James, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher who also plays first base, has been working on improving his mechanics this season after struggling during the first half of the season.
"I had been locking in my front leg and throwing across my body," said James. "That was causing me to throw everything low and away and into the dirt. I corrected that by working on staying back on my back leg and throwing through the pitch instead of falling off. That's improved my velocity and control. Now, I can put it about wherever I want."
Since correcting his mechanics, the improvement has been dramatic. He has thrown 7.2 innings in three appearances, giving up 3 earned runs on 7 hits and 2 walks and 1 hit batsman while striking out 6. In his previous four outings, he had given up 8 earned runs on 12 hits, 8 walks and 6 hit batsmen while striking out 9 in 9.1 innings.
In addition to his mechanics, James is working on improving his curveball.
"I have a 12 to 6 curveball that I am working on," said James, who also throws a mid to upper 80s fastball.
James, who has a frame that projects really well for a pitcher, is also working hard in the weight room to add additional weight and strength.
"I do squats and work on my forearms," he said. "That's all that I do. My dad did a lot of squats in college and told me that is the main thing I should do. I also do my arm bands."
James keeps in contact with his future coaches at Mississippi State. And he has received helpful advice from them on how to continue to improve his game.
"I call the Mississippi State coaches on a regular basis," he said. "I look at my videos and go over things that I think I'm doing wrong. They'll give me some tips on how to fix those things. (And) they (also) tell me to keep grinding."
He's also keeping up with how the MSU baseball team is doing. And he has high hopes for them as the season continues.
"I keep up with them all the time," said James, who attended the Auburn-Mississippi State baseball game this past Saturday during Super Bulldog Weekend. "I think they are going to go real far. I think they are going to make it to the College World Series and go pretty deep into it."
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 email@example.com.