MSU Asst Baseball Coaches Discuss Outfielders

In a five-part series, Gene's Page talks with the the Mississippi State baseball coaches about the position players they coach. The fourth-part of the series is with MSU assistant coaches Nick Mingione and Jake Wells, who are responsible for the outfielders.


Demarcus Henderson appears to have really improved offensively and defensively this fall.
Nick Mingione - "Demarcus is so much more confident than he was when he first got here. I'm referring to his defense and even moreso his offense. I think he now knows who he is and understands his swing dramatically better. Even in the batting cage when he's doing his drill work he has a routine that he follows. When he first got here he didn't have that. Now that he has that and he knows who he is, he's ready to have a great year both offensively and defensively."

C.T. Bradford came back strong from last year's injury and had a really good last half of the fall.
Nick Mingione - "C.T. rehabbed the entire summer and some this fall. Due to that, he got a little of a late start in the fall. C.T. is another gifted player. There aren't many things that he can't do on the baseball field. He has ability to defend, has arm strength, has ability to hit and ability to bunt; he just can do just about everything. He has also become an incredible leader. He's been here three years and knows exactly what we are looking for. He also knows exactly what he can do to help our team win and he brings that everyday."

Tyler Fullerton had a good fall offensively.
Nick Mingione - "Tyler has improved in every area of the game. He has gotten better defensively. His arm strength has gotten better. He has become a better hitter, a better baserunner. He just gets better everyday. I would have to say the biggest jump that we have seen from him this fall is his offense. He has gotten to the point where he can put together some really good at-bats. He's also another guy who can really run and put pressure on a defense. He's a guy who is really fun to watch."

Hunter Renfroe had a great summer and hit well in the fall scrimmages.
Nick Mingione - "When you break our team down you can say there are run scorers and run producers. Hunter can do both. He can run really well for a guy his size. He's a 6.6 (second) runner (in the sixty) who can really get down the line. He also has the type power where he can almost hit balls into the lights. He's a dynamic player who we are all ready for him to have his coming out party this season. He had a great summer and brought back a lot of confidence due to his summer. He's a guy who we are going to lean on both offensively and defensively. His arm is a major factor as well. His arm is an 80, which is the highest you can get on the rating scale. What has impressed me the most about him is he has worked so hard on improving his accuracy throwing balls from the outfield. Now, not only does he have that great arm strength but he now has great accuracy with his throws. Because of that, he will put even more pressure on baserunners and third base coaches."

Jacob Robson is a freshman who was very, very impressive in the fall hitting the ball.
Nick Mingione - "Jacob is a dynamic player who is extremely talented. He's another player who knows exactly who he is. So much of baseball is being who you are. You figure out your skills and do what your skills dictate that you can do. He knows the type hitter he is and he does that. He showed as a freshman this fall that he's not an easy out when he gets two strikes on him. He can put a ball in play in that situation. You mixed that with his speed and he can get a ton of infield hits. He can also drive the ball into the outfield and he can steal bases. He can score from first base on a double. Offensively, he brings so many things to the table. Defensively, he continues to get better every day. He's actually long-toss partners with Hunter Renfroe, and we all know how strong Hunter's arm is. But they are playing catch every day and Hunter is helping Jacob to become better every day. There is not many thing that Jacob can't do on the field. He's just a special talent."

Cody Abraham did some good things at times during the fall when he got back from his injury.
Jake Wells - "Cody was a guy who was hurt for most of the first part of the fall. Due to that, he wasn't with the club during that period. Then, when he did get back, he still had to finish all the strength and conditioning work before he could do any baseball activity. We weren't just going to throw him back out there if his body was just getting healed. Due to that, he had to do his strength and conditioning. When he did get back out there he at times showed some promise as a lefthanded batter. When he shorten his swing and did some things with his hands he showed promise. Like Coach Cohen says, when he uses his hands and buys into the hitter that he really is I think he has a chance to really hit. Because we have a lot of depth in the outfield, he's going to have to continue coming to the park everyday and work hard."

Junior college transfer Derrick Armstrong showed great ability to steal bases during the fall.
Jake Wells - "Derrick is a guy I really enjoy working with. We had a lot of one-on-one time working with his swing. Toward the end of the fall he hit a lot of balls right at people. And because of that his average is not really going to show how well he hit the ball. What Derrick brings to the table is a guy who is an adequate defender and a guy who can really, really run. If he puts the ball on the ground he is going to have a great chance to beat it out. He'll also steal some bases for us. He was a threat to our pitching staff all fall long. The problem with him for the staff is they knew he was going when he got on and he still stole bases. He's a guy who is really good with the short game and uses it really well. Because he is a transfer guy, we are looking for him to help us right away. Coach (Cohen) is big on scoring from first base on a ball in the gap. And Derrick Armstrong and Jacob Robson are guys who can flat out fly, so they are going to score on a ball in the gap."

Freshman Cody Brown showed some good hitting ability at times during the fall.
Jake Wells - "He's a true freshman who does have some pop in his bat from the left side. I also think, once he matures, he's going to be a guy who can run. He's also a very, very good defender with an arm that is ok. The thing with him is he's still a young guy who is getting used to everything on this level. And he'll get those things ironed out as he matures. He's a guy who Coach (Cohen) is really high on because he really thinks he's going to be able to hit. His swing shows that he has a feel for hitting. Because he's so young and we have a lot of veteran outfielders on the roster, he has come in at the right time. He can learn at his own pace under the guys that we already have here."


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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