D1Baseball.com Names Ole Miss as Nation's Top Recruiting Class
Oct. 27, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – Two weeks after earning the first No. 1 ranked recruiting class in Ole Miss Sports history, the Rebel baseball team captured the top spot in another premium baseball recruiting poll. D1Baseball.com distinguished Ole Miss with the No. 1 ranking in their complete 2016 recruiting class rankings released Thursday afternoon (Oct. 27).

The Rebels now officially have the nation’s best recruiting class according to Baseball America and D1Baseball.com, two of the most prominent baseball publications in the country.

“Being recognized with the top recruiting class by another top-notch baseball publication like D1Baseball.com solidifies the work by (recruiting coordinator) Carl Lafferty and (assistant coach) Mike Clement,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It’s been exciting to see this incoming class compete on the field throughout the fall, and I think they’ll make a major impact in the spring.”

It’s rare to have an entire recruiting class come to campus, especially one with so much talent. All 18 members of the Rebels’ 2016 recruiting class, including five selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, decided to continue their careers at Ole Miss. The class consists of 15 freshmen and three junior college transfers, including four freshmen hailing from Oxford.

“About as potent and deep a recruiting class as you’ll find in this era of the new collective bargaining agreement, Ole Miss has a crop on their hands that could set them up for success on the national scene for years to come,” said Frankie Piliere, national prospect writer and editor for D1Baseball.com.

The accolades of the incoming class are second to none. Eight earned All-America accolades last year (seven high school All-Americans and one junior college All-American), while four were listed by D1Baseball.com as a top 150 draft prospect among college and high school players. The Rebels brought in five freshmen who were ranked among the top-100 high school baseball players nationwide, more than any other school in the country.


 

 

Two new Rebels won a gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup as members of Team USA, while several others competed in prestigious all-star games throughout their high school careers. Five played in the East Coast Professional Showcase, three participated in the Area Code Games and a pair of Rebels saw action in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field.

The Rebels have been nationally ranked (top 25) in recruiting for 14 of 16 years under Bianco, including each of the last 10. Bianco and his staff have produced eight top-10 classes during his tenure; moreover, with Lafferty in his seventh year as the recruiting coordinator, Ole Miss has put together three top-5 classes, the highest ranked classes in program history.

Along with Baseball America and D1Baseball.com’s No. 1 rankings, Collegiate Baseball lists Ole Miss second in its rankings. 

Below is information on each member of the 2016 Ole Miss Baseball recruiting class. For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball on Instagram at olemissbsb and now on Snapchat at OleMissBSB. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Bianco on Twitter at @CoachMikeBianco.

 

2016 D1Baseball.com Recruiting Rankings

  1. Ole Miss
  2. North Carolina
  3. TCU
  4. LSU
  5. Florida
  6. Stanford
  7. Florida State
  8. Washington
  9. Arizona State
  10. South Carolina
  11. Vanderbilt
  12. Arizona
  13. Clemson
  14. Tennessee
  15. Miami
  16. Arkansas
  17. UCLA
  18. East Carolina
  19. Oregon State
  20. Auburn
  21. UC Santa Barbara
  22. Mississippi State
  23. Louisville
  24. Oregon
  25. NC State
  26. Georgia
  27. San Diego State
  28. Washington State
  29. Georgia Tech
  30. Indiana

2016 Ole Miss Signees

Jason Barber – RHP – Oxford, Miss. (Oxford)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Oxford High School where he was a four-year letterwinner and was coached by Chris Baughman … Tallied 35 wins with a 1.25 ERA in 281.0 innings over his high school career … Named a 2016 Louisville Slugger first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball … Earned second team All-USA honors by USA TODAY … Two-time Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year … Tabbed as a top-500 prospect by Perfect Game, including the No. 8 player in the state of Mississippi … Collected 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and second team Southeast All-Region accolades … Went 10-2 with a 1.08 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 78.0 innings as a senior, helping secure back-to-back state championships for Oxford High … Named first team All-USA Mississippi by USA TODAY … Tabbed first team all-state as a senior … Also hit .330 with five home runs and 37 RBI … Selected to the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen in 2016 … Pitched 78.0 innings without allowing a run in 2015, leading his team to a 5A state championship … Named an ABCA/Rawlings second team All-American as a junior … Held a 2.11 ERA as a sophomore and a 2.14 ERA as a freshman.

Korey Bell – RHP – Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Brentwood High School where he lettered three years and was coached by Bill Moore … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Rated as the No. 11 player in the state of Tennessee, including the No. 5 right-handed pitcher … Tabbed a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and second team Southeast All-Region player… Two-time all-district honoree, earning first team honors as a senior and second team honors as a junior … As a senior, tallied 56 strikeouts to go along with a 1.02 ERA in 41.0 innings on the mound … Also hit .376 as a senior with seven home runs and 19 RBI … As a junior, named a Perfect Game high honorable mention Underclass All-American … Collected all-district tournament team honors during his sophomore season … Was an honor roll student all four years of high school.

Bryce Blaum – IF – Sugar Land, Texas (Clements)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Clements High School where he lettered three years and was coached by Israel De Los Santos … Hit .410 with 10 home runs and 58 RBI while stealing 41 bases over his high school career… Named 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and first team Texas All-Region … Slated as the No. 35 player in the state of Texas by Perfect Game … Played in the 2016 Houston Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game … Earned first team all-district honors after hitting .440 as a senior … Tabbed a 2015 Perfect Game second team Underclass All-American … Was a member of the USA Baseball U-17 National Team Development Program … In his first season on varsity, named first team all-district with a .420 batting average.

Chase Cockrell – IF – Bastrop, La. (Hinds CC)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Spent one season at Hinds Community College where he was coached by Sam Temple … Led the team in hits (60), runs (45), doubles (19), home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.564) while playing in 47 games as a freshman ... Earned Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State first team honors … Finished second on the team in batting average (.335) and RBI (30).

HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Oak Grove High School where he lettered four years and was coached by Ty Rollinson … Four-time all-district honoree … Earned all-state accolades as a senior.

Thomas Dillard – C – Oxford, Miss. (Oxford)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Briarcrest Christian High School in Cordova, Tennessee, where he earned three letters before moving to Oxford, Mississippi to attend Oxford High School as a senior, earning another letter under head coach Chris Baughman … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Tabbed as the No. 77 player nationally as well as the No. 3 player in Mississippi, including the state’s top catcher, by Perfect Game … Posted a .388 batting average with 35 doubles, 17 triples and 33 home runs throughout his high school career … Earned 2016 Louisville Slugger first team All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball … Collected Rawlings-Perfect Game second team All-America and Southeast All-Region first team accolades … Named the 2016 Mississippi Player of the Year by Perfect Game … As a senior, hit .438 and led the nation with 16 home runs to help Oxford earn its second straight state championship … Named USA TODAY’s Mr. Baseball in the state of Mississippi, also earning first team All-USA honors … Selected to the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen in 2016 … Played in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field … Competed in the 2015 Area Code Games … Hit .406 with 12 doubles, seven triples and nine homers as a junior … Also lettered in football and bowling … Graduated with honors, landing on the honor roll and serving as a member of National Honor Society.

Will Ethridge – RHP – Liburn, Ga. (Parkview)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Parkview High School where he lettered three years and was coached by Jed Hixson and Chan Brown … Selected in the 35th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners … Ranked as the No. 49 prospect in the nation as well as the No. 7 player in the state of Georgia by Perfect Game … Posted a 23-5 record with a 1.65 ERA, 119 strikeouts and 21 walks in 148.0 innings throughout his high school career … Among college and high school players, rated the No. 137 draft prospect by D1Baseball.com and No. 176 draft prospect by MLB.com … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Collected 2016 Louisville Slugger first team All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball … Earned 2016 Rawlings Perfect Game second team All-American accolades after going 6-3 with a 1.21 ERA and 49 strikeouts over 52.0 innings as a senior … Went 13-0 as a junior, including a win in the Georgia 6-A State Championship game that gave the team a No. 1 national ranking to end the season … Participated in the 2015 East Coast Professional Showcase, featuring some of the nation’s top prospects.

Greer Holston – RHP – Long Beach, Miss. (IMG Academy)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Saint Stanislaus College before transferring to IMG Academy where he was coached by Chris Sabo … Ranked a top-200 player in the nation by Perfect Game, including the No. 4 player in the state of Mississippi and best right-handed pitcher in the state … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Made the 2016 Rawlings Top Prospect list … Named a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American … As a senior, went 6-2 with a 1.02 ERA on the mound while hitting .360 at the plate … Competed in both the Area Code Games and the East Coast Professional Showcase in 2015 … Named 2015 4A Player of the Year in Mississippi after leading Saint Stanislaus to a state championship … Posted a 12-1 record with 99 strikeouts and a 0.91 ERA over 72.0 innings …Participated in the 2015 Sun Belt All-Star Classic in Oklahoma … Tabbed a Perfect Game first team Underclass All-American as a junior … Played in the 2014 Area Code Games.

Cooper Johnson – C – Mundelein, Ill. (Carmel Catholic)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Carmel Catholic High School where he lettered three years and was coached by Bill Taylor ... Selected in the 28th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds … Among college and high school players, rated the No. 56 draft prospect by D1Baseball.com and No. 68 draft prospect by MLB.com … Ranked the best player from the state of Illinois, including the No. 39 recruit by Perfect Game … Tabbed a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game first team All-American and first team Central All-Region … Won a gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup as a member of Team USA … Played in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Made the 2016 Rawlings Top Prospect list … As a senior, named the conference’s defensive player of the year for his superb play behind the plate … Earned all-state honors in 2016 … Three-time all-conference and two-time all-area honoree … Hit .342 over his high school career, adding 33 doubles, 33 runs and 88 RBI … Competed in the 2015 Area Code Games … Earned 2015 Underclass All-American first team honors after hitting .382 as a junior.

Grae Kessinger – IF – Oxford, Miss. (Oxford)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Oxford High School where he was a four-year letterwinner and was coached by Chris Baughman … Selected in the 26th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres … Ranked as the No. 74 prospect in the nation and No. 2 in the state of Mississippi by Perfect Game … Named a 2016 Louisville Slugger second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball … Named 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game second team All-American and first team Southeast All-Region … Among college and high school players, rated the No. 143 draft prospect by D1Baseball.com and No. 167 prospect by MLB.com … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Made the 2016 Rawlings Top Prospect list … Named second team All-USA Mississippi by USA TODAY … Played in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field where his grandfather, Don, was the Chicago Cubs’ starting shortstop for 11 years … Four-time all-state shortstop … Hit .352 over his high school career, including 34 doubles, 127 runs, 83 RBI and 61 stolen bases … Led Oxford to Mississippi 5A State Championships as a junior and senior … Selected to the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen in 2016 … Competed in the 2015 East Coast Pro Showcase … Earned All-America honors as a junior (second team) and as a sophomore (high honorable mention) … 2013 freshman All-American … All-state academic team with a 4.1 GPA … Member of National Honor Society and two-year student council member … Graduated with special distinction.

Ryan Rolison – LHP – Jackson, Tenn. (University of Jackson)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended the University School of Jackson where he lettered four years and was coached by Jack Peel … Drafted in the 37th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres … Among college and high school players, rated the No. 51 draft prospect by D1Baseball.com and No. 76 prospect by MLB.com … Tabbed as the best player out of the state of Tennessee as well as the No. 51 player in the country … Earned 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game second team All-America and Southeast All-Region first team honors … Named a top-500 prospect by Baseball America … Won a gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup as a member of Team USA … Named the top prep prospect from the state of Tennessee (MLB.com) … Collected Baseball America second team All-America accolades after going 9-0 with a 0.12 ERA … As a senior, recorded 108 strikeouts in 58.0 innings to earn USA TODAY’s Mr. Baseball in the state of Tennessee, also earning first team All-USA honors … All-state, all-region and all-district honoree in 2016 … Made the 2016 Rawlings Top Prospect list … Tabbed as pitcher of the year by the Jackson Sun … Posted a 0.72 ERA with 104 strikeouts as a junior, collecting Perfect Game Underclass All-America high honorable mention accolades … Earned one letter in football.

Houston Roth – RHP – Oxford, Miss. (Oxford)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Oxford High School where he was a four-year letterwinner and was coached by Chris Baughman … Named a 2016 Louisville Slugger first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball … Rated as the No. 11 player in the state of Mississippi, including the No. 4 right-handed pitcher … Finished his high school career with a 34-2 record and a 1.27 ERA to go along with 281 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, including 23 complete games … Three-time all-state honoree … Named 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and Southeast All-Region honorable mention … Went 10-0 with a 0.44 ERA, including a complete game shutout in the state championship game to help Oxford claim back-to-back state titles … Named second team All-USA Mississippi by USA TODAY … Selected to the Clarion-Ledger’s Dandy Dozen in 2016 … Earned all-state honors as a junior, posting a 9-1 record with a 1.26 ERA en route to Oxford winning a state championship ... Named the 2014 Oxford Eagle Player of the Year by going 12-1 with a 1.70 ERA as a sophomore.

Tim Rowe – OF – Hernando, Miss. (Itawamba CC)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Spent two seasons at Itawamba Community College where he hit .358 in 79 games … Led the Indians in batting average (.418), RBI (48), runs (46), doubles (15) and total bases (115) as a sophomore … Named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region 23 team … Earned Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State accolades, belting eight home runs.

HIGH SCHOOL: Rated as the No. 61 player in Mississippi in 2014.

Brady Schanuel – RHP – Belleville, Ill. (Parkland CC)
JUNIOR COLLEGE: Selected in the 36th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics … Played one year at Parkland College and was coached by Dave Garria … Earned NJCAA Second Team All-America honors in 2016 … Named Mid-West Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and MWAC Freshman of the Year … Went 10-3 with a 1.80 ERA to collect All-MWAC First Team and all-district honors … Led the nation (NJCAA Division II) with 131 strikeouts over 83.2 innings … Helped Parkland finish the season 41-13 with a top-10 national ranking.

HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Belleville East High School where he lettered three years and was coached by Todd Blomberg … Earned all-conference and all-area accolades …. Struck out 91 in 57.0 innings to go along with a 1.37 ERA as a senior … Also was a three-year letterwinner in football while lettering twice in basketball.

Bryan Seamster – OF – Roanoke, Texas (Byron Nelson)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Byron Nelson High School and was coached by Michael Killian … Ranked the No. 50 player in the state of Texas, including the No. 12 outfielder, by Perfect Game … Named a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and first team Texas All-Region … Tabbed a Perfect Game third team Underclass All-American as a junior … Named second team all-state and was the District 5-6A MVP with a .333/.500/.583 slash line …Went 7-0 on the mound as a sophomore to earn newcomer of the year honors … Also played football.

Thomas Spinelli – LHP – Ocala, Fla. (Trinity Catholic)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Trinity Catholic High School where he lettered for four years and was coached by Tommy Bond … Named a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and second team Florida All-Region … Earned first team all-county accolades as a senior after going 5-1 with 59 strikeouts on the mound and hitting .397 at the plate … Went 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA and hit .350 as a junior to claim a spot on the all-county second team … Two-time Perfect Game Underclass All-American, earning high honorable mention in 2015 and honorable mention in 2014 … Helped lead his team to a state championship as a sophomore … Also earned two letters in football … Was a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society … Graduated as the class Salutatorian.

Jackson Tavel – LHP – Birmingham, Ala. (Corner)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Corner High School where he was coached by Josh Hoyle … Rated as the No. 6 player in the state of Alabama, including the No. 2 left-handed pitcher … Ranked a top-300 prospect by Perfect Game … Held a 27-12 career record on the mound, including 10-4 as a senior to earn 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-America and second team Southeast All-Region accolades … Two-time 5A Pitcher of the Year, first team all-state honoree and Jefferson County Pitcher of the Year (2015, 2016) … Named second team All-USA Tennessee by USA TODAY … Earned a spot on the AL.com Super All-State Team … Competed in the 2015 East Coast Professional Showcase … Went 10-0 as a junior to earn Perfect Game Underclass All-American honorable mention.

Trace Tyre – IF – Madison, Miss. (Madison Central)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Madison Central High School where he lettered four years and was coached by Patrick Robey … Ranked the No. 10 player in the state of Mississippi, including the No. 2 first baseman, by Perfect Game … Named a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and Southeast All-Region honorable mention … Finished his high school career with a .385 batting average, 41 doubles and 13 home runs … Four-time all-district … Earned first team all-state honors as a senior … Earned Perfect Game Underclass All-American high honorable mention in 2015 … Voted as team’s best offensive player all four years of high school baseball … Also lettered in football as a tight end.

Cole Zabowski – IF – Lawrenceville, Ga. (Collins Hill)
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Collins Hill High School where he lettered four years and was coached by Daniel Warzon … Ranked the No. 36 player in the state of Georgia, including the No. 3 first baseman, by Perfect Game … Rated a Perfect Game top-300 prospect … Hit .374 with nine home runs over his high school career … Named a 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game honorable mention All-American and second team Southeast All-Region … Earned first team all-state accolades after hitting .360 with 39 RBI and 11 doubles as a senior … Named to the Gwinnett County Super Six … Four-time all-region and all-county selection … Posted a .396 batting average as a junior, leading his team to a regional title and state quarterfinals appearance … Two-time Perfect Game Underclass All-American, landing on the third team in 2015 after chosen as high honorable mention in 2014 … Graduated with honors.

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