What is your height and weight now?
"I am 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. I was 205 last year. I have gained about 20 pounds."
How did you gain that weight?
"Last year I just worked out all the time and tried to eat as much as I could trying to gain weight. That was my main focus, trying to get bigger and stronger."
Did you weigh 225 when you played summer ball?
"Yeah, I think I weighed 220 pounds. I gained 5 pounds during the summer."
What were you trying to improve while playing summer ball?
"I really tried to have good at-bats, just focus on good, solid contact every time, trying to do the little things instead of worrying about what I hit or how many RBIs I had. I was really just trying to put good swings on every ball that I could. And I think I did that pretty well."
Before you left school in the spring, did Coach Cohen, in your season-ending meeting with him, talk to you about working on that during the summer?
"The first thing he wanted me to do is play every game, stay the entire summer. And he really wanted me to work on my swing. They do a good job of letting us figure it out on our own."
I know you probably played summer ball while you were playing with a travel team during your high school years but was college summer ball different than that, not just the competition but how long you stayed away during the summer?
"Yeah, the summer during high school you go away for a weekend but summer ball is really like an extension of your school season. You play a couple of mid-week games, then play every weekend."
Where do you live during summer ball? Explain how that works.
"We have a host family. Me, Austin Sexton and Ben Hudspeth all lived with the same guy. You pretty much live how you live here (at Mississippi State) but with a host family."
Do you have to work a job during the summer?
"They have that option for guys who want to work but we just played and hung out."
It almost sounds like you are playing ball like a minor leaguer would?
"Yeah, kinda, because it is all baseball. There is no school unless somebody is taking summer classes."
Was it difficult to do that the entire summer?
"Last summer, before I came to Mississippi State, I played on a summer team where I had to stay with somebody for a couple of times but not for two or three months like I did this summer. So, it was a little different. But it didn't take long to get used to it."
What was the most difficult thing about it?
"Just learning a new town, where everything is, what to do. But it was good and we all had a really good time up there. It was good having Austin and Ben up there with me."
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.