A season ago, Ole Miss had the worst record in all of the Southeastern Conference. There was not a single starting pitcher who had an earned run average under six and their top three hitters were all selected in the Major League Draft.
It is a new year, and the Rebels roster looks a little different with multiple transfers coming to Oxford. Let's take a look at why the Ole Miss Rebels are the most underrated team in the SEC this upcoming season.
Who did the Rebels pick up in the Transfer Portal?
Treyson Hughes is an outfielder from Mercer University who dominated the Southern Conference in both of his first two seasons on campus. In two seasons with Mercer, Hughes had a batting average of .351 with 23 home runs and 101 runs batted in. He also had 150 hits and 26 doubles with a very impressive 1.037 OPS. Hughes should be one of three outfielders for the Rebels on opening day.
Andrew Fischer is a sophomore third baseman from Duke University. As a freshman, Fischer batted .289 with 11 home runs and 33 runs batted in. He also had 50 hits and 26 doubles with a .999 OPS. Fischer is a true sophomore this season and should start for the Rebels in the infield.
Luke Hill is a sophomore shortstop from Arizona State University. In his freshman season, Hill batted .314 with six home runs and 42 runs batted in. He also had 64 hits and 12 doubles with an .845 OPS. Hill is going into his sophomore season with the Rebels and should be the starting shortstop on opening day.
Jackson Ross is a senior infielder from Florida Atlantic University who has been the Owls starting third baseman for two consecutive years. Ross transferred to FAU after spending two years at Pasco Hernando State University. In his last two seasons at FAU, Ross batted .315 with 21 home runs and 90 runs batted in. He also had 144 hits and 36 doubles with a .943 OPS. Ross will be a fifth year senior, but will still be a great addition for the Rebels infield.
Liam Doyle is a sophomore left handed pitcher from Coastal Carolina University. Doyle spent his freshman year pitching as both a starter and reliever. In the 23 games that he pitched in, Doyle had a 4.15 earned run average in 56.1 innings with 69 strikeouts. He also posted a 1.12 WHIP and opponents had a batting average of .206 against him. Doyle was a much needed upgrade in the Rebels pitching staff.
How do the Rebels shape up better this year than last?
Last season, Ole Miss had a very solid offense, but could not stay in games due to their pitching. All of their starting pitchers had earned run averages of six or higher. Liam Doyle is going to help the Rebels pitching staff improve, along with other pitchers getting better from last season.
The Rebels offense is even better this year and the pitching staff has also improved. With these improvements, I believe that the Ole Miss Rebels will be more competitive and should be considered a team to watch out for in the SEC.