As Ole Miss fans mourned the loss of a baseball season with surprisingly high aspirations, it didn’t take long for thoughts to turn to the future.
And whether two of the biggest-impact players would remain a part.
The Rebels were projected to finish in the lower quarters of the SEC West and barely noticed in preseason national rankings.
But they won 16 of their first 17 games and had cracked the top 10.
Juniors Tyler Keenan and Anthony Servideo, the left side of the infield, were a big reason for the fast start.
Keenan, the third baseman, had overcome a slow start and was hitting .403 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs, leading the team in all categories.
Servideo was hitting .390 with, five home runs, 17 RBIs and 24 walks.
The Major League Baseball draft has been shortened to five rounds, but both are projected to go early in those five rounds.
How to be a millionaire
Since it appears the “slot values” for available signing bonus money will remain at the 2019 levels, Keenan and Servideo will still be millionaires if they’re drafted within the first 66 picks. They’ll get more than $800,000 if taken early in the third round.
The allure to leave remains strong if their draft projections are on point.
Where this becomes a money-saving venture for MLB owners is in rounds six and beyond. Last year the first pick in the sixth round was slotted for $321,000.
In addition to Keenan and Servideo, talented Ole Miss hitters like Hayden Leatherwood, Ben Van Cleve and Cael Baker – who were first-year junior college transfers – face similar decisions.
It’s these guys who would fall into the after the fifth round discussion.
If all of them return Ole Miss would be better equipped to handle the losses of Keenan and Servideo – who themselves could still choose to return.
In reality not much has changed for them.
Except that Ole Miss may have lost half a season of their service and feels the pain of what might have been.