2013 MSU Signee Brent Rooker Update

2013 Mississippi State baseball signee Brent Rooker talks about preparing to college ball, gives his thoughts about Mississippi State and future teammate Cole Gordon, a commitment that he has played on the same travel team with the past two summer seasons.

  • Name: Brent Rooker
  • Classification: 2013
  • Position: 1B/OF
  • Ht, Wt: 6-4.5, 205
  • High School: Evangelical Christian School
  • Schools of Interest: Signed with Mississippi State

    As preparation for college ball, Rooker has been playing baseball with the Memphis Tigers' 18U baseball team this summer.

    "I just feel like the more live at bats I can get against high quality pitching like this the more prepared I will be to hit when I get (to Mississippi State) this fall," said Rooker. "I'll be better prepared to help contribute to the team."

    He has one goal when he gets to Mississippi State.

    "I'm going to go down there with one goal, that's to get back to Omaha and win a national championship and bring it back to Starkville," said Rooker. "Whether that is starting and hitting in the lineup or being on the bench and being that chemistry guy, I'm there for one thing, to win a national championship. I'll be self-sacrificial and do whatever I need to do to help the team win."

    While winning is one of the most important things that you look for when choosing a college, it's always good when you can have a lot of fun doing it. And Rooker feels this past year's MSU team had a lot of fun while winning a lot of games. He's looking for the same when he gets to campus.

    "When you go to a college program you want to win, and obviously with the tradition that Mississippi State has you know that will be true," said Rooker. "You also want to go into an environment where you will have a lot of fun. And one of the main things that stuck out to me is that is true in the case of Mississippi State. It is serious and business because it's high level college baseball but you can tell everybody is having fun. You can tell they all like each other."

    He likes the face that his future coach, John Cohen, despite being a very intense coach, encouraged his players to have as much fun as possible.

    "I saw the tweet where Trevor Fitts put together the power point (presentation) about the beards and (Coach Cohen) understood the team needed to have fun," said Rooker. "He's an intense coach and is there to win, there's no doubt about that, but he recognizes some teams are different and need to have (more) fun. Coach Cohen understood for some teams to win they need to stay loose and have fun. Then, to get to the national championship (series), that is unbelievable and really special."

    Not only did he watch MSU on television but he also saw a couple of games in person. And he's even met a couple of the players from this year's Bulldog team during this summer.

    "I kept up with them throughout most of the post-season," he said. "I was even there for two of their (Starkville) regional games. I was there with (MSU 2013 signee) Glenn Irby. I met Ross Mitchell this summer. He's a great guy. I like him a lot. I also met Trey Porter. He's a great guy, too."

    Another future teammate of his is recent MSU baseball 2014 commitment Cole Gordon. They have played together with the East Coast Grays travel team. And Cole really made an impression on Rooker.

    "I've gotten to know him the past two years and as a baseball player, Cole has some of the most pop that I have ever seen in my entire life," said Rooker. "I like to think of myself as a power hitter but after seeing Cole play I realized I'm more of a doubles hitter. We were down at Fort Myers and the first two games he played in he hit three home runs. His second at-bat he hit a hanging curveball about 380 feet to right field. The next day we were playing on a (Major League Baseball) spring training field and it's really deep in the corners, about 340 to 345, and he hit one that was a no-doubter. Everybody in the dugout just started laughing because of how far he hit it. He's got some serious power, serious pop. He's a great hitter, a great fielder and a great kid. I'm real excited to get him; he's a big pickup (for Mississippi State)."

    Rooker will also bring some serious hitting ability to the Bulldog team as well thanks to a very intelligent approach to hitting.

    "Offensively, I will prepare for every at-bat mentally very, very well," he said. "I take great pride in that. I study the pitcher throughout the game. I always go to the plate with a good approach. Obviously, you are going to get fool sometimes when a pitcher makes a good pitch, but you still need to go to the plate with as good of an offensive approach as you can."

    Always trying to improve, Rooker changed his swing late in his high school season and saw his power numbers dramatically increase.

    "I have changed my swing up a little bit since last summer," said Rooker. "I have gotten into my legs a little more, which gives me a more sturdy base and a little more power. I actually changed it mid-spring (when we were) going into the playoffs. And in my last six games I hit five home runs. I hit one to right, one to center and three to left. I have always had power to left but the change gave me more power to right and center."

    While Rooker will bring a great hitting approach and power to the Bulldog lineup, he will also bring versatility on defense.

    "I have always played first base during my high school career but this summer I have played left and center a lot," he said. "I am doing that to be as prepared as possible in case (the MSU coaches) need me in either left or center."

    No matter where he plays or how much he plays, a national championship is his primary goal, that and what comes once you win that championship.

    "I really want to dogpile on the field at Omaha," said Rooker with a smile on his face.

    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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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