Tatum already has what college coaches want in their pitchers, a big frame with wide shoulders and long arms. What he is now working on is adding additional weight and strength to that frame.
"I think I have gotten stronger and I have definitely put on some weight," said Tatum, who now weighs 190 pounds. "I've added about 15 to 20 pounds since last season. Dave West has helped me a lot with the little things. I know that he and (MSU pitching) Coach (Butch) Thompson are very close. And he teaches the same thing."
He hopes to add even more strength this summer.
"I look forward to getting down to State and working with Coach Thompson," he said. "I'm going to summer school so I, hopefully, can get in there with the weights."
Tatum has a very projectable body and with added strength should see his overall velocity increase.
"My consistent (fastball) velocity right now is 86-87 and I touch 89," said Tatum, who throws both a two-seam and four-seam fastball as well as a changeup and a curveball.
As you would expect, he's following his future teammates and has been impressed with MSU's recent success. And one player on the team has really stood out to him.
"Mississippi State is really hot right now," said Tatum. "I watched them on tv against Texas A&M last weekend. (Hunter) Renfroe is really hitting the ball well. I am really good friends with (MSU freshman pitcher) John Marc Shelly and he said it's ridiculous to watch Renfroe in (batting practice)."
Tatum is also keeping in touch with his future pitching coach, Butch Thompson. They've talked about where he expects to fit on the pitching staff next season.
"Coach Thompson said he was looking at me as a midweek starter, then maybe some specialist stuff on the weekend," said Tatum.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.