Braves Take State Signee Riley With #41 Pick

Mississippi State had little realistic hope of avoiding draft damage to a stellar signing class. The first blow came at the end of the first cycle, as infielder/pitcher Austin Riley was drafted by Atlanta.

The Braves used their pick in the competitive balance round-A, between the official first round and second round. Riley is the 41st overall selection. Published pay scales would put the Desoto Central, Miss., High star in the range of a $1,500,000 signing bonus.

Meaning, barring the near-inconceivable, Mississippi State’s best prep pitching signee in many a season will bypass college baseball.

Coach John Cohen and staff knew it was a gamble signing Riley. One of the Southeast’s top two-way prospects going into his senior season, he raised his ratings to #106 nationally by MLB.com and #161 by Baseball America. Perfect Game gave him a highest rating on their 1-to-10 scale of 10.

At DCHS, Riley was double-trouble. In his junior and senior seasons combined he posted a 15-5 record pitching; and hit 20 home runs with 66 RBI. For the draft he is being listed as a third baseman.

Riley was the only Bulldog signee taken in Monday's opening session of the 2015 draft. The first round, competitive balance A round, second round and competitive balance B round were done Monday with a total of 75 selections. Of those, 11 were active SEC players with more signees for league schools picked...such as Riley.

At least four more Bulldog signees—unofficial as MSU does not publish recruiting classes—are projected by various draft lists in top-200s and -500s. They are righthanded pitcher Gray Fenter, catcher Elih Marrero, LHP Jared Padgett, and OF Greg Pickett.

Rounds 3-through-10 are Tuesday beginning at noon central.


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