Humphreys Finds Opportunity In Outfield

He didn’t pause to see where the ball landed. A shame since Reid Humphreys’ drive didn’t just get over leftfield, it carried to the farthest reaches of the Lounge. “I guess I just ran into one, got a little lucky.”

Maybe it is easy for Humphreys to shrug off a scrimmage shot. For Diamond Dog fans eager about any show of fresh power in the 2015 batting order, the Sunday blast was much more exciting. Giving this gifted sophomore his chances to drive ‘em deep in the regular season though depends on winning a lineup job.

Which is one reason Coach John Cohen and staff agreed in fall ball to give Humphreys opportunity as an outfielder. In left field, specifically. It’s still early in the transition process, but so far? Yeah, so good, for a guy who came to Mississippi State as a corner-infield prospect.

“I’m trying to get used to everything out there,” said Humphreys. “It’s kind of a different world and really a new thing. But I’ve enjoyed it.”

To Humphreys’ credit he put in a lot of hours, extra some days, working on his third baseman skills last year. He could realistically have competed for the spot this season, but with veteran Matt Britton back and transfer Luke Reynolds showing up in fall ball things were getting crowded on that corner.

So, “I just told (the coaches) I wanted to play anywhere to help the team. We’ve got a lot of spots to fill, DH or anything.” Yes, Humphreys is very much in the designated hitter picture too. There’s a lot of outfielders for mixing-and-matching after all. But not many offer the possible punch Humphreys has. Thus DH duty when he isn’t using the glove is an obvious avenue, or pinching on his off-days.

“I feel pretty good about my swing,” Humphreys said in this Sunday interview video. “We have a new hitting coach and I feel he’s giving us some good information.”

“Reid has really taken well to the outfield,” Cohen said. “We need his bat in the lineup. And I think he moves around and runs better than people think.”

The scrimmage schedule for this week and weekend is being finalized Monday.

With the season opening on February 13, the Diamond Dogs heard today they have been ranked #14 nationally by Baseball America in their preseason poll.

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