MSU Freshman C.T. Bradford Produces

Mississippi State freshman outfielder C.T. Bradford came in with an outstanding resume that included being selected first team Louisville Slugger as well as earning the 2010 Mr. Baseball award for the state of Florida. And he backed up those honors by hitting .295 as well as being selected to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team.

And Bradford feels he can accomplish even more despite having already played 57 games this season.

"I plan on finishing even stronger because I feel the best I have all year," said Bradford. "My swing feels better than it has all year. We work out hard and I've played this amount of games in this short amount of time before. I played 50 or more game during summer ball (for the Florida Bombers) so I'm used to this. And I'll be ready to go to summer ball right after this season."

Summer ball will be in the Cape Cod League, which is the best of all the collegiate summer leagues. It actually caught Bradford by surprise when he found out he had been selected to play in Cape Cod.

"I don't know how it came about," said Bradford. "Coach came up to me and asked me if that was the place I wanted to play and obviously I've been dreaming about it for a long time so I jumped on it."

He feels playing against that caliber of players will enhance his overall game even more.

"I'm going to go to summer ball and see the same type pitching (as I have seen in the SEC)," said Bradford. "And it might even be better in the (Cape Cod League). I'll be able to see that type pitching every day. I'll get used to it and learn to make quicker adjustments of the things that I have learned this year."

Although his primary position is the outfield, he also pitches. While he didn't pitch much this season, it's very possible he might be given a chance to fill a starting role next season. Starting won't be new to Bradford.

"I started once a week in high school," said Bradford. "I feel comfortable starting. And I can get that (starting) preparation in the fall."

A starter normally needs two to three pitches to be effective. Bradford has a fastball he feels comfortable with and he's working on a couple of other pitches.

"I have a fastball and I'm developing a curveball and a changeup," said Bradford, who throws a 89 to 92 miles per hour two-seam fastball that has good movement on it. "I have to get my second and third pitch better."

While Bradford has had a great season, especially for a freshman, his team has also had a very good year. The success of the team doesn't surprise him at all.

"I saw this in the fall so it doesn't surprise me," said Bradford.

He gives a lot of credit for the success to the seniors on the team.

"We have a great group of seniors who have done a lot for us freshmen and even the sophomores but moreso the freshmen because we are position players," said Bradford. "They kept us all together and always invited us to things which help keep us together as a team."

Obviously the seniors will be missed next year but a lot of the freshmen appeared in games, some a lot like Bradford and others a few games. But Bradford feels any playing time at all will help prepare a player for next season.

"I think anytime you can get in there and get the feel of the game it helps because the game is so much faster than high school and even summer ball," said Bradford. "So, anytime you can get an at bat or even get on the bases it helps you."

As for a young player who might surprise Mississippi State fans next season, Bradford quickly pointed out one position player - Hunter Renfroe.

"Positional players, don't let Hunter (Renfroe) fool you," said Bradford. "He didn't play a ton this year which was because we had two senior catchers but in the times he came in he hit really good. I wouldn't be surprised to see him have a big year next year in hitting. He will be able to produce everything whether it be doubles, stealing bases or hitting balls out, which I think he will do plenty of that."

C.T. Bradford and Mississippi State's next game is this Friday at 3 pm eastern time against Southern Miss in the Georgia Tech NCAA Regional.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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