Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe was drafted 13th overall by the San Diego Padres in the Major League Draft tonight.
Renfroe (6-foot-1, 216 pounds), a junior from Crystal Springs, is the 12th Bulldog to be drafted in the first round. It’s the second consecutive year an MSU player has gone in Round 1, with pitcher Chris Stratton going 20th overall to San Francisco last year. It’s the first time State has had back-to-back first-rounders since a three-year run from 1992-94.
“It’s pure elation for me and my family,” Renfroe said. “It’s just such a surreal feeling to hear your name called and realize you’re a first round draft pick in professional baseball.
“I had a feeling it would be San Diego, and the more and more I started thinking about it, the more and more I got excited about playing in their organization and being a Padre one day.”
Entering this weekend’s NCAA super regional against No. 6 Virginia, Renfroe is batting .352 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs. His .634 slugging percentage ranks second in the SEC. Renfroe was named first-team All-American by Louisville Slugger and first-team All-SEC this year.
He’s helped lead No. 14 MSU (46-18) into the Charlottesville Regional, which begins at noon Saturday at Davenport Field. Renfroe had three hits and two RBIs in Monday’s clinching win over Central Arkansas in the Starkville Regional. He was 6 of 17 with four RBIs in the regional.
Coming into this season, Renfroe was a career .242 hitter with just four homers and 27 RBIs, with most of that production coming as a sophomore. After a strong showing in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League last summer – he hit a league-record 19 home runs – expectations were high for Renfroe, who coach John Cohen had been lauding as a five-tool player with great potential. This season, Renfroe made an impact early and quickly shot to the top of the SEC in batting, homers, RBIs and slugging.
“The entire Bulldog family is so proud of Hunter,” MSU coach John Cohen said in a statement. “He’s been one of our hardest workers and has come a long way in a short period of time. Hunter is very deserving of the distinction of being a first-round draft pick.”