LSU, Vanderbilt among several SEC teams hit hard in Sunday's MLB Draft

 Chris Lee   in Baseball

Ten of the SEC's 14 teams had players or commitments taken in the first two rounds. 

The Southeastern Conference had a huge presence in Sunday night’s first two rounds of the Major League Baseball draft, and nobody had a bigger presence on Sunday than LSU and Vanderbilt.

The Tigers and Commodores each had five commitments selected, along with a first-round pick off the current roster (Jacob Berry for LSU, Spencer Jones for Vanderbilt). LSU also had second baseman Cade Doughty selected, while the Commodores saw former ace Kumar Rocker taken early. Rocker pitched for the independent Tri-Cities franchise this spring rather than return to Vanderbilt after the Mets took him 10th overall, but didn't offer him a contract due to medial concerns. 

Vandy led off the SEC’s night when outfield commitment Druw Jones went second overall to Arizona, one pick before Rocker (Texas). Left-handed pitching commits Brandon Barriera (Blue Jays) and Noah Schultz (White Sox) also went in the first round, with righty Dylan Lesko going before both. Vandy also saw third base commit Sal Stewart go to the Reds at the 32nd pick, seven selections after the Yankees took right fielder Spencer Jones following his banner junior season in right for Vandy. 

The Tigers didn’t have it any easier. Berry went sixth overall to the Marlins, with Doughty being plucked by the Blue Jays in Round 2. The Phillies took LSU outfield commit Justin Crawford 17th overall in the first round and the Red Sox followed seven picks later by selecting shortstop commitment Mikey Romero. The Tigers may also lose third base commit Tucker Toman (77th, Blue Jays) and JUCO pitching commitment Jacob Misiorowski (Brewers, 63rd). 

That was hardly it; Tennessee had outfielders Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert (Houston) selected in the first round and right-hander Blade Tidwell (Mets) taken in the second. Connecticut pitching transfer Reggie Crawford, who’s yet to suit up for the Vols, went 30th overall to San Francisco. 

Florida, meanwhile, saw outfielders Sterlin Thompson (31st overall to Colorado) and Jud Fabian taken, along with pitcher Hunter Barco to the Pirates in the second round. Florida also lost first base commit Xavier Isaac to Tampa Bay at 29th overall.

Arkansas lost two infielders off this year’s College World Series semifinalist in Cayden Wallace (Royals, pick 49) and second baseman Robert Moore (Brewers, 72). Right-hander Peyton Pallette, who didn’t pitch this year because of injury, went to the White Sox at pick 72, while the Braves took a Razorback commit in pitcher Cole Phillips at 57. 

Mississippi State had two stalwarts from its 2021 national title team—catcher Logan Tanner and righty Landon Sims—selected, along with shortstop commitment Jett Williams (14th overall to the Mets).

Just north, the Majors took a bite out of the defending national champions when Ole Miss saw lefty Jackson Ferris (Cubs, 47th pick) and outfielder Roman Anthony (Red Sox, 79) selected. 

The Twins took Alabama lefty Connor Prilepp, who didn’t pitch in 2022, 48th overall. The Crimson Tide also had right-handed pitching commitment Walter Ford taken 74th overall by Seattle.

Auburn closer Blake Burkhalter boosted his stock with a fantastic postseason and was rewarded when the Braves took him 76th overall. 

Texas A&M, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina didn’t have any players or commitments selected on Sunday. 

The draft resumes at 1 Central on Monday for rounds 2-10, and wraps up with the remaining 10 rounds on Tuesday, broadcast both days at MLB.com.