MLB draft taps three from MCC
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
June 9, 2004
Three baseball players from Meridian Community College were selected on the second day of the Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Freshmen first baseman Joey Lieberman, center fielder Toddrick Johnson and right-handed pitcher Matthew Rozier were taken in the draft on Tuesday, as the 50-round selection process closed. MCC third baseman Van Pope was taken in the fifth round on Monday.
The Atlanta Braves, who drafted Pope on the first day, returned to the MCC roster to select Lieberman in the 28th round (551st overall).
The Eagles first baseman, who sat out the 2003 season with a wrist injury, returned to the lineup in 2004 to lead the team in home runs (18) and RBIs (65), as MCC made its second straight appearance in the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., this year.
Johnson, who was drafted by the Florida Marlin in 2003, was selected in the 32nd round (942nd) this year by the San Diego Padres, who signed right-hand pitcher Chris Rayborn to a contract in May.
Johnson tallied a .328 batting average this year for the Eagles, splitting time between the second spot of the team's batting order and in the bottom third of the lineup. The returning sophomore scored 46 runs and stole 25 bases in 31 attempts in his first year with the Eagles.
Rozier was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 41st round (1,229th). The right-hander compiled a 5-3 record in nine starts in his first year with MCC, and he notched a 3.88 ERA in 13 appearances on the mound.
MCC also had one of its in-coming freshmen selected in the first day of the draft. Grenada right-handed pitcher Terrell Young was taken in the 10th round (288th) by the Cincinnati Reds.
Young may choose to forgo college and sign with the Reds. Amateur players do not have to sign with the teams that select them. If they remain unsigned by next year's draft, they can re-enter the draft.
East Central Community College left fielder Marcus Davis was also selected in the second day of the draft. The Warriors outfielder was picked in the 21st round (638th) by the Marlins.
Mississippi State University had three pitchers and one position player selected in the second day of the draft. The Marlins selected right-handers Jeff Lacher and Saunders Ramsey in the 24th (728th) and 50th (1,495th) rounds, respectively; right-hander James Gant was picked in the 37th round (1,109th) by the Montreal Expos; and outfielder Jon Mungle was picked in the 44th round (1,303rd) by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ole Miss and the University of Southern Mississippi each had two players selected in the second day.
Rebels right-hander Chris Thompson was picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 21st round (628th), and right fielder Charlie Babineaux was selected in the 28th round (850th) by the San Francisco Giants.
Golden Eagles right-handed pitcher Austin Tubb was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 32nd round (960th), and righty Anthony Dewitt was picked in the 36th round (1,084th) by the Houston Astros.
Mark Broom of Delta State University, which won the program's first Division II national baseball title in May, was picked in the 41st round (1,230th) by the Cardinals. Itawamba Community College's Gary McKissick was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 40th round (1,490th), and Southwest Mississippi Community College outfielder James Hall was tabbed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 41st round (1,215th).