(Jake Mangum) Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Dakota Hudson Talks About Jake Mangum

Mississippi State freshman outfielder Jake Mangum has taken the SEC by storm this spring, leading the SEC in hitting with a .427 batting average. For his efforts he has been named the SEC Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All-SEC and the Ferriss Trophy Award winner. What has made this talented freshman so special? Who better to explain than teammate Dakota Hudson, one of the most talented pitchers in college baseball.

Dakota Hudson has watched Mangum since he arrived on campus last fall and has seen him steadily improve.

"I feel like he made an adjustment from the fall to now where it put him from being behind a few guys to being one of our best guys," said Hudson. "I feel like he is extremely adaptable and has a good head on his shoulders. He got used to the system and learned how to be a top-notch college hitter. And that is what he has become."

According to Hudson, Mangum also has the physical ability that few other hitters have, the ability to put the bat on the ball on just about any pitch.

"When you face a guy whose bat is in the zone as long as his is it is difficult to get a swing and miss," said Hudson. "I feel like sometimes you throw your best pitch and he is either getting a base hit or fouling it off. He works the pitcher until he gets a mistake pitch or hits a good pitch. It is extremely hard to throw to a hitter like that."

Hudson gives the true freshman extremely high praise.

"There are just a few hitters like him, only two or three in the SEC that are like him," said Hudson. "You have (Texas A&M's) Boomer White and (Ole Miss') J.B. Woodman who have pretty good swings. But there aren't too many guys who can do what he can do."

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