Forrest Moore: Always a Bulldog

Mississippi State true freshman lefthanded pitcher Forrest Moore was one of the top prospects in the nation during his junior and senior seasons of high school ball, and could have signed with just about any college in the nation, but he knew exactly where he wanted to play college ball since he was a little boy.

"Just about all the schools in the SEC looked at me, but I knew I wanted to come here from the beginning, so I didn't show any interest in anybody else other than State," said Moore, whose dad play football at State and his mother was a Diamond Girl for the MSU baseball team. "I've always been a State fan and didn't want to play anywhere else but here."

Although State beat out numerous colleges for his signature, they still had one major hurdle to overcome - the Major League Baseball draft.

"I was drafted in the 32nd round, although I received calls asking about late second and early third," said Forrest Moore, who was drafted by the Detroit Tigers.

But Moore had already thought long and hard about the ins and out of the draft and had a quick answer for the teams that called.

"I asked to be drafted after the 10th round so that I could negotiate for more money," said Moore. "There's no clause after the 10th round preventing you from negotiating for more money."

And, as you would expect, the Tigers were prepared to make a last ditch effort to sign him late in the summer after he turned down the first few offers.

"The Detroit scout that drafted me followed me around all summer and tried to make a last offer, but I told him I was going to go to school so there was no need to worry about it," explained Moore, who turned down an offer that was in the 100's of thousands of dollars.

Moore talked about what the pros saw in him that would generate that kind of money.

"They like my pitchability and my being able to get out of tough situations with what I have," said Moore. "And I was told coming out of high school that my curveball was a Major League plus curveball."

He also has a Major League average fastball and an improving changeup to go along with his hammer curve.

"Since I've been up here, I've been at 86 to 87 (miles per hour) and have hit 89 to 90," said Moore. "That's about where I was in high school right before I got hurt. And I've gotten a lot better with my changeup since I've gotten here."

Although it was tough to turn down the pros, he's happy being at Mississippi State.

"It's been a great experience, although it's been a little different than high school ball," said Moore. "It took me a couple of outings to get adjusted. But I think I've made a pretty good adjustment on how I've dealt with everything. So, I'm pretty satisfied with my pitching and how many innings I'm getting in."

Mississippi State pitching coach Russ McNickle has been a major help with the adjustments.

"I've been working with Coach McNickle a lot, trying to stay more downhill," said Moore. "I've done pretty good so far, so I'm happy about that."

Forrest has started a couple of games, but it's his relief pitching that has been the most impressive during the early going. In 16.0 innings he has given up just two runs (both earned) on 9 hits and 10 walks while striking out 17 for an earned run average of 1.13. Moore explained the reason for the success.

"I go out with the same mindset, but in relief I don't have to pace myself," he said. "I can go out there thinking I'm going to throw just three innings instead of thinking I'm going to throw six or seven."

With the success of freshmen like himself and others such as righthanded pitcher Michael Busby and position players such as Cody Freeman, Ryan Collins and Jason Nappi (a redshirt freshman), Forrest sees a bright future for Mississippi State baseball.

"We have a strong core of freshmen that came in here; me, Michael Busby, Ryan Collins, Cody Freeman and Paxton Pace and Shawn Marquardt who are both redshirting," said Moore. "And with the class that we have coming in, we should have a pretty strong team the next year or two."

But Moore does have one regret and that is that current head coach Ron Polk, who is retiring at the conclusion of this season, won't be around for the ride.

"It's tough because he was a big factor in why I came here, but it is a great experience to have at least one year with him," said Moore.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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