Conversation with new Rebel Michael Guerrero

Michael Guerrero was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006 and played a complete outfield for Meridian Community College during the past two seasons. Now, the Southaven prep product is ready to add speed and power to the Rebels' lineup in 2008.

Guerrero connected for 14 home runs and a .360 average as a freshman before leading MCC to the Central Division title this past season. The Eagles finished 2007 with a 39-13 record. Guerrero features above average speed and the power to play any outfield position.

Chase Parham of the Ole Miss Spirit caught up with Guerrero to discuss his game and excitement to be a Rebel.

On choosing not to play ball this summer:

I am focusing on hitting and working out. There hasn't been much time off in a while, and a little breather isn‘t a bad thing. I had a meeting with Coach Bianco right before my season was over, and we decided it would be better to work out and rest up instead of playing all summer and possibly being worn down when fall camp starts. I am working hard on my speed and running a lot. Speed is one of my assets, but it is also the one thing that I am trying hardest to improve.

On his 2007 season and his early commitment:

I had the third best average on the team, and it was a good year. I expected better, but it went well. We made it to regionals and finished 39-13. Committing early took a lot of pressure off because I knew I was going to sign as soon as it was offered. Coach called, and I committed on the phone call. I knew all about the program and know some of the players so it was an easy decision.

On what he learned from JUCO baseball:

I didn't realize how much of a grind college baseball is. Instead of a 30-game schedule, this is a long season. And in junior college we had to play a lot of double headers so it might be even harder than a major program's schedule. Also, a lot of people I know that went straight out of high school were red-shirted and didn't play the first year. But I have been able to get two full years and about 350 at-bats already. There are advantages no matter when you move up to the SEC level, but I feel prepared and ready to step right in. My freshman year I became really worn down by regional time so I worked out a lot more this year and concentrated on maintaining my body over a long period of playing everyday. That was something that I wouldn't have known out of high school.

On his game and expectations:

I am an aggressive hitter. I don't take many pitches. I like to get in there and hack and make things happen. I hear he (Rob Reinstetle) went out and recruited a lot of hitters so I definitely have my work cut out for me. I met a few of the other incoming players during orientation a couple weeks ago, and they all had good resumes. Especially the catcher and hitter from Texas. (Kyle Henson and Cliff Vaughn) Coach Rob talked to me about types of hitters and our mentalities meshed right away.

On competition meaning that the program is successful:

Winning is the big thing. I watched Omaha on TV when Mississippi State made it and was pretty upset, but I knew what we can be capable of. But I also saw the super regional with Arizona State and am ready for that experience. It will be awesome. The coaches talked to me about taking that next step, and I hope to help do that. Once the offer was out there, I had no reason to wait. It was what I wanted from the start.

OM Spirit Top Stories