Mississippi State junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe was drafted by the San Diego Padres with the 13th overall pick in Thursday’s First-Year Player draft.
Renfroe is MSU’s highest draft pick since current Atlanta Braves pitcher Paul Maholm went eight to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003.
Renfroe was the third overall outfielder taken in the draft. Loganville High School (Ga.) product Clint Frazier was taken fifth overall by the Cleveland Indians and Grayson High School (Ga.) center fielder Austin Meadows was selected ninth by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He was the first player from a Southeastern Conference team taken in the draft.
It is the second year in a row a Bulldog was taken in the first round. Right hander Chris Stratton was taken 20th overall by the reigning World Series Champions San Francisco Giants last June.
It is the second time MSU has had back-to-back first round picks. The Bulldogs had three first rounders from 1992-94. B.J. Wallace was selected third overall by the Montreal Expos in 1992, Jay Powell was taken 19th overall by the Baltimore Orioles in 1003 and Carlton Loewer was picked 23rd overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1994.
Renfroe is the 12th first round pick for the Bulldogs.
I caught up with Renfroe on the phone Thursday night. Here is our conversation:
Talk about the excitement of being draft: “It’s kind of pure elation, I guess. It’s very exciting. I’m spending a lot of time with my family and my friends. It’s very exciting.”
How were your talks with the Padres: “I know a bunch of new guys from San Diego. They’ll talk really nice about how nice the place is, of course you know the beach and how nice the weather is. They told me how honored they are to have me, how excited they are for me, ready to see me and ready to meet me.”
You are the 12th first round pick for MSU: “Mississippi State pulls out great players every year. Chris Stratton last year, I’m this year and who knows who could be next year, Brandon Woodruff or Jacob Lindgren. They develop them. They take the players with great upbringing and great guys. We’re a family at Mississippi State. That’s how we’ve always grown up, to be family members and to love each other. That just makes all of us better baseball players and encourage each other.”
That must be a huge weight lifted off of you? Now you can focus on Virginia: “It’s (a) honor to be drafted, but you have to look forward to playing in a super regional. All your attention has to be on Virginia right now, and get ready for them. It’s kind of like something off my chest now because I can stop worrying about this, just worry about beating Virginia and going off to the College World Series.”