Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Elih Marrero talks about his improvement

Mississippi State sophomore catcher Elih Marrero has seen steady improvement from himself and the MSU pitching staff.

Since stepping on campus last season as a freshman, Marrero has seen a lot of individual improvement in himself.

"I feel like I am more mature after going through my first season and seeing how it is in the SEC," said Marrero. "I got to play with great veterans like Jake Robson who really helped us last year. Now, this year is like letting us loose and letting us go play."

He gives new head coach Andy Cannizaro credit for his approach at the plate.

"I have put a lot of work into my hitting during the offseason but Coach Cannizaro is a big factor in getting us ready to hit at all times, not matter what the count is," said Marrero.

He has made improvements in a lot of areas but he feels one area is where he has made the most improvement.

"I have improved the most as a leader behind the plate, helping the pitcher through certain situations and helping the team win at all costs," said Marrero.

As a catcher he deals with the pitching staff every day. He has seen one huge improvement in this year's staff.

"Our pitching staff is under 1.2 seconds to home plate every time," said Marrero. "It is incredible. Coach (Cannizaro) said he has never seen anything like it. We have one of the fastest to the plate pitching staffs that he has ever seen."

That has caused the Bulldog running game to suffer during the scrimmages. But Marrero doesn't see that carrying over to the regular season.

"Our guys are getting thrown out but barely and sometimes they are still stealing bases," said Marrero. "Once we start regular season play and the pitching staffs aren't 1.2, 1.3 to home plate we will steal bases standing up."

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