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Blue Jays select Ole Miss pitcher Gunnar Hoglund 19th overall in 2021 MLB Draft

Blue Jays select Ole Miss pitcher Gunnar Hoglund 19th overall in 2021 MLB Draft

OXFORD, Miss. — Gunnar Hoglund’s time at Ole Miss is over, but his professional career started Sunday. 

The Rebels’ righthander was selected 19th overall in the MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. It is the second time Hoglund has been selected in the first round of the major league draft. As a senior at Dayspring (Fla.) Academy, he was picked in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates but opted to take his talents to Oxford. 

The Hudson, Fla., native becomes the third highest-drafted Rebel and the highest-selected right-handed pitcher in Ole Miss history. 

Drew Pomeranz was picked fifth overall by the Cleveland Indians in 2010 and currently pitches for the San Diego Padres. In 1970, third baseman Daniel Adams went eighth overall to the Milwaukee Brewers and three years ago, Ryan Rolison was the 22nd pick in the first round by the Colorado Rockies. Righthander Lance Lynn was grabbed by the St. Louis Cardinals 39th overall in the 2010 draft.

Hoglund, a junior who already has earned his degree, had his season cut short after injuring his arm and undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. Prior to the injury, Hoglund was 4-2 with a 2.87 earned run average and 66 strikeouts in 62.2 innings.

Rebels and the draft

Ole Miss’ 2022 pitching staff took another hit as Jackson Jobe, who had committed to the Rebels, was picked third overall by the Detroit Tigers. His senior year at Heritage Hall (Okla.) High School he went 9-0 with a 0.13 earned run average and 122 strikeouts with only five walks. 

Jobe, who has a fastball that reaches 96 miles per hour and is complimented by a devastating slider and change-up, was the first high school pitcher taken Sunday. 

Sunday saw just the first round of the draft. Monday will continue with Doug Nikhazy expected to be selected. Other Rebels who could hear their names called include Tim Elko, Kevin Graham, Justin Bench, Taylor Broadway and Jerrion Ealy. 

Elko is coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee and Broadway is a fifth-year senior. Graham, Bench, Ealy and Elko (who has an extra season due to COVID) each have eligibility left with the Rebels. 

It is unlikely that Ealy would sign a pro contract no matter where he is selected. He missed the 2021 season after having off-season shoulder surgery and he will report to the Ole Miss football team in the fall. Ealy has been projected as a preseason All-SEC selection at both running back and as a return specialist.

One item of note: If Ealy were to be drafted, he would be in great company in the Ole Miss football/baseball club. Archie Manning was the 39th overall pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1971 as a shortstop. 

Stay tuned to The Rebel Walk for updates on Rebels in the MLB Draft. 

Hotty Toddy!

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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