Just days after helping Mississippi reach a Super Regional, Justin Henry, the Tigers' ninth-round selection, has elected to turn pro and won't return to the Rebels. Henry teamed with his younger brother Jordan to form an explosive top of the order for the Rebels. The Henry brothers were Mississippi's top two hitters this spring, with Justin leading the team with a .381 average. He drove in 38 runs and was 22-for-27 in stolen bases.
Despite having a 6-foot-3,185-pound frame, Henry has little power, but is a line-drive hitter and can get down the line in four seconds from the left side. Defensively, Henry can play all over the field. He has played all three spots in the outfield, as well as first, second, and third base, so unless he can settle into one spot, he profiles as a super utility player.
The Tigers have been busy scouting at Sacramento City College for the last two years due to Ben Petralli being a high draft-and-follow selection, and that has afforded them the opportunity to sign two players from the school.
In 2005, the Tigers signed Louis Ott despite a commitment to Oklahoma, and two years later, they have signed outfielder Chris White, who was selected in the 12th round and will turn down Long Beach State to begin his pro career.
White was the Panthers' leading hitter with a .369 average, and he also led the team with three home runs and 45 RBIs to go with 30 steals in34 attempts. White would've played center field at Long Beach State, and he'll likely get the chance to start there as a pro. He has good speed and a good throwing arm, but he doesn't have the power to play on a corner spot. Like Henry, White is a line-drive hitter.
The final player the Tigers have inked is local product Andrew Hess from Michigan. The right-hander is the last senior to sign due to the Wolverines' run to the Super Regionals, and he has a much higher ceiling than most senior signs. At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, Hess has plenty of projection, which is rare for most seniors. Hess has a solid three-pitch mix with a fastball tops out at 92 to go with a solid curveball and changeup. For the year, Hess went 7-2 with a 4.52 ERA in 13 starts.
The Tigers also are expected to sign former Athletics farmhand Dan Fyvie, a 2001 draftee from Fenton High School. Fyvie had a 14-5 record and a solid 3.12 ERA in his tenure as a reliever in Oakland's system.
He has also spent time with the Kalamazoo Kings in the Frontier League this spring. All four players should be officially signed no later than Monday.