Nick Mingione Talks MSU 1B and OF

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

First, let's talk about the first basemen. Wes Rea is your senior first baseman. What are your thoughts about him?
"I just want to compliment Wes Rea on his attitude, his approach this fall. He has been a man on a mission. He has been a leader. The players think so highly of him as a leader of our team. He has done really well defensively and offensively he had a fall where he was able to lay off really close pitches. He was able to use the entire field. And his ability to use right-center field really stuck out. We are excited to see that in the spring."

You also have a junior college transfer that did well this fall, Trent Waddell.
"Trent has been a pleasant surprise this fall. Defensively, his hands and feet really work well. He moves extremely well around the bag. He has outstanding ability to read hops and has a great feel for balls in the dirt. Offensively, he is a guy who continues to make adjustments. And he's gotten better as the fall went on. We are excited to watch him progress throughout the spring."

Cole Gordon is a true freshman who got his feet wet this fall.
"It was good to see Cole play baseball after having to miss his entire senior season due to an injury. It was good for Cole to not only get back on the mound but to get live at-bats as well. Despite not playing baseball for over a year, this fall was very productive for Cole. He kept improving and getting better and better both offensively and defensively. He showed great strides handling ground balls and his feel around the bag."

In the outfield, Jake Vickerson returns for his senior season.
"Jake has come back a different player. He has improved in all areas. He has improved mentally and physically. And he has improved both offensively and especially defensively. He is a guy that we feel comfortable playing all three outfield positions, and he might do that this coming spring. He has been a great leader and has been very, very helpful with a lot of our new players this fall."

A newcomer is Michael Smith, a junior college transfer.
"Michael has game-changing tools. He can defend the field extremely well. He has game-changing speed. He also has an extremely strong and accurate throwing arm. He is a guy who embraces the short game and embraces who he is. He is trying to hit ground balls and line drives. And he may be one of if not our best base-stealing threat."

Jacob Robson had a good fall.
"Jacob had a very successful summer after missing most of last year with an injury. It was really good to see Jacob throw arm strength, accuracy and durability this fall. He had a great feel for the ball in center. He is another guy that we feel comfortable playing all three outfield spots. Offensively, he did an excellent job of controlling the strikezone. His ability to pressure opponents with his home to first time and his stolen base threat is something that we look forward to this spring."

Redshirt freshman Joey Swinarski got a few at-bats during the second half of the fall scrimmages.
"Joey is a guy who hasn't gotten to play much baseball for the past year and a half. He suffered an injury last fall, then this summer, then again this fall. Joey is a guy who we have to get healthy and get him on the field on a daily basis so he can continue to get more reps. When he does he will keep improving. And he started showing improvement at the end of the fall.

"Defensively, Joey has come a long way defensively. He has one of the strongest outfield throwing arms and may have the most accurate throwing arm on our entire team."

Reid Humphreys is new to the outfield. He played well in the outfield and really hit the ball well offensively.
"Reid made his biggest strides this fall offensively. His power started to show. His ability to control the strikezone and his ability to use the entire field really showed this fall. He offers a different dynamic for our team due to his ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark and to control the barrel and pressure the defense with his strikezone discipline. Defensively, he has gotten reps in left field and has progressed well."

Brent Rooker is a redshirt freshman who had a good fall.
"Brent is a guy who is very difficult to find in the recruiting process because he runs a 6.3 (sixty yard dash) and weighs over 200 pounds. He possesses speed and strength. He has the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark. He can score from first base on a single. He has impressed our entire coaching staff and team with how well he has progressed defensively."

Cody Brown is another outfielder that did well this fall.
"We are very excited about what Cody has brought to the table. We are comfortable with him playing all three outfield positions. He is a premier defender who has the ability to take away doubles and triples from our opponents. Offensively, he has done a really nice job of using the entire field. Cody possesses speed and the ability to get extra base hits. He has also become a premier baserunner."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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