Jorge Salgado

Hunter Renfroe: Mississippi State's newest Major League Baseball player

Former Mississippi State baseball player Hunter Renfroe was a September call-up by the San Diego Padres and capped off the month by being selected the National League's Player of the Week.

Renfroe hit three home runs and knocked in thirteen runs while batting .409 to earn the award.

"A lot of it was adrenalin because you are so excited," said Renfroe. "You try to go out there and do everything in your power to do the best for your team. And the guys who have been there have helped me out tremendously. So, I think it was very easy for me to go up there and continue doing what I had been doing in triple A."

He earned the honor after being called up by the Padres on September 21st.

"(Being called up to the Major Leagues) was an emotional time for me and my family," said Renfroe. "Obviously, we are so blessed to be given this opportunity to be up there. I am where I always dreamed to be. My hard work has paid off."

His success in the Big Leagues was very similar to the success that he had in Pacific Coast League. He earned Most Valuable Player honors in that league after hitting .308 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI. Renfroe was very humble about his PCL success.

"I just went out there and worked as hard as possible in spring training and kept doing what I have done forever," said Renfroe. "I have tried to stay as focused and as mentally prepared as possible."

His successful season has given him a lot of confidence.

"It gives me a lot of confidence," said Renfroe. "But you still have to go there and work as hard as possible and do what you can every day to get better even if it is just 1% better."

He is excited about next season and continuing to play for what he considers to be one of the top organizations in Major League Baseball.

"The bright lights in San Diego are probably some of the best in the world, you have 73 degree weather everyday, and a lot of people come to support you," said Renfroe. "I am very blessed to be with an organization in the most beautiful city and the most beautiful ballpark in the country."

He remembers the emotions of stepping on the field for his first game as a Major League Baseball player.

"I looked around and told myself I have made it," said Renfroe. "It was kind of hard to keep the nerves down, especially on defense, but it was a lot of fun."

Renfroe, who was honored by Mississippi State during the Auburn-Mississippi State football game this past Saturday, has a special place in his heart for Mississippi State.

"I always say (Mississippi State) is my second home," said Renfroe. "(Mississippi State) is the love of my life. This is where I always wanted to go to college when I was a kid. I got the chance to go here and I made the most of it. And I enjoyed every second I was on campus here. Everybody welcomes me back with open arms. It is unbelievable."

Renfroe is thankful for being able to live so many of his childhood dreams, including playing baseball at Mississippi State and playing Major League Baseball.

"I thank God everyday for this," said Renfroe. "I am very blessed to have come this far. Playing in the Major Leagues for many years is very hard to do but that is what I am trying to do. I want to be the best that I can be."

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

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