A Q&A With Assistant Coach Lane Burroughs

A Q&A with Mississippi State assistant baseball coach Lane Burroughs about the catchers. This is the second of a five-part series of interviews with the MSU baseball coaches.

What are your thoughts about Brooks Lewis after watching him during the fall and the post-fall practice four-on-ones?
"Brooks is a hard worker who has been in the program for awhile. So, he knows the ins and outs of the program. He suffered through some minor injuries during the fall and fell behind due to that. I think Brooks is the kind of guy who wants to be a part of this program and wants to help us win, but I also think he knows his role. And I think he has accepted that role."

Ryan Duffy is another veteran catcher who played through an injury in the fall.
"Duffy is awesome. He's a tough kid who is a hard worker. He obviously had the hand problem which really, really limited him at the plate. But offensively, I think he is one of our better hitters. We don't have a lot of power guys, but I think he is one of the few guys that can drive the ball out of the park and drive the ball into the alleys. We didn't see that much this fall because of his hand issue. But it's there.

Scott Deloach.
"I think that Scott, because he didn't have any injuries, was probably the most productive catcher of any that we have. I believe he works better than any catcher that we have as far as communicating with the pitchers and with Coach Thompson. I thought he was phenomenal at that this fall. He has some issues that we need to work on with his throwing. But as far as receiving, blocking and working hard and wanting to be the best that he can be, I thought his fall was phenomenal."

Cody Freeman was limited defensively, but not offensively. He really hit well during the fall.
"Cody had a great fall offensively, but he was limited defensively. I really think that Cody is our best overall catcher as far as receiving and throwing. I know he has a great arm. You didn't see that this fall, but I've been watching him play since he was in the 10th grade. He has a phenomenal arm, but he couldn't show it (due to the shoulder surgery rehab). Cody still needs to get better communicating with the pitcher, he needs to get better communicating overall and running the show. And offensively, he is one of our top two or three guys."

Why is Cody such a great hitter?
"Cody has tremendous bat speed and was born to hit. He is difficult to strike out due to that bat speed."

Johnny Allen.
"Johnny was injured due to his knee surgery and didn't get to catch much at all this past fall. I don't even think he caught a game. Offensively, I thought that Johnny showed some great flashes of power at the plate. He is a tough, competitive kid who wants to be in there. And I think we are a better club with him on the team because he's such a competitor."

What are some attributes that Johnny brings to the team other than being a catcher and hitter?
"Leadership. I really think our guys look up to Johnny and they like him because he's a tough kid. They look up to him due to what he has been through some in his life. He is determined to get his degree, be a good baseball player and to make something of himself. And I think our guys look up to him for that. He is one of the favorite players in the clubhouse to all the other guys."

Friday - Lane and Nick Mingione talk about the outfielders.

Saturday - Butch Thompson talks about the pitchers.

Sunday - John Cohen talks about the middle infielders and the third basemen.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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