The MLB Draft is complete, and Mississippi State had one other player picked up today, senior outfielder Jaron Shepherd. He went in the 33rd round to the Colorado Rockies (No. 1,008 overall). That makes for four Bulldogs total, with three being picked up yesterday (plus two signees).
Shepherd said he was told the news following this morning’s practice by teammate Jarrod Parks. Parks was taken Tuesday by the Angels and told me then that he was expecting Shepherd to go before he did.
Shepherd wasn’t really surprised about where he was picked.
“Sort of, but not really. I was just really looking for the opportunity to go,” he said. “That was a big thing for me, was getting ready to start a minor league career and just work my way up through the system.”
Nick Vickerson, the Bulldogs’ second baseman, was taken yesterday by the defending American League champion Texas Rangers in the 20th round. I finally caught up with him this afternoon as State was waiting to board a plane in Birmingham.
Vickerson said he was expecting to be drafted yesterday but admits to getting a little nervous as names kept coming off the board. He was following the draft with Parks and Shepherd.
“We had been listening to all of these guys getting picked up, and we were like, golly, I can’t believe this guy went,” Vickerson said. “So I put my computer down, and (Parks) was like, ‘Hey, you just went.’ I was like, ‘Shut up.’ Then I looked at it and was like, ‘Oh. All right.’
“I was relieved, and I’m happy to be a Ranger for sure. I didn’t expect to ever get picked up by them. I really like their organization.”
Vickerson, by the way, is doing fine after being conked in the head with a pitch Sunday by Georgia Tech pitcher Luke Bard. He left the game after it happened and was feeling woozy.
“I should be 100 percent by tomorrow or Friday. I’m probably about 80 percent right now. Sprinting’s the worst thing, but I’ve been hitting and taking ground balls and all that stuff. It’s going to be all right. I got lucky not to get a concussion.”