Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dandy Dozen 2015: Mississippi's best

The Clarion Ledger compiled their top 12 players in the state. Ms State signed 8 of those players.

Austin Riley---Desoto Central HS
Jake Mangum---Jackson Prep
Noah Hughes---Jackson Prep
Konnor Pilkington---East Central HS
Delvin Zinn---Pontotoc HS
Keegan James---Desoto Central HS
Brant Blaylock---Desoto Central HS
Luke Alexander---Belmont HS

These guys all represent themselves well. Watch for game is DeSoto is hosting Prep in April. Should be good.

Great job by our coaches to conquer the state!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Travis Chapman, former player

Travis is now the defensive coach with the Charleston RiverDogs of they Sally League. New York Yankees farm system. Here is the write up.

Chapman, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., begins his first season with Charleston and his third as a coach in the Yankees system. He made his managerial debut in 2014, leading the GCL Yankees to the best record in the Northwest Division (38-22). Chapman made his professional coaching debut in 2013 as a coach for the GCL Yankees, helping lead the club to a 36-24 (.600) record and a first-place finish in the Northeast Division. As a player, Chapman was originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 17th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. He played in 506 combined minor league games over seven seasons with the Philadelphia (2000-03), Kansas City (2004), Cincinnati (2005) and Pittsburgh (2006) organizations and hit .286 (506-for-1,771) with 227 runs, 117 doubles, 41 home runs and 286 RBI, mostly at third base. He attended Mississippi State University from 1997-2000, where he set the school's career records for doubles (71), sacrifice flies (22) and hit-by-pitches (44), as well as the single-season hit-by-pitches record (19).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Opening Weekend Thoughts

I knew by the end of fall, the batting lineup was shaping up to have talented and experienced hitters 1 through 9. We missed Gavin Collins the whole weekend and Michael Smith most of it. We reeled off a few innings where the other team struggled to get 3 outs. Our batters took close pitches and walked. Then sat back and hit the fast ball because the pitchers couldn't throw any other pitch for a strike.

Preston Brown is the Friday night starter, no doubt. If he can stay healthy and stay in the Friday role, we will be a very good club. The other starters struggled some. Two of the 4 starters were true freshmen and they were nervous. We hope they are over it. Lucas Laster struggled but generally he was very good in the fall and early spring. He will bounce back.

The bullpen was outstanding. I do believe Moonlight Tatum might be a starter now. Daniel Brown was lights out and should replace Tatum as the heir apparent to the Jacob Lindgren role. A lefty closer. All we need is to keep running them out there and play games.

It looks like Matt Spruill and Luke Reynolds will share the 3B duties while Matthew Britton will come off the bench for his superb defensive skill.

True freshman sensation Ryan Gridley looked like a veteran. He smoothly scooped up grounders and he was not over matched at the plate. He got three hits. He will play a lot.

JC transfer Michael Smith in his only AB, smashed it over the LF head and pulled into 2B with a muscle strain. I look for great things from him. Awesome player.

The MIF defense, as I said in preseason, is superb. Seth Heck and John Holland are quick to the ball, quick release and their footwork is terrific. Expect many more double plays.

I was disappointed true freshman Cole Gordon didn't play. I suspect he would have been the starting pitcher on Tuesday but the game was cancelled. I expect Cole to play a lot this year.

Wes Rea did not play on Sunday after taking one off the knee on Saturday. His status for this weekend is questionable. He had a great weekend. I hope he continues to hit the ball.

Jacob Robson just went off. He so much wanted to prove he is a good player. He showed it.

I think this lineup is better than any lineup we had in 2013, 1 through 9. We are deeper at all spots.

Heck  SS
Holland  2B
Collins  C
Hump  LF
Robson  CF
Rea  1B
Smith  RF
Reynolds  DH
Spruill  3B

Monday, February 9, 2015

My first weekend lineup

Michael Smith: RF/bats right
Seth Heck: SS/bats right
John Holland: 2B/bats left
Reid Humphreys: LF/bats right
Wes Rea: 1B/bats right
Luke Reynolds: DH/bats left
Matthew Britton: 3B/bats left
Josh Lovelady: C/bats right
Jacob Robson: CF/bats left

But lots of players will get PT. Pitchers won't play very long. Doubtful any will go over 70 pitches.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Last weekend scrimmage 2/8

What this weekend showed:

Preston Brown, Lucas Laster and Ross Mitchell are your weekend rotation as of now. That could change during the season.

The pitchers know the hitters and vice versa, time to play someone else. They know what's coming.

Rumor has it that Gavin Collins is banged up. He didn't play all weekend. I am sure we will know more before Friday.

Brent Rooker and Cole Gordon hit HRs today. They both figure in the DH/pinch hitting scenario.

The IF/OF depth is very good. Look for lots of switching the first couple of weeks.

Again, Trevor Fitts and Moonlight Tatum come in and shut down the other team. The end of the game should be safe.

If Collins can't go for a few weeks, Josh Lovelady and Cody Walker have to be good.

A few pitchers are still developing. We have the luxury of letting them develop.

I think our hitting will be very good. We have talented hitters from both sides of the plate.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday scrimmage 2/3

RHP/1B Cole Gordon is a beast. He is 6-6 240 true freshman and continues to show he can pitch against the big boys. He didn't pitch his senior year because of arm surgery so after months of laying off he has impressed me. His strength is coming back a little at a time. I see him pitching for us a lot this season and some time as a pinch hitter batting left. He has a lot of upside.

LHP Paxton Stover 5-11 195 another true freshman, has also done well on the mound. He started against Cole tonight. I think he will pitch in relief this year. He will only get better.

Sophomore big man RHP Dakota Hudson struggled a little tonight but still is trying to work out his new delivery. Great things ahead for him.

Closing duo Trevor Fitts and Moonlight Tatum dominated again tonight.

Not many hitting stars on this cold night. We need to play someone else!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Scrimmage 2\1

I think the 5 starters at the beginning of the season are Preston Brown, Ross Mitchell, Lucas Laster, Jesse McCord and Austin Sexton.
The first 3 weekends are 5 game sets. Four on the weekend followed by a game on Tuesday. Brown, Laster and Mitchell seem to be in the lead for SEC weekend starters. Of course, that will change as the season wears on.

The closer combo of Trevor Fitts and Moonlight Tatum have been outstanding. Bridging the gap between starters and closers will answered by several others as the season goes along. Lots of mix and match.

The offense has shown spurts of power but I think by now the pitchers know our hitters too well. We need to play someone we don't know! You will be surprised by how many runs we will score.

Defense will be one of the best in the nation. Fast outfielders and slick fielding infielders coupled with strong arm catchers and athletic pitchers.

Still no sign of big arm Paul Young. But I think he is fine. I can't wait to see him pitch.