Former TCU infielder Tommy Sacco put up career-highs in batting average (.355), home runs (14) and RBIs (58) this past season. Along the way, Sacco continued his fine work defensively at shortstop. The Astros selected the former Horned Frog in the 14th round of this year’s draft.
Nikhazy plays the game with a unique combination of emotion and savvy. With a four-pitch repertoire that includes a 94 mile-per-hour fastball, the Ole Miss left-hander was one of the SEC’s leaders in strikeouts in 2021. The junior from West Orange High School (Fla.) posted eight games with double-digit Ks this past season, including an eye-opening 16 versus Florida State in the Oxford regional nearly a month ago.
Over the course of his All-American campaign, Nikhazy ranked in the top five in the SEC in a number of categories, including strikeouts and ERA. His mix of pitches has been well-documented, as has his ability to bounce back after giving up home runs.
In terms of his draft stock, look for the left-hander to come off the board somewhere in the draft’s first 60 picks. In the last three drafts (2018-20), the Rebels have had 18 players selected, including five in the first four rounds. We spotlighted former Ole Miss shortstop and Houston Astros 2019 second round pick Grae Kessinger just a few years back.
Ole Miss’ Grae Kessinger’s grandfather, Don, was a two-time Gold Glove winner for the Chicago Cubs and once served as the Rebels head coach (1991-96). His father, Kevin, also played baseball at Ole Miss. The Astros second-round draft pick and Rebels team MVP was named a finalist for the 2019 Brooks Wallace Award, given annually to the top shortstop in college baseball. Through early June, Kessinger had committed just eight errors.
Prior to getting selected as the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Bregman was a three-year standout for the LSU Tigers. A collegiate shortstop, his defensive prowess may have even outmatched his productivity at the plate. Since moving on to the major leagues, Bregman’s power at the plate may rank as a surprise, but his arm strength does not. We take a quick photographic journey into his collegiate days with a couple of videos mixed in-between. The 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP has turned into one of Major League Baseball’s brightest young stars.