Coach Mingione Talks First Base and Outfield

Mississippi State assistant baseball coach Nick Mingione, who coaches the first basemen and also helps with the outfielders, talks about his fall impressions of the first basemen and some of the outfielders.

Sophomore outfielder Brent Brownlee
"Brent is as good of a defender as we have in the SEC if not the country. He continued to make great plays. When he makes the great and amazing play, it's almost to the point now that that is what we expect from him. The biggest change from a year ago to now is his confidence offensively. He had an amazing fall offensively. He has a level of confidence that he did not have last fall. And he continues to improve. His short game has improved. His baserunning has improved. His ability to hit has improved."

Junior outfielder Ryan Collins
"Ryan is more physical this year. He's bigger and stronger. He's another player who is dramatically more confident. Last year, both he and Brent were coming off injuries that happened prior to when we got here. He's a better defender now. He understands at-bats. He had the second most walks on the team during the fall. He grinds the at-bats outs causing pitchers to throw more pitches. He's just a better baseball player. And it was no shock that the (MSU Fall) World Series was his best performance. When things are on the line, that's when Ryan Collins is at his best. So, it was no surprise for us to see that.

"Ryan and really we have quite a few guys who could actually play any position in the outfield. That is a compliment to the level of athletes that Coach Burroughs, Coach Thompson and Coach Cohen have recruited. Just about every outfielder that we have played at all the positions this fall."

Junior outfielder Trey Johnson
"He is everything that everybody said he would be and more. He is a great teammate, a great leader, a competitor. He absolutely grinds his at-bats out. I can't tell you how many times he had three ball counts on him. He actually led our team in walks. He just has great at-bats. He finished second in great at-bats throughout the course of the fall. Nick Vickerson was first in our great at-bats chart. Defensively, Trey is a guy who can play anywhere (in the outfield). He can play left, center and right. He is a guy who will play anywhere we want him to and he'll do it with a smile and a competitive nature. He is going to be a very good player for us."

Senior first baseman Connor Powers
"Connor continues to impress me defensively. The amount of range he has is impressive. His ability to slow the game down and never allow it to speed up is impressive. I've only coached a few other players who have that ability, one of whom was the SEC player of the year in 2006. Connor has that same type ability. That is a real compliment to Connor because he hadn't played first base until last fall and he did it part-time. Connor has also become a better leader. He is a guy his teammates look up to. He is a guy they count on. Offensively, Connor made a bunch of adjustments this fall. His strikeouts were down. His walks were up. And that's something that he wanted to do coming into the fall. He also hit a couple of home runs. As a matter of fact, that is the most he has hit in any fall. I just think it was an outstanding fall for Connor."

Redshirt freshman first baseman Nick Ray
"Nick is a guy who came back dramatically more confident. He is more confident defensively. I thought he did a really good job defensively this fall. He made plays this fall that I had never seen him make before. Offensively, Nick competed. I don't remember him giving an at-bat away. He was locked into every pitch and he gave his best effort offensively."

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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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