A Methodist minister said in a sermon that I heard one time- "You can only control w..."/> A Methodist minister said in a sermon that I heard one time- "You can only control w..."/>

Sandberg's Perfect Game Showcase Tryout Strikes a Cord With MSU Fans


A Methodist minister said in a sermon that I heard one time- “You can only control what you can, and you can’t worry about things you can’t control”.  That’s hard sometimes.  We always want to be in control of our situation.  Unfortunately for MSU fans, a highly rated quarterback commitment, Cord Sandberg, doing well at a Perfect Game showcase to up his MLB draft stock falls into the category of “things we can’t control.”  The Major League baseball draft in general falls into the category of “things we can’t control”.  As John Cohen says- “It only takes one scout to like you”.  Even more difficult as fans, we don’t know how Dan Mullen plans to handle this situation, although I suspect he not only has a plan, he has a good one.  But that’s not for us to know right now.

OK- there are some people that just read that paragraph that want to know what Perfect Game is, why Cord’s draft status shot up drastically, and maybe some MSU fans need to take a deep breath and look at why we feel the way we do, and maybe look at possible solutions if Sandberg does indeed go in the MLB draft.

Like many other things in the Internet age, baseball recruiting and to a degree scouting has taken to the web- very similar to Paul Jones Mississippi State recruiting site, mississippistate.247sports.com.  (I suggest you try his site out- it is the best in my opinion)  But, for baseball the site to go to is called Perfect Game.  It is based out of Georgia, and they rate the top players in the country- normally top American baseball players to be more specific.  These players- and in many cases Select Teams- sign up and go to showcases where they show off their talent in front of scouts and college coaches.  What makes Perfect Game unique, and very reputable, is the fact that scouts actually rate the players.  Now, it is not an end all be all.  They emphasize players that participate in the showcases.  So, someone such as Brandon Woodruff- who was drafted in the fifth round, but was not rated very high by Perfect Game, may slip through the cracks.  It’s not perfect, but they don’t claim to be either- despite their name.

Long story short- Cord Sandberg goes to a showcase in Minnesota and has a really impressive showing.  He went from a player that was basically unrated to one of the top players in the country- rated 88th overall among high school players to be specific.  That would place Cord somewhere in the top five rounds of the draft.

How did this happen?  A lot of MSU fans were told that his high school stats were not very good and there was little concern about Sandberg going in the MLB draft.  The first rule of scouting is “don’t pay attention to high school stats.”  There is something to that- I personally look at stats and use stats a lot more than your typical scout, however I’m normally only looking at Mississippi high school baseball players which is a league I am very familiar with, so I have a better frame of reference than a scout that may not be from Mississippi and has to cover several states and leagues.  A lot of times the better hitters are simply not pitched to.  They very rarely see a pitch to hit.  And thus, that leads to fewer home runs.  Coaches will tell a pitcher- “Do not let their guy that is going to play SEC baseball beat us.”  I think in Cord’s case, he is a guy that plays more than one sport, and so he never has really totally focused on baseball before.  That can cause a player’s stats to suffer sometimes.  There are a variety of things that factor into performance- the hitter’s in the batting order protecting a star, the ballpark may be really small, or really big, injury, etc.  I actually have heard of a scout that used to time the hang time on foul balls to try to estimate power potential because he felt like a player may not get anything to hit.

So, what are the scouts seeing with Cord Sandberg?  He is a big player (6’2″-6’3″) and he is extremely athletic, he can run well and he has a very good arm.  As far as power goes, he can generate bat speed, or the scouts feel like they can correct any flaws he may have with his swing and develop him into a power hitter.  Him being a quarterback is a very positive thing because it tells me that not only is he athletic, but he is also smart and able to lead.  Finally, he has good bloodline- his Dad played minor league baseball, and so he grew up in a baseball family.

Now that your scouting lesson is over- on to US.  The MSU fans.  Should we be worried?  I can only say this on my behalf coming from a baseball family myself.  Growing up, I always wanted to be like my Dad.  My Dad played baseball, and therefore I wanted to play baseball.   We all want to be like our heroes, and my Dad is my hero.  I think for most sons, it’s that way as well.  If I had the opportunity to play any sport, you better believe it is baseball.  That said, I don’t know how Cord feels, and I don’t think I can accurately speak on his behalf.  Every year it seems like I have a discussion with someone about “how can you turn down a million dollars from MLB?”  It depends on the player’s priorities in life, and what he wants to do.  Cord may very well be like most sons in a baseball family and want to follow his father’s footsteps.  He may love football more than baseball.  Could he sign a deal similar to Anthony Alford’s at USM where he plays football in the fall and baseball in the spring and summer?  Possibly- but I doubt Dan would be happy with that, but just as I can’t speak for Cord, I can’t speak for Dan Mullen either.

We as MSU fans tend to panic.  We joke about the indian burial mound that Scott Field is built upon.  And quite frankly, we have had some bad luck with quarterbacks since Dan Mullen has been here.  I’m not suggesting that anything is Dan’s fault.  He can’t help it when a quarterback is from the shadow of Oxford or has a grandfather that has a name on a building at the University of Mississippi.  It’s not his fault that Cord had a really good showcase.  All of this is new and we don’t know what contingency plan is in place.  Things you can’t control.

So, let’s pretend for a moment that we are Dan Mullen.  The first step to solving a problem a lot of times is to look at the possibilities.  And let’s look at those through the eyes of Dan.

  • Cord may come to Mississippi State.  He IS committed to Mississippi State.  Why would Dan take a commitment from a player that he wouldn’t think would show up to campus?  Maybe Cord and Dan didn’t think he blossom into a big time baseball prospect?  Maybe.  And if that’s the case…
  • Thank God it’s July and we have several more months of recruiting.  Could you imagine finding this out in May?  At least now we have the benefit of the Big Dawg camp coming up to see some more high school prospects.  We could certainly get a quarterback out of our camp.
  • We could try to flip another school’s QB prospect.  That’s pretty risky in my opinion.  That doesn’t happen a lot.
  • We could see if someone blows up during the high school season.  Which I guarantee you will happen to someone.
  • We could go the junior college route.  I can also guarantee you that someone in junior college will all of a sudden blow up as well.  Remember Bo Wallace?
  • Free agency.  We could get someone to transfer in.  This makes the least amount of sense to me.  First of all, it’s very Ole Miss.  Second of all, we don’t have their magic powers to get someone magically eligible.  Lastly, they would have to learn our system.  But, nonetheless it’s a possibility.

Now the disclaimer- these suggestions are back-up plans.  Cord Sandberg IS still committed to us.  And that’s why honestly, I think going the junior college route makes a lot of sense to me.  We’ve lost Dylan Favre to Pearl River.  We’ve lost Nick Schuessler to Clemson.  A junior college quarterback can fill in the gaps from transfers and lessen any blow that might be dealt if Cord chooses MLB.  If Cord chooses MSU, then we don’t have two freshmen quarterbacks.  Oh yeah, we also have a walk-on quarterback that is supposed to be very talented, but investing in walk-on quarterbacks is risky to say the least.

Now, the real Dan Mullen I’m sure has a plan.  I trust him with that plan until he proves me otherwise.  Until then MSU friends- control what we can and don’t worry about what we can’t.

Hail State!

The World Famous Todd4State