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Casing the States: Mississippi

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It's time for the next part of the Casing the States series. Let's move on to Mississippi.

I've got a dozen players to follow for the top ten rounds in 2010. Follow the jump to learn more about what Mississippi has to offer.

Top 2008 Mississippi Draft Picks
RHP Lance Lynn, Ole Miss, 1s-39 to St. Louis
RHP Cody Satterwhite, Ole Miss, 2-67 to Detroit
RHP Scott Bittle, Ole Miss, 2-75 to New York (AL) (DID NOT SIGN)
RHP Aaron Weatherford, Mississippi State, 3-103 to Colorado
3B Cody Overbeck, Ole Miss, 9-286 to Philadelphia
OF Rashun Dixon, Terry HS, Terry, 10-304 to Oakland
LHP T.J. House, Picayune Memorial HS, Picayune, 16-501 to Cleveland

Top 2009 Mississippi Draft Picks
SS Billy Hamilton, Taylorsville HS, Taylorsville, 2-57 to Cincinnati
SS David Renfroe, South Panola HS, Batesville, 3-107 to Boston
RHP Scott Bittle, Ole Miss, 4-129 to St. Louis
LHP Nate Baker, Ole Miss, 5-145 to Pittsburgh
OF Jordan Henry, Ole Miss, 7-215 to Cleveland

Upcoming Mississippi Draft Prospects
Top 2010 Prospect: Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
Top 2011 Prospect: B.A. Vollmuth, SS, Southern Miss
Top 2012 Prospect: Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State

Top 2010 Mississippi Draft Prospect Tools
Best Hit Tool: JaCoby Jones, SS, Richton HS, Richton
Best Power: Connor Powers, 1B, Mississippi State
Best Speed: Ryan Bolden, OF, Madison Central HS, Madison
Best Defender: Ryan Bolden, OF, Madison Central HS, Madison
Best Arm: Deshun Dixon, OF, Terry HS, Jackson

Best Fastball: David Goforth, RHP, Ole Miss
Best Breaking Ball: Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
Best Changeup: Todd McInnis, RHP, Southern Miss

Player Profiles (in Alphabetical Order) of Potential Top Ten Round Picks

Aaron Barrett, RHP, Ole Miss
Barrett has had a very long career in draft prospect circles, having already been a draftee three times. He was a 44th round draft pick out of high school back when the draft and follow system was in place, but the Dodgers chose not to sign after a year at Wabash Valley CC in Illinois. He went undrafted after his freshman year there, but was a 20th rounder in 2008 to the Twins. He didn't sign and headed to Ole Miss, where he practically imploded as a junior, becoming a 27th round pick of the Rangers at the end of the year. He had a solid summer, but the Rangers chose not to offer him a deal worth signing, and he returned for his senior year. He's been nothing but great since. He has used his above-average natural stuff to become an excellent complement to team ace Drew Pomeranz. He features a 90-93 mph fastball, above-average slider and an average changeup to deal with advanced SEC hitters. He's done nothing but boost his draft stock all year, and there's a good chance he's the first true senior arm taken in the draft, since James Paxton is no longer in school. Projected Draft Range: 3rd-6th Round

Ryan Bolden, OF, Madison Central HS, Madison
A rare right-handed hitting, but left-handed throwing athlete, Bolden is one of the more gifted overall athletes in the 2010 prep class. He features the best athletic tools of anyone in the state in this draft class, but he comes with a solid amount of risk. At the plate, he's very, very raw, and he struggles mightily with offspeed stuff. His hit tool projects as average at best due to major problems with pitch recognition, but he complements that tool with average raw power. His best offensive tool is plus speed that he uses fairly well on the basepaths, and he's more advanced as a baserunner than in any other facet of the game. In addition to his speed, Bolden features the best raw defensive tools in the state, though he's raw there, too. He has the ability to play an above-average center field, so it's all about getting repetitions and learning the nuances of the position. He has an average arm to complement his range, so most teams project him staying there long-term. Bolden offers some of the best upside in the state, but with all the risk, a lot of teams feel he'll end up at Ole Miss. Projected Draft Range: 3rd-7th Round

Corey Dickerson, OF, Meridian CC
The lone junior college player from Mississippi on this list, Dickerson has been well-known in the state for a few years. A graduate of Brookhaven Academy in Brookhaven, Mississippi, Dickerson went undrafted out of high school, but then turned in one of the most productive freshman years in school history for Meridian, leading him to get drafted in the 29th round by the Rockies a year ago. He ended up being the only Colorado draftee from the first and second days of the draft that didn't sign. Instead, he returned to school, and he's simply dominating his competition this year, leading him to start climbing draft boards. His tools are solid across the board, and he offers some of the best offensive upside from a junior college bat this year. He features an above-average hit tool and above-average raw power, and he combines that with average speed. Add in a solid-average arm and you have yourself a prototypical right fielder for size, strength, and tools. Scouts generally like his left-handed swing, and even though he's committed to Mississippi State, most think he's signable if he's picked early enough in the second day of the draft. Projected Draft Range: 5th-10th Round

Deshun Dixon, OF/LHP, Terry HS, Jackson
There must be something about left-handed throwers that hit right-handed in Mississippi, because Dixon's let another one. Dixon is more known in baseball circles for his incredibly athletic family, as he has multiple brothers that play sports on a high level. Older brother Rashun is a prospect in the A's system, but even more impressive is his older brother Anthony, who was a 4th round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the recently-passed NFL Draft as a running back. Add in one more brother playing Division II football, and you have a physically gifted family. Deshun isn't built like most of the rest of his family, as he's much smaller and less physical. However, he's gifted in his own right. As an outfielder, his best assets include an average to slightly above-average hit tool and above-average to plus speed, and he complements it with average range in center field with a plus arm. That arm also helps him on the mound, where he's a high-80s pitcher, touching 91, with an average curve and below-average changeup. Scouts are split on his future projection in terms of his position. Most think he has a better ceiling as a hitter, but he could be a very effective relief arm from the left side pretty quickly, too. His stock has dropped slowly but surely all spring, but he has no college commitment, so he could go higher than expected due to his perceived signability. Projected Draft Range: 3rd-8th Round

Tim Ferguson, OF, Ole Miss
Ferguson is a converted middle infielder that has taken over center field for the Rebels this spring. Originally from Beaumont, Texas, Ferguson landed at Ole Miss due to a lack of interest from the better Texas schools, and he became a starter at shortstop halfway through his freshman year. Moved to second base for his sophomore year, he improved offensively, but it was obvious that he would be better off somewhere that let him get playing time more consistently, as he split time at second. After a disappointing summer on the Cape, he took over the Rebels' center field job, and he's done fairly well in the process. Though his upside is fairly limited, scouts see Ferguson's versatility and speed as a positive, and he could be a nice super utility player in the future. At the plate, he features a fringe-average hit tool, and he's improved his approach every year in the Ole Miss program. He strikes out too much, but he uses his speed fairly well. He's an above-average runner underway, and he's utilized that speed in center field this year. He's shown average range and an average arm, and he gets fairly good jumps most of the time. The question for him is whether he's going to have a dedicated position in pro ball. Projected Draft Range: 7th-12th Round

David Goforth, RHP, Ole Miss
Goforth has had a nightmare season for the Rebels, and he's starting to slip from top ten round consideration. Known primarily for a plus to plus-plus fastball, Goforth has had trouble developing any other pitches to complement it. Coming into the year, Goforth was exclusively a bullpen arm, both last year as a redshirt freshman for the Rebels and on the Cape last summer. He continued that tradition early in the year, but when the team struggled to fine a Sunday starter, he moved into that role, where he continues to be as of yesterday. However, his success as a starter has been minimal. He's a small guy with durability and effort issues, so it doesn't make much sense to project him as a starter anyway. When in the bullpen, he can consistently pump mid-90s fastballs, sitting 94-96, touching 98, and he adds in a fringe-average slider to change looks. His changeup is practically non-existent, but most scouts don't care too much, since he's a reliever in the future anyway. His status as a draft-eligible sophomore clouds his signability, and with his diminishing success, he stands a real chance of falling out of the second day altogether. Projected Draft Range: 5th-20th Round

DeMarcus Henderson, SS, Wayne County HS, Waynesboro
Henderson comes from a background that isn't completely baseball, and a number of scouts think he's going to really blossom once he concentrates on the sport. A very talented quarterback in high school, Henderson turned down at least a pair of scholarship offers to continue his football playing days into college, knowing that his future really rested in baseball. He's much too small to be a real pro threat as a quarterback, but his fit in baseball is quite good. As you would expect, Henderson's a gifted athlete that relies on plus speed for most of his current game. He projects well for average, getting above-average hit tool grades, but he lacks power projection, and his defensive home is unsettled. He has the tools to be a solid-average shortstop, featuring solid range and average hands, and his arm is average, as well. However, he lacks the consistency there, and he's a good enough athlete to warrant a move to center field if a team believes it's needed. Though Henderson's total projection isn't at the elite level as with some of his fellow Mississippi high school products, he's a solid enough prospect to warrant some draft consideration. His Mississippi State commitment is considered fairly solid for his expected draft range. Projected Draft Range: 10th Round-Undrafted

JaCoby Jones, SS, Richton HS, Richton
Jones is the best prep prospect in the state of Mississippi this year, and that's due to offensive projection more than anything. Possessing one of the highest offensive ceilings for a middle infielder in the entire class, Jones has received plenty of attention from the scouting community. Featuring an above-average to plus hit tool, combined with average to above-average raw power and above-average speed, Jones profiles as an above-average offensive shortstop at the Major League level. His weaknesses mainly involve his defense, though the problems are more about him outgrowing shortstop than anything else. He features above-average defensive actions at shortstop for now, and he has solid-average range, but he could easily add 20 pounds of muscle, which might result in him moving to third base or the outfield. A former football player, his throwing shoulder has been hit hard by injuries, and a former strength in his pure arm strength is now a concern. He's still a slightly above-average thrower, but there's concern he'll never gain any more arm strength back from when it was a plus tool. However, he's still considered a future shortstop by most, and he could be a very early pick if his LSU commitment is deemed less of a threat than his Boras Corporation commitment. Projected Draft Range: 2nd-5th Round

Todd McInnis, RHP, Southern Miss
McInnis continues to prove doubters wrong as he puts together yet another solid season as the Friday starter for Southern Miss. Surprising 2009 College World Series entrants, the Golden Eagles rode McInnis to success. However, McInnis is not as highly touted in the scouting community as he is in the college baseball arena. A lightly-recruited arm out of high school, McInnis was on his way to an excellent freshman campaign when he went down with a back injury that cost him his season. He redshirted and returned to start for the Golden Eagles the next year. However, he battled forearm stiffness in the back half of the year, which limited his success and durability. Out of that history, scouts questioned his pro prospects, as he has one of the skinniest, smallest frames of major Friday starters in college baseball. They question his durability and many see him as a reliever in pro ball. He went undrafted after a solid redshirt sophomore campaign a year ago, but he's a likely top ten rounds draftee this year. He uses an average fastball sitting 88-91, an average curveball, and an above-average changeup to carve up hitters, and though he has #5 starter or swing man upside, he could be a valuable commodity as a 22 year old with a lot of experience. Projected Draft Range: 6th-10th Round

Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
Easily the best name on this list, Pomeranz figures to be the top left-handed pitcher taken in the 2010 draft. Pomeranz has been a prospect for a long time, and if it weren't for his strong Ole Miss commitment, he would have been a high draft pick in 2007 out of high school in Tennessee. However, he had to settle for a 12th round selection by the Rangers, who failed to get close to signing him. He's gone on to have a tremendous career at Ole Miss, and he will leave as one of the most decorated players in school history. He's been the Friday starter for the last two years, and he sandwiched an excellent stint with Team USA between those college seasons. Using an above-average fastball with good movement, a plus to plus-plus curveball and a developing average changeup, he gets plenty of swings and misses, and he projects to be a solid #2 starter at the next level. He's been a potential first rounder for this draft class since his freshman year, and he's done even more to cement his status as a true top ten pick in almost any year with an incredible junior year. He has outpaced fellow left-handed college starter Chris Sale for the top spot of left-handed starter in this class, and he stands a better-than-average chance of being the first college arm off the board in June. Projected Draft Range: #2 Overall-#7 Overall

Connor Powers, 1B, Mississippi State
Powers is one of the better senior bats available in the entire 2010 draft class, as he returned to school following an 11th round selection by the Dodgers a year ago. Originally from Illinois, Powers has shown solid improvement year to year while at Mississippi State, and he should easily improve his draft position by a few rounds in 2010. At the plate, he features a solid-average hit tool to go along with plus power projection, and he's had a great senior year, though he's been in a slump over the past few weeks. He's a below-average runner, though that's not a major part of his game. He gets himself into trouble at the plate when he gets overly aggressive against the soft stuff, though he's showing that he's learned from that this year, improving his plate discipline by a large margin. That could be due to experience against the league, or it could be a real marked improvement. Scouts are split on that issue, as some still think he won't be capable of laying off breaking balls at the next level. However, he does seem to be recognizing those pitches a little bit earlier this year, so there's hope that he's making improvements after being behind the learning curve coming from a cold-weather state as a high schooler. Defensively, he has the tools to be average to slightly above-average at first base, and he played third base early on in his career as a Bulldog. He should be very signable as a senior, and a team might snatch him up early in the second day. Projected Draft Range: 3rd-6th Round

Matt Smith, OF/1B, Ole Miss
Smith is a another player that has been known to scouts for quite awhile, and he was a late-round pick of the Astros last year as a draft-eligible sophomore. Originally from Georgia, Smith came to Ole Miss and stepped into the starting lineup from day one as a redshirt freshman. That's a credit to his bat and maturity, as he succeeded early on, as well. He's improved bit by bit in his three years as a Rebel, and he's expected to greatly improve his draft position from a year ago. At the plate, he features above-average raw power, but he's held back by a fairly long swing that causes him to strike out more than scouts would like. He's greatly improved upon that over the years, but he's still far from a finished product with his approach at the plate. He is working deeper counts this year than in past years, and he's starting to put balls in play with two strikes, but scouts still want to see improvement. In addition, he's a fairly solid athlete, with fringe-average speed. Smith was a first baseman most of his career at Ole Miss until this year, when the Rebels capitalized on his athleticism to move him to right field, where he has stuck all year. He's a fringe-average fielder there, with a solid-average arm, but most scouts project him to either have to move to left field or first base as a pro. He's not exceptionally comfortable in the outfield, so teams will likely base their decision for his draft position solely on his bat. He's expected to be quite signable as a 22 year old junior, so he could be drafted earlier than expected for draft budgeting room. Projected Draft Range: 4th-8th Round

The state of Georgia comes up next.