Rea Ready for Season and Starkville

When people first lay eyes on Wes Rea, all 6-foot-5, 270 pounds of him, most would assume he is an intimidating force on the football field. And those assumptions would not be wrong considering he was one of the top players in Mississippi this past season. But, ultimately, he followed his heart and decided to play baseball on the collegiate level at Mississippi State.

With his size and high ranking (ranked by Scout.com as the 38th best offensive tackle in the nation) as an offensive tackle, many have wondered why Wes Rea chose baseball over football.

"Baseball is just my true love," explained Rea. "I love football, too, but in my mind I have always wanted to play baseball at the next level. I just love the game. I am working hard to look more like a baseball player. I have been doing the football thing and now I am trying to lose weight, get faster, and get in baseball shape."

Rea surprised some people in the state with his decision to play baseball for Mississippi State. However, the talented first baseman/pitcher expresses great excitement when talking about his decision and he makes it easy to understand why he chose the Diamond Dogs of MSU.

"The atmosphere and the history of great baseball up there is incredible," said Rea. "When I got up there it was just awesome. Growing up I heard all the history of Mississippi State baseball and once I visited up there and saw everything I knew they weren't just stories. The coaches showed me a lot of attention, to. Between (MSU head coach John) Cohen, (assistant coach Lane) Burroughs, and (assistant coach Butch) Thompson they probably saw me play over 20 times. I have a pretty good relationship with each of them."

It is easy to see why the MSU coaches have taken such an interest in the talents of Rea.

"The strength of my game I would have to say is power," noted Rea. "I am a pretty big guy so I can hit for a good bit of power and I throw pretty hard. The fastball is my best pitch. I topped out at 94 and I am consistent around 90-91.

"I need to work on my speed, I have already lost a good bit of weight from football but I definitely need to get faster."

These skills led Wes to some pretty impressive numbers in his junior campaign. Rea hit .512 with six home runs and 36 RBI. His numbers on the mound were solid but his ERA was eye-popping. He tallied a 6-2 record with a excellent 1.30 earned run average.

The ability to be a big bat in the lineup and an overpowering arm is exactly how the Mississippi State coaches plan on utilizing Wes.

"They told me they will let me hit and pitch," Rea, said of his MSU opportunities. "I mean first base is going to be wide open next year with Powers leaving. Maybe I can hop into his place. I should have chance to do both in the fall. I think once I get up there it will work itself out though."

Rea was selected to the Gene's Page Fab 15 earlier in the year and has recently been honored as a member of the Clarion Ledger's Dandy Dozen squad.

"The Dandy Dozen is something you see in the paper a lot when you are growing up and when you are little you think those guys are big-time," said Rea. "So it was pretty cool when I found out I was on it. It's always nice to be recognized."

As far as his final season as a Red Rebel is concerned Rea is just ready to get it underway.

"I am just excited about this season and trying to win a State Championship," said Rea. "We have some talent and I think we should do pretty well this year."


Francis Wright is a writer for MississippiHardball.com, an independent website that covers Mississippi baseball, including high school, junior college and travel team ball. You can contact him by emailing fwright@mississippihardball.com.


Gene's Page Top Stories