John Cohen Talks About His Outfielders

Mississippi State head baseball coach John Cohen talks about this year's outfielders.

Senior outfielder Luke Adkins
"Luke played with Jarrod Parks this summer. He is a like a Cal Ripken Hall of Fammer in his summer league. Every year he has gone up there he has had a great summer. Luke is a different player. He showed up in really, really good shape. And I think he's going to compete for a corner outfield spot, DH spot."

Sophomore outfielder Brent Brownlee
"Brent Brownlee has changed his body. He is another guy who has gained 15 pounds. He has had two different shoulder injuries. But he is, in my opinion, the best defensive outfielder in the Southestern Conference. He might be the best defensive outfielder in the country. He makes it look easy. He is special defensively. And he throws it as well as anybody. He has really worked hard on the bunting game."

Junior outfielder Ryan Collins
"Ryan Collins has gained about 15 to 20 pounds. He weighs about 205 pounds right now. He is moving well, he is running well. His swing is better. He spent the entire summer rehabbing. I think half the strikeouts on the outer half of the plate last year were due to his shoulder. He couldn't get to a fastball on that side of the plate. But because he is such a good defender we probably played him in situations that we shouldn't. But he was always trying to talk us into playing him. I think the shoulder problem, for the most part, is behind him. And I think he is going to be a different hitter than he was last year."

Senior outfielder Ryan Duffy
"Ryan Duffy is no longer catching. He is strictly an outfielder at this point. We might entertain him being at first base a little bit. But obviously having Connor (Powers) back kind of changes that."

Junior outfielder/LHP Trey Johnson
"Trey Johnson might be the most valuable guy in our recruiting class because he can do so many things. He's a lefthanded pitcher and a really, really good hitter. He has as good of a hitter's mind as any kid that I have recruited in a long time, and two of those guys that I am talking about are in Double A right now. One was a third rounder and one was a fourth rounder. I think he's going to hit because I think he understands offensive baseball. He hit 19 home runs last year in junior college. He's spending a lot of time with the pitchers right now because I'm that confident in what he can do for us offensively and defensively in the outfield. I think he has a chance to be a very special player. Is he going to run better than anybody on our team? No. Is he going to throw better than anybody on our team? No. Is he going to have more power than anybody on our team? No. But when you start adding up all of his tools and what he brings to the table, he does everything very, very well. I see him being an outfielder and hitting in the middle of the lineup but he's going to have to earn that this fall. As for pitching, I think he's going to end up being a middle relief type guy. His stuff doesn't dictate him being a closer. But I wouldn't slam the door on him getting a midweek start on the mound either."

True freshman outfielder Matt McCraney
"Matt McCraney is (former MSU baseball player) Mike McCraney's son. He has some athletic skills. The fall is going to determine his fate. But he has a great attitude and he has really worked hard at it."

Junior outfielder Jaron Shepherd
"Jaron Shepherd is an extremely athletic lefthanded hitting outfielder from Navarro (junior college). He has been drafted twice. The issue with Jaron is that he has had a series of injuries over the last two years. But he is extremely athletic and can really run to the ball. If his swing gets better then I think he is a guy who will be right in the middle of things."

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

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