Monday, July 27, 2015

Updated projected 2016 lineup

1 - Jacob Robson, Junior RS
Returning CF starter. Having a great summer, expect another big year in 2016.
2 - Luke Reynolds, Junior
I am putting him at 3B. Started 10-20 games in 2015. Came on late offensively and having a great summer hitting too.
3 - Gavin Collins, Junior
Starting catcher. Was hurt most of 2015. Had another hand operation in June and is now healthy. Expect big 2016.
4 - Brent Rooker, Sophomore RS
Can play LF but I'm starting him at DH. Huge summer offensively. Fast and big.
5 - Cole Gordon, Freshman RS
I have changed my mind, Gordon needs to play 1B. He just keeps getting better. Will pitch an inning here and there.
6 - John Holland, Senior
Returning starting 2B. Having a nice summer in California.
7 - Reid Humphreys, Junior
I am putting Hump back in LF. He is struggling some this summer.
8 - Michael Smith, Senior
Starter in RF. Was hurt most of 2015 but expect huge 2016. He just needs to play everyday. Power and speed.
9 - Ryan Gridley, Sophomore
Returning starting SS. Very smooth fielder. Can really handle the bat. Only gets better.


Backups

1B
Right now I am putting JC transfer Nate Lowe.

MIF
Right now the back up spots will be true freshmen. This is up in the air until fall ball is over. Delvin Zinn, Hunter Stovall and Luke Alexander.

3B
Matt Spruill does return. JC transfer Jacob Barfield is new but may only bat.

C
Josh Lovelady is a superb backup. A great defender and quality hitter.

OF



Brent Rooker will be the 4th OF and play some in the field. Reid Humphreys can play LF if 1B doesn't work out. We have 3 new players, 1 JC and 2 Fr. Tanner Poole, Jake Mangum and Brant Blaylock. Swinarski isn't returning so we need 1 of the new players to step up and play.

Updated projected 2016 rotation

Friday Starter - RHP Dakota Hudson, Junior
He is very talented and its his time. He has greatly improved his pitching motion. Dominant this summer. His role to lose.

Saturday Starter - RHP Austin Sexton, Junior
He had several good SEC starts in 2015. Inning eater. When he is on, he is untouchable.

Sunday Starter - LHP Vance Tatum, Junior
He did very well in a few starts then not so well toward the end. I think he can go a whole year and be good.

Weekend Starter - RHP Zac Houston, Junior
I'm going to put him here because he wants the ball on the weekends and he's having a great summer.

This is what I would do. Start 3 of the 4 I listed above. If one of the them struggle then put the 4th guy in as a long starter. Do this the entire SEC season. I think we will win a lot of games. All four of these guys are pitching very well.

Did you notice one theme? These guys are all Juniors. It is their time to shine and I think they will.

Tuesday Starter - this should be occupied by the best freshman starting pitcher we have. Whoever that might be.

Bullpen

I think we need 4 guys who will consistently go out and get it done in the 7-9th innings. I am assuming the starters go 6. These 4 guys are very, very important to a great season. I think we have good enough starters to go 5-7 innings each time. In 2015, most of the time, we were ahead when the starter was pulled. Got to be better in 2016, I think these guys are the key.

LHP Daniel Brown, Junior
He went up to Cape Cod and has done really well. Has been a starter most of his college career and struggled out of the pen in 2015 but we need him in the pen. I think he is the long reliever/set up man - lefty.

RHP Jesse McCord, Freshman RS
I just thought of this. Brilliant. McCord is coming off arm surgery. He will toss some in the fall. He will pitch very slowly starting in the spring. I would think he wouldn't pitch but an inning here and there. He is perfect for the bullpen in 2016. He is a shut down pitcher. Just use him for an inning or two and then rest him until the next weekend. Then in 2017, he will be back at starter.

RHP Ryan Rigby, Sophomore
A JC newcomer but has been lights out in his first year of JC and during summer ball. He is a side armer that can throw 90 mph. His stats indicate no hitter can get a good lick on the ball. It has movement. I consider him the closer.

RHP Logan Elliot, Junior
I am putting Logan in the 4th spot. He came on late in the season and this summer his stats look terrific. He can get outs. He is another side armer.

Others

We need two other starters. The first month of the season we need 5 starters maybe more. The two spots can come from numerous guys. I won't speculate now. A few guys were operated on in the spring and are working their way back to full health. Fall ball will primarily be seeing what the new guys can do, where they fit in, starter or bullpen.

This pitching staff is the most talented in the Cohen era. Once the new guys get used to D1 play, they will be very good.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Notes

More than half of the players in summer leagues are an all-star in their respective leagues. Several players are having outstanding summers.

Most of the freshman signees have been on campus since July 5. They are working out and getting used to college.

In a couple of weeks, the team will come together and get ready for fall ball.

I will be going to some scrimmages and report what I find out. I believe this team will play a lot better next spring.

I am now on Facebook. Search for Ms State Baseball Fan.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2016 commit Elliott Anderson

A writeup at the PG WWBA 17U tournament at Lakepoint.

Elliott Anderson (2016, Cartersville, Ga.) was not listed on the original East Cobb Astros Scout Team roster included in the program, but he had scouts and coaches scrambling to find out who was on the mound on Tuesday afternoon. Anderson, a Mississippi State commit, owns a 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame and he has broad shoulders and good build with present strength in his body. The southpaw has a pretty clean arm stroke and path through to his high three-quarters arm slot, and he consistently worked in the 87-89 mph range with his fastball over the course of his 5 2/3 innings pitched. Anderson also has some slight deception in his delivery which features a mild hip turn at the apex of his leg lift, and he has a later hand break. He did a pretty good job of repeating his delivery, although he started to labor a bit in the later innings. Despite a head snap at release and some spine tilt, Anderson was able to throw strikes with his fastball for much of the outing. He also showed some feel for spinning a curveball in the mid-70s. The offering had varied tilt, showing either 1-to-7 or 12-to-6 shape, but both varieites flashed solid bite and finish at or below the knees. Anderson also worked in a few changeups in the upper-70s, and while they were often thrown out of the strike zone, he showed developing feel for the offering with similar fastball arm speed.

Friday, July 3, 2015

2017 commits (updated rankings per PG)

College baseball is an ongoing recruiting process. Coaches see a HS or tournament team and they have 3 grades playing with each other. A sophomore could be better than a senior. So, guess what? Offer him a scholarship. Happens all the time. It happens to 8th and 9th graders too. You can tell when a player that young will be better than everyone else he is playing with.

With that in mind, let's look at the current 2017 commits. All 5 are from out of state.

22 -  LHP Hunter Milligan 6-4 200

This will be the 3rd year in a row we get a stud LHP that is 6-4 200 or better. It's what championship teams need. He is the 1# player in Arkansas in this class.

24 - OF Jacob Pearson 6-0 185 L/R

What we need every year! Pearson has climbed 200 spots because of his play lately. He hits well, steals bases, bats left throws right. And he is a big Ms State fan. From West Monroe, La.

96 - C Tyler Lasch 5-10 180 L/R

Another bat left throw right. His travel team played at Dudy during the summer and we jumped on him. He is from California.

108 - LHP Jack Owen  6-1 180

On the same team as Lasch from California. He really keeps hitters off stride. Of course, he is a lefty.

290 - RHP Chad Bryant 6-1 180

Hails from Alabama. He can already touch mid-90's with his fastball. Has played at Dudy before on travel team East Coast Baseball.

This class are the upcoming juniors in HS, so I expect a few more commits before Christmas. Remember, these rankings will fluctuate over the next 2 years.

Again, I expect to sign 15-20 and lose a couple to draft. Nature of the beast now.


Two newcomers with summer stats

RHP Ryan Rigby and OF Tanner Poole are playing with the Piedmont (SC) Pride of the Southern Collegiate League. Team is coached by Joe Hudak. Rigby is untouchable while Poole has nice stats.

Rigby
2-0 0.54 ERA
11 G 8 Saves
16.2 IP 16 K 9 W
3 hits given up, wow!

Poole
.333 Avg in 78 ABs
26 H 1 HR
His best stat..17 stolen bases!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2016 lineup/pitching rotation---(updated) summer edition

Just because. Based on summer ball.

1 - Jacob Robson         CF   L   Jr.R
2 - Luke Reynolds       3B    L   Jr.
3 - Gavin Collins          C     R   Jr.
4 - Reid Humphreys    1B    R   Jr.
5 - Brent Rooker         DH    R  So.R
6 - John Holland          2B    L   Sr.
7 - Michael Smith        RF   R   Sr.
8 - Ryan Gridley          SS    R   So.
9 - Cody Brown           LF    L   Jr.R

Friday - Dakota Hudson  RHP   Jr.
Saturday - Austin Sexton  RHP   Jr.
Sunday - Moonlight Tatum  LHP   Jr.


Long or 7th/8th inning - Daniel Brown  LHP   Jr.
Long or 7th/8th inning - Zac Houston  RHP   Jr.
Closer - Ryan Rigby  RHP   So.

I posted this and someone said but it's the same players as last year and we had a bad year. Yes, that is true. Remember this, most of these guys saw their first significant playing time in 2015. Reynolds, Holland, Smith and Gridley were brand new to the program. Gavin Collins and Cody Brown were really the only ones that had played a lot the year before.

All these players have immense talent. They lived and learned last year. I do know after all my years of being a fan of college baseball is players get better, they adjust.

ALL these guys are playing summer ball and doing pretty good. They are working on their game. They will come back in August and get after it in the weight room.

I like to be positive not negative. I believe these players will turn it around and we will get back to our winning ways in 2016.

I have listed above ONLY 15 of the 35 man roster. The other players will contribute and push for playing time too.