Jacob Waguespack admitted it was an honor and an exciting moment when the Pirates drafted him on Wednesday.
But in the same breath, the Prairieville (Dutchtown), La., right-hander said he was also excited to enroll at Ole Miss later this month.
The Pirates took Waguespack in the 37th round, but he hasn't heard from the organization since a congratulatory call right after the selection. Waguespack has high-round talent, but he also put out a big number prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
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"Clubs said I was a projectable third-to-fifth rounder, but the Pirates took (Stanford pitcher) Mark Appel, and he's soaking up a lot of their budget. Other clubs talked, but there were signability issues. I'm pretty certain I'm going to school, and I'm excited about it."
Waguespack, who chose the Rebels over hometown LSU, plans to be at Ole Miss on June 24 and take part in second session summer school. He's going to room with Pascagoula, Miss., infielder Chase Nyman. The two played together with Marucci Elite last summer.
The Rebels are getting a power right-hander that appears to improve each time he steps on the mound. Waguespack has continued to add height and miles per hour on his fastball. He's currently 6-foot-6, 215 pounds and consistently hit 93 MPH during the Louisiana state playoffs.
Waguespack's arm action is very loose and easy, and he has the potential to add speed as he develops. He switched from a curve ball to a slider at the start of his junior season, and that will be the key for him come fall camp. Currently the slider lacks hard bite and a little velocity for the SEC level.
"I threw away the slurve, loopy curve ball I'd been throwing, and that's helped me out a lot," Waguespack said. "The slider isn't as tight as it needs to be. It has a lot of movement, and I need to cut that down and make it sharper.
"I need to eat a lot and be in the cafeteria pretty often, too… I'd like to gain about 30 pounds. At my size, I probably can handle that pretty well."
Dutchtown fell to Barbe - led by Gavin Cecchini -- in the 5A state tournament. The 2-1 loss was a tough swallow for Waguespack, who was scheduled to pitch the next day in the semifinals. Barbe went on to win the title.
"It was really a heart breaker," Waguespack said. "Most people thought that game was for the championship because other teams had run out of pitching."
Overall the season was spectacular for Waguespack. He compiled an 0.37 ERA, improving on an undefeated junior season when he had a 1.83 ERA.
"The season went really well," Waguespack said. "Not to brag, but I was really dominant. I was able to throw it where I wanted pretty much all season."
Waguespack doesn't plan to play any summer ball prior to heading to Ole Miss.
"I'll have to study more up there, but I'm extremely excited," Waguespack said. "Ole Miss is a place I would go to school even if I wasn't playing baseball."