Monday Morning Coffee Break

Talking Mississippi State baseball including the draft status of signees and other things related to MSU baseball.

Mississippi State has signed 18 players during this year's signing periods and are still recruiting another pitcher, Corey Collins, and are talking to an infielder from Meridian Community College, Jordan King. In addition, there are at least 2 players that I will call invited walk-ons. Here's my guess as to where all 20 players figure in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft.

Runey Davis, a juco outfielder - Everything that I have heard indicates that he will be drafted high enough and offered enough bonus money to sign a pro contract.

Jaron Shepherd, a juco outfielder - It could go either way with him but my best guess is he will sign with the pro team that drafts him.

C.C. Watson - a high school OF/INF/LHP - He's already got an average MLB fastball (87-91 on my Stalker Gun this spring) and an above average MLB curveball that he can throw for strikes. However, I don't project that he will go in the top four or five rounds, but he could be drafted a round or two after that if he indicates that he would sign for that type money ($150,000). If not, then a team might take a chance on him in a much later round and follow him through the summer for a possible late sign. I think it's 70/30 that he will be a Bulldog next season unless the Atlanta Braves drafts him. If they draft him within the top 10 rounds, then it's very possible he could go pro. He's also a solid hitter who shows some power.

Ethan Bright, a high school infielder and RHP - He's a guy that intrigues scouts due to his projectability as a pitcher. He can consistently throw his fastball in the 89-91 range, topping out at 92-93. Due to his arm strength, he currently projects as a possible 4th round draft pick. But he wants to hit and he will have that opportunity on the collegiate level right now but very likely not on the pro level. Due to that and the likelihood that the bonus money necessary to sign him away from State won't be offered, I see him being at MSU next season.

Luke Bole, a high school INF/OF/LHP - He's a guy who had a little more velocity on his fastball as a junior than he did as a senior (87-89 when I saw him pitch this spring) and was expected to be a high draft pick due to that. Due to the slight decrease in his velocity and the lack of a solid secondary pitch that he can consistently command, it's now expected that he will stick with Mississippi State. But he could be a guy that a MLB team might draft late and follow during the summer. If he does wind up at State (and I really think he will), his projectability is still there and now that he won't be playing football, his ceiling while in college is very, very high. He's also a solid hitter with good power. So, he could very well factor in as a hitter on the college level.

Chris Stratton, a high school RHP - He already throws his fastball in the high-80s (clocked him this spring with my Stalker Gun) but he still needs to work on adding velocity to his curveball and also needs to work on his overall command. He did improve as the season went on. Due to his effortless delivery and projectability (size and current arm strength), MLB scouts that I have talked to expect him to go to Mississippi State then be a very high draft pick after his junior season.

Wesley Thigpen, a juco catcher - He's an outstanding defensive catcher with a very strong arm (1.80/1.85 pop time to 2nd base). Based on what I have heard, the St. Louis Cardinals are taking a solid look at him as a possible draft choice. He put up very good offensive numbers at MCC and should develop even more as a hitter once the MSU coaches work with his hitting. He's a hardnose player with very good leadership qualities. I fully expect him to suit up as a MSU Bulldog next season.

Nick Vickerson, a juco middle INF - He's already a good hitter on the juco level (batted .381 this spring). He's indicated in the past that he would like to go pro and I think he might sign if he is drafted in the middle rounds, but I really don't expect that to happen. I forsee him being at Misissippi State next season.

Michael Dixon, a juco RHP - He already possesses a power arm (throws in the high 80's, low 90's) but he recently told me MLB scouts haven't given an indication to him that he will be a high draft pick. And he told me it would take that kind of money to sign him away from State. I expect him to be at State next year competing for the role as the closer.

Jared Miller, a high school RHP - Jared is a guy who has come on this past season, throwing in the high 80's, low 90s. He has shown a good curveball at times this year. But he still needs to work on being more consistent with his pitches. It's possible he could be drafted late due to his arm strength and projectability, but I fully expect him to be at MSU next season.

Trey Johnson, a juco OF/LHP - He's a good hitter (.377 BA this spring) with good power (17 HRs) and solid defensive outfielder who also pitches (3.24 ERA, 4-1 record this spring). It's possible a MLB team might draft him in the mid to late rounds but I fully expect him to be at MSU next season.

Tim Statz, a juco LHP - Prior to his last outing of the season when he gave up 6 runs in 4 innings, he started four games, giving up just 5 earned runs on 11 hits and 8 walks while striking out 23 in his 22 innings of work for a 1.60 ERA. However, his status is in limbo due to recent surgery which will take about a year to recover from.

Matt Lane, a high school LHP - Matt is a pitcher who currently throws his fastball in the 85-87 MPH range, but projects well due to his body size. It's possible he could be a late round pick by a MLB team but I fully expect him to be at State next season.

Jonathan Ogden, a juco shortstop - He's a slick fielding infielder with a very strong arm but his hitting is below average. I expect him to be at Mississippi State next year.

Kendall Graveman, a high school RHP - He's a guy who throws in the mid-80s who projects well and should continue to add to his fastball velocity as he adds more muscle to his frame. I expect him to be at Mississippi State next season.

Ben Bracewell, a high school infielder/RHP - He's a solid player both in the field and as a pitcher. He's also a very good competitor. I expect him to be at State next season.

Kolby Byrd, a high school catcher - Possesses an outstanding arm and is a solid defensive catcher. He has the potential to be a good hitter with power on the college level as he continues to improve. He will be at MSU next season.

Chad Girodo, a high school LHP - He can throw in the 86-87 range for an inning (I clocked him at that velocity for an inning of relief this spring) but is more in the 82-84 range with his fastball as a starter. However, his velocity should continue to increase as his body matures. He has great command of all of his pitches and already knows how to pitch. He will be at MSU next season.

Sam Frost, a high school middle infielder - A solid player in the field and at bat. He is expected to be at MSU next season.

Carlos Leal, a high school catcher - An outstanding defensive catcher with MLB caliber arm strength. He recently told me he plans on being at State next season. And I expect him to be there.

Possible 2010 MSU 35-Man Roster (Positions enclosed in () is a player's secondary position)

Pitchers (16)

  • Luke Bole - LHP (OF/INF)
  • Justin Bussey - RHP
  • Michael Dixon - RHP
  • Chad Girodo - LHP
  • Kendall Graveman - RHP
  • Greg Houston - RHP
  • Devin Jones - RHP
  • Matt Lane - LHP
  • Jared Miller - RHP
  • Paxton Pace - RHP
  • Caleb Reed - RHP
  • Nick Routt - LHP
  • Tim Statz - LHP
  • Chris Stratton - RHP
  • C.C. Watson - LHP
  • Tyler Whitney - LHP

    Catchers (3)

  • Kolby Byrd
  • Carlos Leal
  • Wesley Thigpen

    Infielders (11)

  • Ben Bracewell - SS/2B (RHP)
  • Ethan Bright - 1B (RHP)
  • Ryan Duffy - 1B (OF)
  • Sam Frost - 2B/SS
  • Jonathan Ogden - SS
  • Jarrod Parks - 3B
  • Ryan Powers - 2B/SS
  • Frank Rawdow - SS/2B
  • Nick Ray - 1B
  • Russ Sneed - 3B/1B
  • Nick Vickerson - SS/2B

    Outfielders (5)

  • Luke Adkins
  • Brent Brownlee
  • Ryan Collins
  • Cody Freeman (1B)
  • Trey Johnson (LHP)

    The roster listed above includes 7 seniors, 9 juniors, 6 sophomores and 13 freshmen. Of the primary position players, 10 bat righthanded, 8 lefthanded and 1 switch-hits. There are 7 lefthanded and 9 righthanded pitchers.

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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