A Q&A With MSU Asst. Coach Nick Mingione

In a five-part, series, Gene's Page talks with the the Mississippi State baseball coaches about the position players they coach. The second-part of the series is with MSU assistant coach Nick Mingione, who is responsible for the first basemen.

Wes Rea really was impressive during the fall, especially offensively. He has always been a great defender.
"This fall, Wes Rea was our most improved offensive player. I don't think there's any question about that. During the fall he hit 84% of the balls he put in play hard. The main thing with Wes was that he was able to lay off the breaking balls that were out of the strike zone. There is no doubt that Wes can hit. He has a feel for the barrel. This fall Wes hit .415 and it wasn't because he got some chink hits. It's because he laid off of the breaking ball in the dirt. During the entire fall he swung and miss or struck out looking the 5th fewest of all of our hitters. He was able to advance the count and get hits because he forced the pitchers to throw strikes. When you do that then you are going to get pitches to hit. The swing and misses are down and the walks are up.

"He also was much improved defensively. His body looks great because he has lost body fat and he's more lean. He's now more athletic and agile. He's running better. Everything about Wes' game has improved.

"Wes is also a very, very smart baseball player. He is as smart a baseball player as we have on our entire team. Having him go through our league a full year and listening to Coach Cohen he is smart enough to know the areas that he needs to work on. And he's done that. There is no doubt in my mind he is one of the leaders on this year's team. And he will be one of the leaders as long as he is here."

Trey Porter was hurt all of the fall but you know what you have with him based on what you saw last fall.
"Trey had an injury that happened last year. Because of that, he ended up having surgery and didn't get to play summer baseball. He's now coming back from that surgery. (Thursday) is his first day back swinging the bat. We already know how good of an offensive player he is. He just needs to continue to improve offensively and defensively. He is a piece of our puzzle and we are counting on him this spring to play a role on this year's team. Offensively, we want him to be that lefthanded power hitter. He could fill that role either as a DH or some other position."

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.

Gene's Page Top Stories