Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Jake Mangum Talks About Dakota Hudson

Mississippi State junior righthand pitcher Dakota Hudson has been named first-team All-SEC and is projected to be a high first-round draft pick in next month's Major League Baseball Draft. Teammate Jake Mangum, one of the most talented hitters in the SEC, explains what makes Hudson such a special pitcher.

Hudson's pitching repertoire is obviously the first thing that you notice when you watch him pitch.

"He has the stuff," said Mangum. "He has a 91 mile per hour cutter. You (just) don't see that. (Former MSU pitcher and current Major League Baseball pitcher) Jacob Lindgren had an 87 mile per hour slider. That is a special pitch. Dakota has that, too. (But his is) a 91 mile per hour cutter. And (he also has) a 96 mile per hour fastball. And his curveball and changeup have gotten so much better. He has four pitches that he can throw for strikes and strike you out with at anytime."

But, according to Mangum, what makes Hudson truly special is something only people who play with him on a day to day basis sees.

"Dakota is special because he can take what he has mentally and teach it to other players," said Mangum. "Mentally he is there. He is a player who could be a coach. After (pitching) Coach (Butch) Thompson left and before (pitching) Coach (Wes) Johnson got here he took the role of being the pitching coach. He would be in the bullpen working with the younger guys and the older guys. What he has on the mound he (even) tells our hitters about."

Mangum has high praise for the talented righthander when comparing him to other pitchers.

"He is one of the top pitchers in the league," said Mangum. "He has gone out and proven that. What makes him so special is he has done that week in and week out. And that is what has made him so special to this team and this program."

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