Nick Mingione Talks About Tuesday's Scrimmage

Mississippi State assistant baseball coach Nick Mingione talks about some positive things he saw during Tuesday's baseball scrimmage.

C.T. Bradford has really made some great catches in the outfield during the early scrimmages? Does that surprise you or is it what you expect from him?
"No, actually I'm not surprised at all. He comes in with high recommendations. Obviously, I don't do any of the off-campus recruiting, but he is everything I was told he would be. Going through our individual work and just watching him it doesn't surprise me. I know what he can do because I have seen it in the short time that (we have worked with him)."

But his catches were spectacular. Do you do those kind of drills in the individual drills?
"Sure, we work on diving plays but not as much as I would to. We don't due to the simple fact that those can be injury-prone but we do work on it some. We work on how to dive, which ways we want them to dive and how to slide."

I guess if you want to show kids how it is done, then put his plays on video (laugh).
"Yeah, he is one of the guys who makes the entire outfield smaller. Dudy Noble plays big but he makes the whole thing smaller."

He also pitches and pitches pretty well.
"I watched him and thought he was totally poised and confident. He can make the ball go wherever he wants. Those are the best pitchers because they can throw in and out, up and down, throw the second pitch for a strike. He's going to help us, no question."

Another guy who pitched Tuesday was Nolan Thomas, who is called Big Papi. Why is he called Big Papi?
"It comes from David Ortiz. He kind of has a batting stance like him. He kind of bends over and kind of has the little finish like him. The first time I ever laid eyes on him I thought he reminded me of David Ortiz, Big Papi. I asked him if anyone has called him Big Papi. He said, 'No, coach, but you can call me that.' I said, 'Ok'. (laugh)"

Nolan also looked pretty good pitching the ball as well.
"Sure. I don't know if he threw as many strikes as C.T. but it was a good experience for him, no doubt."

Hunter Renfroe showed a 94 miles per hour fastball on my gun. He didn't throw as many strikes as he would have liked to but he showed that he has a power arm on the mound.
"As far as arm strength, he definitely has that. You are right about that."

Trey Johnson showed pretty good velocity for him, probably in the 85 to 87 miles per hour range.
"Trey played a little bit of baseball this summer. He's worked really hard at getting his arm in shape over the last few weeks. He's long tossed and played catch all summer long. So, he's going to be fresh and you saw that today. And I think there is more in there with him. I think Coach Thompson and Coach Cohen are doing a great job getting the pitchers to command fastball while not throwing 100%."

What are some other things you were impressed with during today's scrimmage?
"I feel like we spent a lot of time using the middle of the field. And some of them are going in for base hits. I also think our infield defense has been superb. I think we may have made 1 error but I believe we turned three more double plays. Our guys are communicating so much better, they are confident, they are carrying themselves like they have been there before. And essentially, that is what we have, we have guys who have been there and done it before. It's been fun to watch."

Talking about double plays, not only do you have some veterans returning such as Jonathan Ogden and Jarrod Parks, but you have some new guys in the infield such as Adam Frazier and Demarcus Henderson. What are your thoughts about them defensively?
"Both of those guys turned a great double play. (Jarrod) Parks made a great play on a ball in the six-hole. He turned a great double play there. Frazier made a nice play on a double play ball that was smoked at him by (Nick) Vickerson. He takes one step to his left, fields a two-hopper, makes a perfect feed and we turn a double play. Another play that Frazier made was going well into the four-hole, knowing that we didn't have the quickest runner at first base and throws a perfect strike to Ogden. We don't turn a double play but we got the lead out. Then, the next pitcher still has the double play in order. We had some other guys make some great plays, too, but those were some of the highlights today."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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