MSU Signee Demarcus Henderson Update

Wayne County (MS) High School infielder Demarcus Henderson, a Mississippi State signee, talked about being drafted, how speed is a big part of his game, and his thoughts about playing college ball.

You were drafted by the Houston Astros in the 43rd round. There was a lot of talk that you could have been drafted much higher? What do you think caused you to be drafted lower that expected
Demarcus Henderson - "It didn't surprise me due to my signability factor. And I also told most of the scouts that I was kind of focusing on going to school because I feel like I need to mature more as a person and get better as a ballplayer and get strong and faster."

Even though you want to go to college, did it still feel good to be drafted?
"Yeah, it felt good. A lot of people around my area and a lot little guys who play baseball in my area look up to me. So, when I got drafted they were all blowing their horns at me and getting me to sign autographs. That was cool but I had to turn my phone off because so many people were calling me. When I turned it back on I had something like 151 messages and 50 missed calls."

Have the Houston Astros contacted you since they drafted you?
"Yeah, the (pro scout) was just here (at Mississippi State). He said they are going to watch me over the summer. They want me to change my mind, but I'm kind of focusing on going to school."

Why are you so set on going to college?
"There are some areas that I need to work on. I know you get more at-bats in the pros but you get more quality one-on-ones with the coaches here (at Mississippi State). And I feel I need those one-on-ones."

What position do the MSU coaches want you to play?
"They want me to play shortstop."

What do you prefer playing?
"I don't care. You can put me anywhere and I'm going to play it. If I get to State and they put me in the outfield, I wouldn't care."

You are listed as a 6.5 second runner in the 60 yard dash. Is that your normal speed?
"Yeah, I'm 6.5 but the last time I ran it I ran a 6.4 at Wetumpka, Alabama. I was up there for a Marlins Showcase. My legs felt good that day. I have days when my legs feel super good. But on an average day I probably run a 6.5 to 6.6."

(Demarcus showed off that 6.5 speed in a Friday game played at Mississippi State by hitting a three-run, inside-the-part home run. For the game, he was 3-for-4 with the home run, 3 RBI and a stolen base. He also played flawless defense at short.-Gene)

Do you consider yourself a base stealer?
"Yeah, if I get on, I'm going to steal bases."

Do you read the pitcher's move to first and home and then steal based on that or do you simply run?
"I really don't (read the pitcher), I just run. Hopefully, when I get up (to Mississippi State) they will turn me into a base stealer. That's another reason I need to come to school. I have a lot of stuff I need to work on."

What are your personal goals when you get to Mississippi State?
"I expect to come in and start and be above average this year. I know I have to work my way in because it's not going to be easy."

I know, based on seeing you play today (Saturday at Mississippi State), you have a very good arm. What is your velocity?
"Against West Jones (in the playoffs) I was 94-95. It was the last few pitches of the game and I juiced it up a little bit. But normally I am consistently about 88-89. I guess it was a big game and I had been off something like two to three weeks. I guess the atmosphere did it."


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


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