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Eleven players from Mississippi picked in draft

Published 11:45 pm Friday, June 6, 2014

Players from Mississippi colleges and high schools littered the landscape on the second day of the Major League Baseball draft.

A total of 11 players from the Magnolia State were picked as big league teams made their third through 10th round selections. The draft concludes today with rounds 11 through 40.

Mississippi State and Southern Miss both had their closers selected.

Mississippi State’s Jonathan Holder, who is the NCAA’s active leader with 37 career saves, went to the New York Yankees in the sixth round.

Holder was the second MSU player picked by the Yankees. They took Jacob Lindgren with their second-round pick on Thursday.

Southern Miss’ Bradley Roney, who tied a school record with 30 career saves but also plays third base, was taken by the Atlanta Braves in the eighth round. The Braves said they expect to develop Roney as a pitcher.

Bradley Roney
Bradley Roney

Ole Miss had four players selected Friday — pitchers Chris Ellis and Josh Laxer, outfielders Auston Bousfield and infielder Austen Anderson.

Ellis was the first Mississippian selected. The Los Angeles Angels took him in the third round, with the 88th overall pick. The right-hander went 10-1 with a 2.16 ERA this season. He’ll start Game 1 of the Rebels’ super regional series against Louisiana-Lafayette tonight.

Laxer, a Madison Central product, went to Detroit in the ninth round.

Bousfield went to San Diego in the fifth round, and Anderson to Baltimore in the ninth.

Bousfield and Anderson teamed up to give Ole Miss a potent offensive punch. Bousfield, a center fielder, won the C-Spire Ferriss Trophy as Mississippi’s top college player and is hitting .349 with 48 RBIs.

“Solid defense at all three outfield spots, but definitely stick in center field,” said Padres scout Andrew Salvo, who recommended the team take Bousfield. “He has a feel to hit with surprising power for his size. He does all the little things right.”

Anderson, Ole Miss’ third baseman, is hitting .332 with 39 RBIs.

Two high schoolers and a junior college player, and two Mississippi natives rounded out the state’s contribution to the pro talent pool.

Harrison Central first baseman Bobby Bradley was selected in the third round, 97th overall, by Cleveland. George County left-handed pitcher Justin Steele went in the fifth round to the Chicago Cubs.

Jones County Junior College pitcher Lane Ratliff was picked in the sixth round by Seattle. The Mariners also took Nicholls State’s Taylor Byrd, a Petal native, in the seventh round.

In the eighth round, Pascagoula’s Daniel Miles, a third baseman who played college ball at Tennessee Tech, was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Miles said he was at home trying to sleep off a head cold Friday afternoon when his father came into the room with a message from the Rays.

“My dad looked like he was going to kill me,” Miles said with a laugh. “He said ‘Get up! The Tampa Bay Rays are trying to get a hold of you.’ I looked at my phone and I had about 10 missed calls from my coaches and from the Rays. I called them back and they said ‘We’re going to take you in the eighth round, are you good to go?’ And I said ‘absolutely.’”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.