2nd day of MLB Draft sees Ole Miss duo get picked

2nd day of MLB Draft sees Ole Miss duo get picked
SOURCE: Ole Miss Athletics (Source: Ole Miss Athletics)

OXFORD, Miss. - The left side of the Ole Miss Baseball infield was a hot commodity on the second night of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft as juniors Anthony Servideo and Tyler Keenan heard their names called Thursday evening.

Servideo was selected as the second pick of the 3rd Round (74th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles. The Seattle Mariners later chose Keenan as the sixth pick of the 4th Round (107th overall).

The 2020 MLB Draft was shortened from 40 rounds to five as the spread of COVID-19 disrupted the start of the season. Despite the reduction in picks, Ole Miss extended its streak to 32 seasons with at least one Rebel drafted, a stretch dating back to 1989.

Ole Miss now has 199 MLB Draft selections all time, including 116 in the Mike Bianco era. The Rebel baseball program has now had two or more players taken in the top five rounds in each of the last three drafts. Nine Rebels have been taken in the top six rounds over the last three years.

Servideo became the second Rebel shortstop in as many years to be drafted in the top three rounds, joining 2019 second rounder Grae Kessinger (Houston Astros).

After spending time at second base and in the outfield as a freshman and sophomore, Servideo returned to his natural position in 2020 and was named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball at season’s end, behind only the No. 7 overall draft pick, Nick Gonzales. The junior out of Jupiter, Florida, followed only Keenan on the Ole Miss stat sheet with a .390 batting average, and he tapped into another level of power in 2020, knocking five home runs after hitting just four in his first two collegiate seasons combined.

As the everyday leadoff hitter, Servideo was an on-base machine, finishing second in the nation in walks drawn (24) and ninth nationally in on-base percentage (.575). From there, he was lethal on the basepaths, scoring 24 runs, good for fourth in the nation and second in the SEC. He was also 9-for-10 in stolen base attempts, good for the second-most stolen bases in the conference. Servideo will join the Orioles system along with Houston Roth, who was taken in the 29th round last season.

He joins a long line of Rebels who have come through the organization, including David Dellucci, who made his MLB Debut with Baltimore in 1997. Another recent Oriole, Seth Smith, is also the most recent Rebel to play for the Mariners.

Keenan will become the seventh Ole Miss product to come through the organization and is the first drafted by Seattle since Hawtin Buchanan (2014 - Round 20). Keenan is one of several Rebels who were out to a tremendous start to the 2020 season before it was cut short by the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The junior out of Clayton, North Carolina, finished the season as a Collegiate Baseball First Team All-American. He backed up his Preseason All-American billing as he paced the SEC and was second nationally with 33 RBI. Keenan was fourth in the nation and led the SEC in total bases with 53.

His seven home runs were good for second in the conference and eighth in the country. The two-time SEC Player of the Week reached base in all 17 games and finished the season on an 11-game hit streak.

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