Road to the Show: Highlighting Three Former Ole Miss Rebels From the Mike Bianco Era

Drew Pomeranz and Zack Cozart were both top-round picks but couldn't do what 2014 outfielder Braxton Lee did in helping take the Ole Miss Rebels to Omaha.
Jun 19, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Mississippi Rebels outfielder Braxton Lee (11) cheers for a play against the TCU Horned Frogs during game ten of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mississippi defeated TCU 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Mississippi Rebels outfielder Braxton Lee (11) cheers for a play against the TCU Horned Frogs during game ten of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mississippi defeated TCU 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Most Ole Miss fans know the names Drew Pomeranz and Zack Cozart, two former Rebels who turned into big league All-Stars. They have proven to be two of the bigger superstars for Ole Miss in the Mike Bianco era, but some names may escape the minds of the Rebel faithful when it comes to MLB products.

Pomeranz was the fifth overall pick in 2010 and debuted with the Colorado Rockies just over a year later. It took him a couple of seasons to truly find his footing in the big leagues, but after being traded to Boston in 2016, he won 17 games for the Red Sox in 2017.

Pomeranz also won the World Series in 2018 with the Red Sox. He hasn't been the same since that 2017 season, having bounced around with a couple of clubs and currently residing as a free agent after a short minor league stint in the Los Angeles Angels organization. Pomeranz has always been a Rebel legend and one of the best to ever take the bump at Swayze Field.

Zack Cozart played a nine-year career in the bigs, suiting up in seven of those years for the Cincinnati Reds and the last two of his career with the Angels. Cozart was a second round pick in 2007 and debuted with the Reds in 2011 at short, a position where he played over 700 games throughout his professional career.

Like Pomeranz, Cozart's breakout year came in 2017 when he was named to the National League All-Star team for the first and only time in his career. Cozart is, in some ways, the trendsetter of Ole Miss shortstops going to the show with Grae Kessinger and (possibly soon) Jacob Gonazlez. Cozart finished his career with a .308 average and is one of the players you point to who helped build the foundation for what the Ole Miss baseball program has become.

Braxton Lee might be a name that escapes some Rebel fans' minds, but he was a big-time player for Ole Miss' 2014 team that broke through and made it to Omaha for the first time under Bianco. Lee was best known for his signature mohawk look and his fiery personality, which was evident through the television screen.

What you might not know, however, is that Lee made it to the big leagues, and while his short stint won't be recognized by most, his contributions in 2014 won't be forgotten. Lee transferred to Ole Miss in 2014 after two seasons at Pearl River Community College and immediately made an impact by filling a hole in the outfield.

In 2018, Lee made his debut in the Majors after being a 12th-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. He debuted for the Miami Marlins and recorded three hits in 17 at-bats in his short stint in the big leagues. While Lee might not have the professional career of Pomeranz and Cozart, he did do what those guys couldn't and helped lead the Rebels to their first trip to Omaha since 1972.


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Jackson Harris

JACKSON HARRIS

Harris, a native of Dallas, Texas, is a staff writer at The Grove Report, specializing in football and baseball coverage of the Ole Miss Rebels.