Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Mississippi State 2019 baseball commitment Ben Brantley

Mississippi Royals coach Mike Riley talks about Mississippi State baseball class of 2019 commitment Ben Brantley.

  • Name: Ben Brantley
  • Classification: 2019
  • Position: 1B
  • Ht: Wt: 6-foot-3, 200
  • Bats-Throws: L-R
  • High School: Hernando (MS) High School
  • Travel Team: Mississippi Royals
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

Tell me about Ben Brantley, what kind of kid and player is he? "He is a good kid, a smart kid. He is a tremendous kid who is full of talent. His ceiling is so high. If he continues to work like he has and does, then I think he will be something special by the time he gets to Mississippi State.

"I have been around him for the last three or four years and actually hit with him those years. He is a really solid player right now. Obviously, he is still young and still developing. He swings from the left side and is a big, strong guy. He is full of potential."

How did his commitment to Mississippi State happen? "I know that his family is a Mississippi State family. They are Mississippi State people who love the Bulldogs. And he decided early that is where he wanted to play.

"(The Mississippi Royals) were down there (at Dudy Noble Field) this past Sunday playing. I brought my 2019, 2018 and 2017 classes down there and we played against three teams out of Jackson. We played three seven-inning games. We took batting practice on the field. Coach Coggin and Coach Cohen were there and watched the BP and games. And Ben did what he normally does, he hit the ball really, really well and played really well. The combination of that and what they had already seen was enough to warrant the offer."

What other schools were recruiting him? "Obviously, Mississippi State was looking at him hard. Ole Miss was also looking at him very hard. Arkansas State was looking at him. Memphis had seen him and really, really liked him."

He plays first base. He also pitches, doesn't he? "He also pitches. I think, potentially, in three years they will have to take a good look at him on the mound as well. It depends on how he continues to develop on the mound."

He obviously is a big guy. Is he currently more of a doubles hitter or a home run hitter? "I project him to hit with a lot of power. I think the one thing that is unique about him is for a kid as big and strong as he is at his age he still hits the ball to the opposite field, and can drive it to the opposite field. I think his approach at the plate is he has to hit it to all sides of the field if he wants to play at the next level. The last couple of years he has been working on that really, really hard. He can go gap to gap and up the middle with power."

When did Mississippi State get involved with him recruiting-wise? "We had a showcase in Jackson last fall and I know Mississippi State was there. We (the Mississippi Royals) also had a hitting clinic during the winter at our facility and a coach of theirs came by and watched. Their coach really liked what he saw."

You know talent because your son, Austin, was drafted in the supplemental first round. How does Ben compare to that type talent and the other talented players that you have seen? "I think offensively he stacks up with anyone in his class. But being as young as he is there is still a lot of things that he has to work on. The important thing with him is his commitment and love for the game. He has the desire to get better. If you want to play at the SEC level then you have to work toward that every single day. And he is in the cages working daily."

During his freshman season at Hernando High School, Ben hit .377 (29-for-77) with 10 doubles, 3 home runs and knocked in 11 RBI.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network.

Gene's Page Top Stories