By Adam Brown
Ole Miss baseball’s Tyler Keenan got the call every player who picks up a ball and bat one day want to get – to hear your name called in the Major League Baseball draft. On Thursday, Keenan was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round as the 107th pick.
Keenan spent the last three seasons in an Ole Miss uniform anchored at the hot corner of third base. This past season, his glove and play named him the nation’s No. 1 third baseman in D1Baseball power rankings.
The Mariners Scouting Director Scott Hunter spoke with the media after the draft about Keenan.
“Keenan is a big power and left-handed hitter,” Hunter said. “The trend of what we look for in players is really starting to fall in play for what we did here with Tyler. He is a third baseman and a big man so we are hoping that he can stay at third base.”
In his junior season, the Clayton N.C. native led the Rebels at the plate with a .403 batting average with a team-high seven home runs and 33 RBIs. He also added five doubles to his stat line. Keenan had a slugging percentage of .791 that led the SEC and 15th nationally over the course of 17 games after the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If Keenan does it longterm, he profiles as a first baseman. He has terrorized the SEC over the last three years at Ole Miss,” Hunter said. “(He) has power to all fields and he’s hitting over .250 each year.”
Keenan was part of a club that had the longest winning streak at 16-games when the season came to an end. The Rebels’ only loss came on opening day to then No. 1 Louisville. Then, they went on a tear heading into conference play.
As a sophomore, Keenan started all 68 games with one at first base. He hit .285 with seven doubles, two triples and had a team-high 15 home runs.
In his freshman campaign, Keenan started 50 of 54 games at third base and hit .301 with nine home runs and 11 doubles. He scored 35 runs and drove in 38.
During his tenure at Swayze, Keenan garnered many accolades including 2020 First Team All-American (Collegiate Baseball), 2020 SEC Player of the Week (Week 4, Week 5), 2020 Preseason All-American (Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball), 2020 Preseason All-SEC Second Team, 2019 College Home Run Derby (2nd Place), 2019 C Spire Ferriss Trophy Finalist, 2019 Preseason All-SEC Second Team, 2018 Freshman All-American (Collegiate Baseball, Prefect Game), 2018 SEC Player of the Week (May 14), and 2018 SEC Freshman of the Week (April 2, April 9).