MSU Commit Jacob Shempert Update

Mississippi State 2012 commitment Jacob Shempert, who is playing at the 17U World Wood Bat Association National Championship in Marietta, GA this week, talks with Gene's Page about playing in the 17U national championship and playing with one of the top summer travel teams in the nation, the Marucci Elite 17U team.

Jacob Shempert Profile

You are playing with the Marucci 17U Elite team, a team that consists of commitments from several SEC teams, including Vanderbilt, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss and other tops teams such as Cal-State Fullerton, UCLA, Southern Cal and Southern Miss. How much is it helping you as a baseball player to play on a team that is so talented?
"When you play on a team like this you don't have to worry as much (on defense). You are still focused on the game but you know when a ball is hit you almost expect it to be caught every time. And if you are a pitcher you pretty much know you will have run support because this team can hit really well."

At your high school you are THE guy when it comes to hitting. But on this team everybody is THE guy on their high school team. How does that help you hitting-wise?
"You know even if you don't get a hit you have people behind you who can hit. And you know when you get on there are a lot of guys who can score you. Everybody can hit on this team."

Marucci's team travels to a lot of big events. That must help you as well, doesn't it?
"It helps you get to see all the talent that is around the country. You have a lot of that talent playing with you. That makes you realize how much harder you have to work to be as good as everybody else."

What have you learned that you still need to work on to be the player you want to be?
"My speed. I've seen how fast everybody else is. I also need to get stronger. But there is a lot of stuff you always have to work on."

We are standing here doing this interview at the East Cobb Complex, a complex where some of the 17U World Wood Bat Association National Championship games are being played. You played in this championship last year as well. How has playing in it helped you as a ball player?
"It helps you because you will see more talent than you will anywhere else in the country. Even when you play in the SEC you may not see this much talent because half of these guys will never play college ball. They will go pro."

At this event you will play in front of more college coaches and pro scouts than any other event you may play in. Does that affect your play?
"It doesn't really affect you because you can't think about who all is out there watching you. You play the game just like you would if there was no one out there watching you play. You have to play hard and play the same way all the time."

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

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