A Look at 2013 with @MsStateBaseball

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If you’re on twitter, and you like baseball, then you probably follow @MsStateBaseball. If you aren’t, you should because he’s always discussing news, notes and giving his opinions about the Diamond Dawgs. He’s been a diehard MSU baseball fan since 1979 and is the “unofficial tweet of Mississippi State University baseball”. Since he knows the ins and outs of State’s program much better than I do, I reached out to him to share his thoughts about what we can expect from next year’s team. The rest of this article is his words..

Miss State will enter the 2013 baseball season with it’s most complete roster in the John Cohen era. Each position will be well stocked with experience and talent.

The mainstay of any SEC team is its weekend rotation, especially the Friday night starter. The leading candidate is Ben Bracewell. Considered to be the best pitcher coming out of fall ball in 2011, I think he will be the Friday starter…he should be completely healthy by then. Saturday starter will be Kendall Graveman. He was drafted on June 6, but many think he will come back. The Sunday spot will be filled by any number of pitchers. This will most likely be determined in the fall. The bullpen will be strong again minus Caleb Reed. Development is the key here.

The biggest concern toward the end of 2012 was the lack of hitting. This will only improve as kids grow up and new players enter the program. First base will be manned by a big man, Wes Rea. Daryl Norris, Trey Porter, and Nick Flair are backups. Second base will have the most competition in the fall. Matthew Britton is the leading candidate. Alex Detz, Sam Frost and William DuPont (16th Rd, Blue Jays) will push hard for PT.

Short stop will be Adam Frazier, who will be pre-season All-American in 2013. Brett Pirtle and DuPont will back him up along with Britton. Both Detz and Pirtle will provide quality depth and hitting ability. They both will be juniors. Third base will be Daryl Norris. If he wouldn’t have gotten hurt in March it would have been a huge boost to the offense. Hopefully, he will be fully healthy by the fall. Pirtle, Demarcus Henderson and Nick Flair will be his backup. Flair was redshirted in 2012. He was a 26th round pick of the Pirates in 2011. He will be the leading candidate for the right handed DH spot.

The catcher will be Mitch Slauter. A superb catcher. He will be backed up by Nic Almerrit and Daniel Garner. Garner is another candidate for the RH DH spot. In 2012, we didn’t have anyone to bat RH at the DH spot.

The outfield will be the most talented. The center fielder will be C.T. Bradford. Hopefully, he will stay healthy and put up All-American numbers. Right fielder will be Hunter Renfroe. A 31st rounder two years ago by the Red Sox, he is ready to break out and be the guy. The left fielder could be any number of players. Taylor Stark is the leading candidate but he may pitch more than OF next year. Demarcus Henderson is another strong candidate. He was a 43rd rounder by the Astros out of HS. Derrick Armstrong a JC player will provide quality depth and hitting ablilty. Tyler Fullerton, a sophmore, will provide depth. Jacob Robson (30th round by the Padres on June 6) is a star coming out of Canada. I hope he comes to college. We shall see in the coming weeks. Jacob Shempert is a Mississippi HS product that can hit a ton. He will compete for PT also.

As you can see, Cohen recruited a lot of hitters to come in and provide depth. If someone gets hurt in 2013, there should be plenty of ablity to fill that spot. I wouldn’t rule out a couple of more signees before school starts. Cohen mentioned some kids might leave the program. I expect more than 10 players to be drafted in 2013, a tribute to the talent Cohen has amassed in his years here.

A tentative schedule was released and I love the fact that we play brand new teams. Portland State, Grambling State, Purdue, Samford (payback time), New Orleans, St. Josephs, Fresno State, Central Arkansas (another payback game) all come to Dudy Noble to start the year.

I predicted a Regional for 2012 and I predict a Super for 2013. In 2013, the SEC will have 14 teams competing for the 10 spots in the SEC tournament. If you don’t make the SEC tournament you likely won’t make a Regional. Competition every SEC weekend will be great. Go to Dudy Noble to support your team.

@MsStateBaseball