Former Hattiesburg High star Dexter Jordan took a gamble.
That gamble paid off last Wednesday as the Houston Astros selected Jordan in the 16th round of the MLB Draft.
“I don’t really have a feeling right now,” Jordan said moments after his selection. “I’m exited for myself.”
On the morning of Day 3 of the draft, which is the 11th through 40th rounds, Jordan got a phone call from a Houston area code. He knew he was high on the Astros’ draft board, because his former travel ball coach Travis Coleman works for the club, but the moment he was drafted was still a surreal one.
While Coleman was scouting Jordan, he told him he wanted him to be a part of the Astros, and that’s what happened.
Jordan was a Louisiana-Lafayette signee in high school, but opted to play at Pearl River Community College to keep his draft eligibility this year, among other reasons. He made the move to second base to better his draft stock, and all of his decisions turned out to be the right ones, too, after not being drafted out of high school.
“That was a hard decision,” Jordan said. “Some people might of done it, or some might have gone to a university. I told myself if I stay locked in and stay grinding; good things would happen.”
Nothing is official yet, but all signs point to the two parties agreeing on a contract to make Jordan part of the organization.
“I’m going to work hard, and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” Jordan said.
Jordan led the Wildcats with 18 home runs and 66 RBI this season. He also scored 53 runs, collected 15 doubles and walked 29 times while hitting .284 from the plate.
The move to second base was something Jordan and Pearl River coach Michael Avalon talked about when he decided to play at PRCC. Avalon told PineBeltSPORTS last summer that second base could be Jordan’s home at the next level, and it looks like that could be the case.
“Defensively, he’s just made so many strides,” Avalon said in May. “He’s maturing there. He understands that it was something he had to work on. Without a doubt and a lot of credit to him, he’s put a lot of work in there and he’s been very good for us defensively.”
It was a challenge for Jordan, no doubt, but he took it in stride.
“Playing in the middle of the infield, you have to be an athletic guy and move side to side,” Jordan said. “Me going in, I knew I had to make some adjustments. The first couple of days in the fall were rough for me, but I made adjustments. Coach Avalon believed in me and believed I could be one of the greatest second basemen in college. I took extra ground balls and made myself get out there and work.
“Great things turned out for me at second base and I love it.”
At Hattiesburg High, Jordan compiled a .366 career batting average and 117 RBI. He capped off his career with a .411 mark his senior year with 50 RBI, too.
Jordan marks the second Hattiesburg Tiger to be drafted in the MLB draft in as many years. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Joe Gray in the second round of the draft last year.
Both Gray and Jordan earned Co-Player of the Year honors in 2018 as well.