Four Former Bulldogs Sign Pro Contracts

Four former Mississippi State baseball players have signed professional contracts: infielder Nick Vickerson, third baseman Jarrod Parks, shortstop Jonathan Ogden and catcher Wes Thigpen.

Vickerson was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 20th round, and he’ll report to the Spokane (Wash.) Indians in the short-season Northwest League. Vickerson batted .319 with 17 doubles, nine home runs, 37 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. He was a hero in the Gainesville Super Regional, hitting two home runs, including a walkoff winner in Game 2.

Parks was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 24th round, and he will start his pro career with the Orem (Utah) Owlz of the Pioneer League. Parks, who sat out last season with a back injury, came back this year to lead the Bulldogs with a .363 average, and he led the SEC with a .507 on-base percentage. Parks set a school record this season with 20 hit-by-pitches.

Ogden and Thigpen are both free-agent signees of the Detroit Tigers, and they’ll be reporting to the team’s training center in Lakeland, Fla. Ogden hit .261 with eight homers and 36 RBIs. Thigpen started 44 games at catcher and drew constant praise from coaches and teammates alike for his handling of pitchers. He batted .237 and recorded an SEC-leading seven pickoffs.

Two other Bulldogs that were drafted are not yet signed: RHP Devin Jones (Baltimore Orioles) and OF Jaron Shepherd (Colorado Rockies). Jones is a junior and could return to school.