OXFORD, Miss. — Although the MLB Draft was different this year, one thing that remained the same is Ole Miss baseball seeing some of its talented players selected.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the MLBPA shortened the draft from its original forty-round format to a mere five rounds; however, despite the shortened draft, the Rebels still had two players selected. With the 74th pick overall (3rd round) the Baltimore Orioles selected Anthony Servideo, while the Seattle Mariners selected third baseman Tyler Keenan 107th overall (4th Round).
The Rebel baseball program has now had two or more players taken in the top five rounds in each of the last three drafts. Nine Rebels have been taken in the top six rounds over the last three years.
Servideo to the Orioles
Servideo, an integral part of head coach Mike Bianco’s 16-1 team this season, was named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball at season’s end, behind only the No. 7 overall draft pick, Nick Gonzales.
In his COVID-19-shortened junior season, Servideo, who was named Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, settled in at shortstop to replace former Rebel Grae Kessinger, a 2019 second-round pick by the Houston Astros. The biggest improvement in Servideo’s game came from his impact at the plate, as he posted an impressive slash line of .390/.575/.690 (Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage). He also improved his pop on the bat as he hit five home runs during the abbreviated season.
“This guy is a premium defensive shortstop.”
Just what we like to hear. pic.twitter.com/Qc6XzPOFnT
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 12, 2020
Some of the biggest pluses in Servideo’s game at the next level will come in the form of his defensive presence, ability to act as a utility player all over the field, and his knack of getting on base. Rated as the 110th overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, Servideo notched 24 walks in 17 games this past season for the Rebels, which was second in the NCAA.
Servideo being selected by the Orioles does have a little bit of a sentimental factor as his grandfather played for the team in his career.
Keenan to the Mariners
While at Ole Miss, Keenan amassed 31 home runs and 137 runs batted in, while tallying a career batting average of .306. In the 2020 shortened season, Keenan made a name for himself driving in the second most runs of any player in the nation (33) while batting .406.
One of Keenan’s best translatable traits come in the form of his arm and his power, both of which attracted the eye of the Seattle front office.
Tyler Keenan brings some POP.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) June 12, 2020
The Mariners may look to move Keenan around between the two corner infield positions. He was rated as the 127th-best prospect last season by MLB Pipeline and was also rated as the nations No. 1 third baseman, according to D1Baseball power rankings.
In the Cape Cod league, where many collegiate players participate over the summer, Keenan shined as he posted a slash line of .300/.432/.467 (Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage) in 37 plate appearances.