LOS ANGELES — Three Mississippi State baseball players were selected during the final day of the 2022 MLB Draft on Tuesday, bringing MSU’s total to seven players drafted over the three-day event in Los Angeles.
Right-handed pitcher KC Hunt was the first Bulldog to be selected on the day, going to the Pittsburgh Pirates as the No. 350 overall pick in the 12th round. In that same round at pick No. 370, right-handed pitcher Jackson Fristoe was selected by the New York Yankees. Third baseman Kamren James was the final MSU product to be selected in 2022, going to the Tampa Bay Rays as the No. 494 overall pick in the 16th round.
Hunt, a native of Wyckoff, New Jersey, made 30 appearances on the mound over the course of three seasons for the Bulldogs, including two starts. He struck out 47 batters in 42 innings of work. He began 2022 in the weekend rotation, but he missed several weeks to injury before working his way back into the bullpen. He was 2-4, posted a 7.46 ERA and struck out 32 batters in 25 1⁄3 innings. Hunt would have two years of eligibility remaining should he choose not to sign with the Pirates.
Fristoe, a native of Paducah, Kentucky, made 40 total appearances on the mound in two seasons for MSU, including 16 starts. He struck out 116 batters in 86 1⁄3 innings and went 6-7 with one save. In 2022, Fristoe made 24 appearances, including three starts. He struck out 48 batters in 37 1⁄3 innings, posted a 7.96 ERA and went 3-4 with one save. If he chooses not to sign with the Yankees, Fristoe could potentially return for three more seasons at MSU.
James, a native of Southaven, Mississippi, appeared in 138 games for the Marron and White, including 137 starts. He batted .284 with 146 hits, 22 home runs and 106 RBIs. In 2022, James batted .303 with 64 hits, nine doubles, nine home runs and 33 RBIs. James will have two years of eligibility if he chooses not to sign with the Rays.
On Day 1 of the 2022 draft, pitcher Landon Sims was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks 34th overall in the first round, while catcher Logan Tanner was selected by the Cincinnati Reds No. 55 overall in the second round. On the second day, pitcher Preston Johnson was selected by the Baltimore Orioles as the No. 197 overall pick in the seventh round and outfielder Brad Cumbest was selected by the Colorado Rockies as the No. 266 overall pick in the ninth round.
Under head coach Chris Lemonis, MSU has had 26 players selected in the MLB draft, including five first-round picks. Eleven of the 26 have been selected in the first five rounds of the draft.