Four Ole Miss players were tabbed for the opportunity to continue their playing careers in the professional ranks with selection in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft on Friday.
Chris Ellis (3rd round – Los Angeles Angels), Auston Bousfield (5th round – San Diego Padres), Austin Anderson (9th round – Baltimore Orioles) and Josh Laxer (9th round – Detroit Tigers) were all drafted in day two of the annual event.
Ellis holds a 10-1 record with a 2.16 ERA for the Rebels this season as he has helped Ole Miss to a 44-18 mark on the season and an appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend. The right-hander was one of only two regular weekend starters in the Southeastern Conference to go undefeated in the regular season, not dropping a decision until the SEC Tournament.
He has pitched a pair of complete games this season, including a shutout of Georgia State in the second week of play and most recently tossing a complete game against Jacksonville State in the opening game of the NCAA Oxford Regional this past weekend. Ellis has posted big wins for the Rebels this year, including victories at No. 1 South Carolina, No. 13 Mississippi State and No. 17 Kentucky among his 10 victories.
Bousfield has been one of the top hitters for the Rebels this season and was named the 2014 C Spire Ferriss Trophy winner as the top collegiate baseball player in the state of Mississippi. The junior outfielder is hitting at a .349 clip on the year with six home runs, 55 runs scored and 48 RBI heading into the weekend of play.
He ranks among the Southeastern Conference leaders in several offensive categories, including pacing the SEC in hits with 91 through 62 games this season. He was named a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Award earlier this season which is awarded to the breakout player of the year in college baseball and has been solid defensively, committing only two errors this season and three in his Ole Miss career.
Anderson has served as one of the team’s co-captains this season and moved to third base after starting his first three seasons at shortstop for the Rebels. He holds a .339 batting average heading into the weekend with 53 runs scored, 39 RBI and four home runs.
The senior was named a third team Louisville Slugger All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball and was also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy which is presented annually to the NCBWA Player of the Year.
Laxer is the second pitcher drafted from the Rebels this season, serving as a closer for Ole Miss throughout the course of the year. The right-hander holds a 1.72 ERA and has allowed only nine walks while posting 37 strikeouts through 30.2 innings of work.
He holds a 2-2 record with five saves in 21 appearances this season. He posted relief wins over UALR and Auburn, while posting saves against No. 1 South Carolina, Arkansas State, Missouri, Auburn and Arkansas.
The 2014 MLB Draft will continue on Saturday as the Rebels open play against No. 1 Louisiana-Lafayette in the NCAA Super Regional.
–Bill Bunting, Ole Miss Sports Information
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