MSU Mythbusting: MSU Needs to Change Their Lineup


Over the course of the next five days, I want to look at some things regarding the athletic programs at Mississippi State. I then plan to put them to the Mythbusters test. If you’ve never seen the show on Discovery, they always test the myth and then determine if it is confirmed, plausible, or busted. We will do the same for the myths of Mississippi State. We will do 2 for basketball, 2 for football, and one for baseball.

After the early season struggles, the baseball team has settled into a nice groove. The one thing that occasionally pops up still is people squabbling about the lineup. The biggest complaints seem to be that Vickerson and Detz aren’t getting it done in front of Wes Rea, and we need to make some changes. Let’s take a look at the evidence

Vickerson and Detz

Let’s start with the leadoff guy Vickerson. He is currently batting .265 with a .304 slugging percentage. Those are pretty pedestrian numbers. He stands out more with a .353 OBP. He may not be racking up a ton of hits, but he is finding ways to get on base. He also has seven stolen bases on nine attempts which is a really solid percentage.

Detz has struggled quite a bit. He is batting .234 with a .308 slugging percentage. Pretty abysmal numbers, but he is doing a decent job of getting on base with a .333 OBP. He did have a big two run homer this past weekend that propelled State to a victory, but it has been very hit or miss for Detz.

Armstrong and Henderson

The most likely candidates to replace either of them would be Armstrong and Henderson. They have both put up some great numbers when given the opportunity. They have been batting around the 6 0r 7 slot in the lineup. Maybe they should be bumped up.

Henderson is leading the team in batting average at .333 with an astounding .468 OBP. To top it off, he has a nice .365 slugging percentage to go along with it. Where he really stands out is his ability to steal bases. He is currently 9-9 on stolen base attempts.

Armstrong has been rock solid as well. He is hitting .328 with a slugging percentage of .344. His OBP is sitting pretty high at .389. He made a strong case for being moved up in the lineup this past Saturday during the double header. He went 6-8 with an RBI

The Verdict: For Vickerson, I think it is plausible. He hasn’t done anything to deserve a demotion, but Armstrong and Henderson have done so well that I wouldn’t be disappointed at all if either of them got bumped up. I’m okay with Vickerson staying where he is though.

For Detz, I think it is confirmed. Detz is a solid player, but he hasn’t just lit the world on fire with his bat this year. He has a few big hits, but they simply aren’t coming consistently enough to justify staying in the 2 hole when you have two players who are severely out producing him. Rea has shown this year that he is a completely different hitter when he has runners on base and a chance to do some damage. When the bases are empty, he looks very average. Getting a player who gets on base much more often in front of him will help drive in a few more runs would help solve some of our offensive deficiencies.