good enough to finish first in the SEC overall, and he jumped almost ten points in the last weekend by notching 11 base hits at the Lafayette Regional. He was third in on-base percentage at .437 for the season, and didn't get a chance to hit 17 times because he was hit by the pitch.
Besides that, Pirtle was maybe an even more outstanding defender in the four-hole and made the SEC's All-Defense team. He was twice named second-team All-SEC overall, and was All-Regional last weekend at Lafayette.
Pirtle joined LHP Jacob Lindgren (2nd round, Yankees), RHP Jonathan Holder (6th round, Yankees), and RHP Brandon Woodruff (11th round, Milwaukee) as active Bulldogs drafted. State has not had less than three players drafted since 2002 when only a pair were picked.
At the other end of the career-spectrum, just two members of the known Mississippi State recruiting class were drafted…and at opposite ends of the draft as well. Catcher Chase Vallot was picked in the first round by Kansas City and is expected to sign of course. It took all 40 rounds before a franchise took a flyer on any other Bulldog signees, with the New York Mets calling infielder Dale Burdick's name. He is expected to report to college. Draftees have until July 18 to negotiate and sign with the club.
State has not announced any list of the 2015 signing class, and once the baseball season ends they can add more recruits after evaluating the draft as well as late-season developments. Also, undrafted Dogs can still negotiate for a free agent offer, particularly graduating seniors C.T. Bradford, Demarcus Henderson, and Derrick Armstrong.