Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo has spent his baseball life dreaming of this time. Now the time is here, and it’s very different from what he imagined.
Servideo, a junior from Jupiter, Florida, is a projected second-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
Shortened to five rounds amid the coronavirus, the draft begins tonight with the first round airing on ESPN from 6-9:30 p.m.
The remaining rounds, airing on ESPN2, will take place Thursday from 4-10 p.m.
“There are a lot of mixed emotions,” Servideo said. “Being in this position to live out my dream and take the next level is pretty special. I feel lucky to be in this position.”
Third baseman Tyler Keenan, also a junior, is also in this position.
The money savings for MLB clubs comes in the fact that the draft ends at five rounds, and the most for which free agents can sign is $20,000.
Catcher Calvin Harris, infielders Jacob Gonzalez and TJ McCants and pitcher/first baseman Kemp Alderman are Ole Miss signees who could be drafted.
The short draft should not impact Servideo or Keenan who, if projections hold, could both make a lot of money. The lowest second-round slot projection, according to MLB.com, is a fraction over $1.15 million.
With competitive balance and compensation picks before the third round, the highest third-round slot is $857,400.
The abbreviated draft and the NCAA’s decision to extend an extra year of eligibility to spring sports after the COVID-19 shutdown means many players who might have begun pro careers may instead return to college.
It’s something Servideo, who hit .390 with five home runs and a .575 on-base percentage in the Rebels’ 16-1 season, hasn’t ruled out.
“The extra year is huge. I can use that as leverage,” he said.
Servideo, though, understands his college career may very well be complete.
He’ll always remember, “the SEC tournaments, the championship games we played in, the ring we got my freshman year. I’m two-for-two on hosting regionals and obviously going to the supers last year. I’ve built life-long relationships with some guys, and I’m thankful for every minute I’ve had that jersey on.”