Nick Mingione Interview, Dec 5, 2013

Mississippi State assistant baseball coach Nick Mingione talk one-on-one with Gene's Page about the MSU outfielders after the conclusion of fall scrimmages.


You have three senior outfielders, C.T. Bradford, Demarcus Henderson and Derrick Armstrong. All three had really good falls.
"There is no doubt about that.

"The first outfielder we can talk about is C.T. Bradford. He had the best fall that he has had since he has been here. With the adjustment to his swing, the high hands and the leg kick that has set his barrel in a position where he was able to lead our team in hits this fall. Defensively, he is outstanding. He can come in on balls and he can go back on balls, he can cover the gaps, and his arm is extremely accurate with arm strength. From the standpoint of C.T., I don't know if his fall could have gone better from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

"Demarcus Henderson has made another jump. He moved over to right field and made a couple of exceptional plays during the games. He's handled that transition (of moving to right field) very, very well. Offensively, he really found himself as far as the middle of the field, the back side of the field, he's turned on some balls that he should have turned on. From the bunting game and what he has been able to do, it's really been fun to watch him this fall. It has been fun to watch how he has progressed on and off the field. He, C.T. and Derrick have done a really good job with a lot of our freshmen and other new players.

"There is no doubt that Derrick is one of our most improved players since last year, and that is both offensively and defensively. Defensively, he does so much better on every ball whether it is going back on balls or coming in on balls. And he has really done dramatically better on ground balls. Derrick also has a really strong arm that is very accurate. He had the chance to show his arm this fall. And his speed forces our opponents to prepare differently. We had to change how we defended him this fall because of his speed. And from a stolen base standpoint I don't know if I have seen him get thrown out by our catchers. He is such a special, special weapon in so many ways."

A sophomore that returns is Jacob Robson. He was sick during most of the fall.
"Robson's fall didn't go the way he wanted it to because he was sick. And that sickness set him back. If you remember a year ago he had a special fall. He was one of the most special players we had last fall. With Robby, it was simply him having to get healthy. He wound up coming on late, which was encouraging to see. He has gotten so much better in the outfield. And he played some in left, center and right. How much better he has gotten in left field was noticeably different by everyone in our program."

Redshirt freshman Cody Brown also returns.
"Cody Brown is a guy who is coming off a redshirt year, a year when he became more physical, stronger. He made some of the best defensive plays of any of our outfielders in the fall. Defensively, Cody has gotten better in all areas, especially with his ground balls. During the fall, we had a chance to see his arm strength, with accuracy, a couple of times when he threw runners out at home plate. He ranks very, very high, defensively, among the outfielders on our team. Offensively, toward the end of the fall, I thought he really come into his own. He got his hands more active and really found barrel, and was able to go the other way."

A newcomer is junior college transfer Jake Vickerson.
"Jake Vickerson has a confidence about him. This is his third year of playing college ball. He played at Shelton State and they played in the (junior college) World Series one of the year that he was there. He has a level of confidence that he brings, especially from the offensive end. He is a guy who knows where he is offensively. He is comfortable getting deep in counts. He is comfortable hitting with two strikes. He is a guy who allows the hitters behind him to see a pitcher's arsenal because he is so comfortable getting deep into counts. He is an on-base machine who possesses a short game threat. Defensively, Jake probably made the greatest improvement of all of our outfielders this fall, just from where he came in as an outfielder to where he currently is as an outfielder."

Joey Swinarski is the lone freshman outfielder among the group. He wound up getting hurt early in the fall after appearing to find his hitting stroke.
"It was unfortunate that he got hurt when he did. That set him back as far as the fall goes. But as far as his skillset, his tool skillset is possibly as good as anybody on our team. He's getting healthy and we look forward to getting him back."


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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