Sunday, August 14, 2022

Graham, Bench Drafted on Day Three of MLB Draft 

Two additional Rebels were taken off the board during day three of the 2022 MLB Amateur Draft as Kevin Graham and Justin Bench were selected.

Graham was the second pick off the board in the 14th round, having his rights selected by the Arizona Diamond Backs. Bench rounded out the Ole Mis draft picks, being drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the last pick fo the 17th round.

With Graham and Bench’s selections, Ole Miss had seven players overall drafted, tied for the sixth most in a single draft in program history. Ole Miss has now had 2011 players drafted all-time, including 126 in the Mike Bianco era.

At least one Rebel has been drafted in 34 consecutive seasons, a stretch dating back to 1989, and multiple Rebels have been drafted for 24 straight seasons.

During his four years as a starter at Ole Miss, Graham has demonstrated one of the sweetest swings in all of college baseball, hitting for both power and average to all parts of the field. A career .312 average hitter, the O’Fallon, Missouri, native ranks fifth all-time at Ole Miss with 38 home runs.

Perhaps the most impressive statistic in a career full of them, Graham posted a 61-game reached base streak over the past two seasons, reaching base in each of the final 60 games of the 2021 season.

One of the most versatile players in the nation, Bench was drafted as a shortstop by the Giants after having played excellent defense all over the field for four seasons for the Rebels. The 2021 Second Team All-SEC honoree has been a pillar of consistency for Ole Miss, batting over .290 each of the last three seasons with a .308 career average.

Bench owns a .418 career on-base percentage, drawing 46 HBPs and 46 walks the last two seasons. This season, the Florida product flashed with increased power, racking up 22 extra base hits, including 17 doubles.


Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

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