Rebels in the Pros: A Look at Ole Miss Baseball Players in the Minor and Major Leagues
OXFORD, Miss. — There are currently 24 former Ole Miss baseball players suiting up in minor and major league baseball. Here’s a look at where they are and how they’re doing in each league.
(Note: We’ll update you on the newest Rebels drafted from the National Champion 2022 Ole Miss team as info is available.)
Gunnar Hoglund and Cole Zabowski are both in rookie ball with their respective organizations.
Hoglund, who recently was traded to the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays, is currently on a rehab assignment with the ACL Athletics. He made his first appearance of the 2022 season, on July 23, after undergoing Tommy John surgery at end of his final season (2021) with Ole Miss. In his first start, Hoglund threw two innings, striking out five, and allowing one run on one hit.
RHP Gunnar Hoglund who was charged with 1 unearned run on 1 hit with 0 walks & 5 Ks in 2 IP in his first rehab start for ACL A's this weekend… https://t.co/IJmoUoKO50
— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) July 25, 2022
Cole Zabowski was released by the Detroit Tigers following the 2021 season, but the Colorado Rockies signed him in mid-June of this year, assigning him to the ACL Rockies. Zabowski retired in mid-July.
Houston Roth, Cooper Johnson, Anthony Servideo and Doug Nikhazy are all playing at the Single-A level for their organizations.
Roth is currently with the Baltimore Orioles’ High-A affiliate, the Aberdeen IronBirds, while Johnson is with the Detroit Tigers’ High-A affiliate, the West Michigan Whitecaps.
🏅PLAYER OF THE GAME!!🏅
Congratulations Houston Roth!!🎉 pic.twitter.com/Iydrl0nYwd
— Aberdeen IronBirds (@IronBirds) July 23, 2022
Servideo is with the Baltimore Orioles’ Single-A affiliate, the Delmarva Shorebirds, and is currently on the 10-day injured list.
Nikhazy is with the Cleveland Guardians’ High-A affiliate, Lake City Captains, where Doug Day is still going strong. Nikhazy has a 3.27 ERA in 15 starts, while giving up 40 hits and 23 earned runs in 63 1/3 innings and striking out 82 batters.
#Guardians 22yr old LHP prospect Doug Nikhazy was one out & one strike away from a 7.0 inning no-hitter for Lake County! Nikhazy ended up going 6.2 innings striking out a career high 11 batters.
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) July 9, 2022
Parker Caracci: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays AA)
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 3, 2022
James McArthur: On 60-day injured list with the Reading Fightin’ Phils (Philadelphia Phillies AA)
Zack Phillips: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals AA)
Taylor Broadway: Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox AA)
Errol Robinson: Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals AA)
Thomas Dillard: Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers AA)
Not pictured: the Shuckers scoring four runs in the first on two HBP's, a sac fly and a ground out.
— Biloxi Shuckers (@BiloxiShuckers) July 30, 2022
Grae Kessinger: Corpus Cristi Hooks (Houston Astros AA)
After getting the @cchooks on the board with a second-inning RBI-double, Grae Kessinger gives them a lead with a fifth inning home run, his ninth of the season. Hooks lead San Antonio, 2-1. pic.twitter.com/1NXQXwsRKu
— Astros prospects HQ (@AstrosProspects) July 25, 2022
With back-to-back wins, the Missions take the series from CC.
Grae Kessinger, who knocked in both Hooks runs on Sunday, is batting .310 with 2 doubles, 3 homers and 10 RBIs in his last 7 games.
— Corpus Christi Hooks (@cchooks) July 25, 2022
Tyler Keenan: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays AA)
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 23, 2022
Double-A is considered the best level of minor league baseball because of the combination of young and promising talent.
These players are all at the highest level of minor league baseball, putting them on the brink of making a major league roster.
All of the players below, with the exception of Ryan Rolison, have logged time in the big leagues. Rolison suffered a season-ending injury this year. He is the Rockies’ seventh overall ranked prospect and top-ranked pitching prospect and is expected to make his major league debut at some point next season following his recovery from injury.
Aaron Barrett: Leigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies AAA)
Bobby Wahl: Oklahoma City Dodgers (Los Angeles Dogers AAA)
Mike Mayers: Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA)
Season-high seven strikeouts for Mike Mayers tonight! pic.twitter.com/iWIB3y11UL
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) July 23, 2022
Chad Smith: Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA)
Wyatt Short: Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs AAA)
Ryan Rolison: On 60-day injured list with Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA)
Lance Lynn is currently with the Chicago White Sox. Lynn, an 11-year MLB player, has pitched in 296 big-league games. Over his career, he has recorded 116 wins to 80 losses.
Lance Lynn had it going on.
6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
87 pitches – 59 strikes (11 swinging)
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) July 24, 2022
In 2021, Lynn finished third in the American League Cy Young voting. He has been selected to the All-Star game twice in his 11 seasons in the MLB.
Chris Ellis, a member of the 2014 Ole Miss team that went to Omaha, is with the Baltimore Orioles and currently on the 60-day injured list.
Ellis made his major-league debut in 2019 with the Kansas City Royals. He earned his first MLB win in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Rays where he pitched four scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven. This season, he appeared in two games in April before landing on the 60-day injured list.
Nick Fortes is with the Miami Marlins. He made his major league debut last season where he had two hits, one of which was a home run.
Nick Fortes throws out Jonathan India trying to steal third.
77 mph arm strength
1.53 second pop time
— Christina De Nicola (@CDeNicola13) July 27, 2022
He started the 2022 season in Triple-A with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp before eventually being called-up to the Marlins in late May. In 31 games this season with the Marlins, Fortes is batting .259 with four home runs and 14 RBI.
The Fish get on the board thanks to a solo shot from Nick Fortes! pic.twitter.com/SCXictOREN
— Just Baseball (@JustBBMedia) July 27, 2022
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss alum with a degree in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.