STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – On the final day of the 2019 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, the Mississippi State baseball program heard the names of eight current student-athletes called by professional organizations, bringing the total number of draft picks to a program-record-tying 11 over the three days of the 2019 event.
The eight Diamond Dawgs drafted on the final day of the draft were Trysten Barlow (16th round; Colorado), Dustin Skelton (18th round; Miami), Jared Liebelt (20th; Arizona), Keegan James (25th; Colorado), Marshall Gilbert (29th; Pittsburgh), Peyton Plumlee (31st; Houston), Cole Gordon (32nd; New York Mets) and Tanner Allen (34; Colorado).
Four of the eight Bulldogs drafted on the final day of the MLB Draft already own their degrees: Barlow, Gordon, James and Liebelt.
The 11 draft picks in 2019 are tied for the program-record with the 2016 team. All time, there have been 159 different Diamond Dawgs selected in the MLB Draft (since 1965) for a total of 208 picks.
The first Diamond Dawg to go on the third day of the MLB Draft was Barlow. A solid option out of the bullpen for MSU in 2019, posting 27 appearances and a 3-1 record. In 24 innings of work, Barlow has limited the opposition to a .225 batting average and struck out 32 batters.
For his career, Barlow owns a 3-3 record with 63 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings. He has appeared in 57 games – all in relief – and holds opposing hitters to just a .228 batting average.
Skelton is enjoying his finest season at the plate and behind the plate. The backstop has thrown out 34 percent of potential base stealers (19-of-56), with his 19 runners thrown out tied for the most in the SEC. He is also enjoying a breakout season at the plate, hitting .308 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs. Along with career highs in average, he also owns a career-best total in runs scored (36), hits (62) and total bases (100).
Skelton is a career .269 hitter with 105 hits, 15 doubles, 11 home runs and 73 RBIs in 139 games played, with 109 starts.
One of the anchors in the MSU bullpen this season, Liebelt leads the team with 30 appearances and paces the bullpen with 49 1/3 innings. He boasts a 2-0 record with five saves and limits the opposition to a .255 batting average. He has 32 strikeouts and just nine walks in 2019 to go along with a 2.74 ERA.
For his career, Liebelt began his collegiate career at Waubonsee Community College before joining MSU in 2018. He owns 42 career appearances at MSU and has worked 62 1/3 innings with 39 strikeouts.
James has spent four seasons on campus and compiled 112 innings on the mound in three seasons on the field. This season, James has made 17 appearances with eight starts. In 39 1/3 innings of work, the right-handed pitcher owns 38 strikeouts and a .279 batting average against.
For his career, James has made 57 appearances, 12 of those start, and owns an 8-3 record. In his 112 innings of work, he has fanned 98 batters and owns a .280 batting average against.
Another Diamond Dawg enjoying a breakout year is Gilbert, who is hitting .308 on the season and made a position change mid-season. Moving from catcher to third base, Gilbert has appeared in 50 games with 30 starts. Along with a career-best average, Gilbert also owns career highs for runs scored (21), home runs (5), total bases (57) and walks (19) this season.
Gilbert started his collegiate career at John A. Logan College before joining the MSU roster in 2018. In two seasons, Gilbert has started 61 of his 91 games appeared in. and is a career .281 hitter with seven home runs. He also has a .385 on-base percentage.
Plumlee has solidified the MSU rotation over the final nine weeks of the season, making 19 appearances and 14 starts. In a career-high 74 1/3 innings of work in 2019, Plumlee has allowed just 59 hits and struck out a career-best 57 batters. He owns a 6-4 record with a 3.87 ERA and a .213 batting average against.
For his career, Plumlee is 12-5 in two seasons on the field with a 3.94 ERA and a .235 batting average against. He owns 111 strikeouts in 148 1/3 innings of work in 45 career appearances. Of his 45 career starts, 22 of those have come in the starting role, while he also has one save to his credit.
The anchor of Diamond Dawgs bullpen the last two seasons, Gordon has seen time at the plate and in the field during his five seasons on campus. In 2019, Gordon owns a team-best 11 saves and a 4-0 record in 26 appearances. He has fanned 61 batters in 38 2/3 innings and allowed just 28 hits. His 11 saves are No. 7 in MSU single-season history.
A hitter his redshirt campaign, Gordon started pitching during his sophomore campaign and has appeared in 75 games on the mound with 10 starts – nine coming in 2017. He has amassed 188 strikeouts in 155 1/3 innings of work, while limiting the opposition to a .255 batting average in his career. He also owns three career home runs and has 12 career RBIs at the plate.
Allen is enjoying a breakout sophomore season with a .350 batting average in 62 starts at first base. He also owns career highs in runs scored (55), hits (87), doubles (22), home runs (7), RBIs (63) and walks (32). Allen has also played a solid first base, committing just two errors in 527 chances in the field. It is the second time in his career that Allen has been drafted, as he was a 36th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 MLB Draft coming out of UMS-Wright Prep.
Complete list of Diamond Dawgs taken in the 2019 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft;
Round – Name – Pos. – Organization
1 – Ethan Small – LHP – Milwaukee Brewers
4 – Jake Mangum – OF – New York Mets
6 – Colby White – RHP – Tampa Bay Rays
16 – Trysten Barlow – LHP – Colorado Rockies
18 – Dustin Skelton – C – Miami Marlins
20 – Jared Liebelt – RHP – Arizona Diamondbacks
25 – Keegan James – RHP – Colorado Rockies
29 – Marshall Gilbert – C – Pittsburgh Pirates
31 – Peyton Plumlee – RHP – Houston Astros
32 – Cole Gordon – RHP – New York Mets
34 – Tanner Allen – 1B – Colorado Rockies