Thomas Dillard, Zack Phillips to leave Ole Miss

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two Rebel underclassmen officially announced their departure from the team in social media statements on Wednesday.

Thomas Dillard and Zack Phillips will be leaving the team for pro baseball.

“Being a kid from Mississippi, all you ever want to do growing up is play for the Rebels and wear the red and blue,” Dillard said in a Twitter statement.  “This university is a special place and will always be home for me. I will forever be indebted to Ole Miss. The relationships and memories that I have made here will last a lifetime. Hotty Toddy.”

Dillard, an Oxford native and three-year player at Ole Miss, developed himself into a critical power force at the top of the Ole Miss lineup. As a junior, he hit .310 and 14 home runs, while setting the Rebel single season walk record in the process with 61.

He was drafted in the fifth round by the Milwaukee Brewers. The No. 163 overall slot in the MLB Draft comes with a projected pick signing bonus around $315,000.

For Phillips, the mid-week starter for the Rebels became an internet sensation over the last few weeks for his antics in the dugouts. From dressing like a Ninja Turtle or Bob the Builder, Phillips always had a positive smile and way to keep the team loose.

“Thank you for such a great year. And yes, it was a roller-coaster ride, but hey who doesn’t like a good rollercoaster?” Phillips said in a statement on Twitter. “I enjoyed being able to entertain ya’ll in the dugout, and I will miss stepping onto Swayze Field with Ole Miss across my chest. I will mess every part of it, but you’ll see me around from time to time. Ninja Turtle out.”

Phillips was drafted in the 27th round of the MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals.