Southern Miss Baseball: Matt Wallner drafted by Minnesota Twins
Dating back to May 16th, there may not be another college baseball player in the nation that helped his draft stock more than Matt Wallner.
Tonight, USM’s all-time leader in home runs saw that play out on the first day of the MLB first year player draft.
The junior outfielder has been selected 39th overall by the Minnesota Twins in the collective balance round ‘A’ right between the first and second rounds. Of course, Wallner was drafted by his home town Twins in the 32nd round coming out of high school in 2016 and now it all comes full circle in 2019.
That makes Wallner the highest draft day selection in program history thanks in large part to those 58 career big flies, eight of which came during his last 11 games of the season.
His tenth inning walk-off against Rice in the Conference USA Tournament propelled the Golden Eagles to their second straight title and all the way in the Baton Rouge Regional Championship against LSU.
According to MLBPipeline.com, the left-handed slugger was pegged as the 26th ranked prospect prior to the season, but has fallen to 60th in the publication’s latest rankings.
With day two of the draft now in the books, Mississippi State is up to three players that have heard their names called. Beginning with Friday night starter Ethan Small in the first round to the Milwaukee Brewers followed by another repeat selection in Jake Mangum.
After being taken by the New York Mets in the 32nd round as a pitcher last year, the SEC hit king and Conerly Trophy winner was taken by the Mets again, except this time in the fourth round as a center fielder.
Rounding out the Diamond Dawgs taken so far is right-handed pitcher Colby White going to the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth round.
As for Ole Miss, another pick late last night, with shortstop Grae Kessinger going to the Houston Astros in the second round. That was followed by a trio of Rebels getting the call today, starting with right-hander Will Etheridge in the fifth round to the Colorado Rockies, Thomas Dillard as a catcher to the Brewers four picks later, and then another catcher, Cooper Johnson, to the Detroit Tigers nine picks after that in the sixth round.