Mangum, a true freshman outfielder from Pearl, Miss., was presented with the Ferriss Trophy today at a ceremony in Cleveland. The Trophy honors Mississippi State legend, Major League star and long-time Delta State coach Dave ‘Boo’ Ferriss. It has been presented since 2002.
Mangum beat out four other finalists which included a pair of Bulldog teammates, starting pitcher Dakota Hudson and outfielder/relief pitcher Reid Humphreys. They were joined in Cleveland by Ole Miss outfielder J.B. Woodman and Delta State outfielder/pitcher Will Robertson.
This year’s ceremony moved from the state’s Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson to Ferriss’ hometown. Finalists were picked on recommendations from professional baseball scouts and media, with fan voting a percentage of the winning selection.
He is the first true freshman to win the Ferriss. He is also the fifth Bulldog so honored joining Thomas Berkery 2004, Edward Easley 2007, Chris Stratton 2012, and Hunter Renfroe 2013.
Mangum currently leads the SEC in batting, having finished the regular schedule at .427. That’s well in front of Texas A&M’s Boomer White who slumped in his team’s final week to .411. The league batting title will not be settled until both have finished their full seasons, which could easily find them squaring off in Omaha.
Mangum is bidding to be the first Bulldog to lead the team in batting since 2007, and the first State rookie to lead the league ever. Of his 73 base hits so far, only 13 have gone for extra bases. But Mangum also has struck out just 12 times in 171 official at-bats, and only walked 14 times.
When the SEC announces the all-conference teams today, it’s a given Mangum will make the Freshman squad. All-SEC ought to come with this too, which would make him the first true freshman Bulldog named all-conference since 1991 when pitcher Jay Powell made the second team. The last freshman Bulldog to make first-team All-SEC was way back in 1983, outfielder Rafael Palmeiro.
Fellow Ferriss finalist Hudson should be a shoo-in for All-SEC as well, with Humphreys coming on strong as a pitcher the second half of this junior season. First baseman Nathaniel Lowe and catcher/designated hitter Jack Kruger are also strong All-SEC contenders.
Mississippi State (40-14-1) was practicing on campus today in advance of the SEC Tournament. The Bulldogs have a first-round bye as the #1 seed, and don’t play until 4:30 Wednesday against the survivor of Alabama-Kentucky.
Prior to the game, the Bulldogs will be presented their SEC Championship trophy by commissioner Greg Sankey on the field.