Mississippi State Baseball: Diamond Dawgs set to begin 2021 season

Mississippi State head coach Chris Lemonis goes to Oxford to play Ole Miss for the first time as the Bulldogs head coach this weekend.chris lemonis
Mississippi State head coach Chris Lemonis goes to Oxford to play Ole Miss for the first time as the Bulldogs head coach this weekend.chris lemonis /
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Mississippi State Baseball: 2021 Infielder Preview

First base:

Veteran Josh Hatcher will begin the season at first base, where he started all 16 games at first base in 2020. Hatcher has established himself as an everyday starter and provides some pop in the middle of the lineup.

Hatcher hit .311 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, and nine RBIs in the shortened 2020 season. He looks primed to be a big-time run producer in 2021.

Second base: 

Justin Foscue is gone, and Mississippi State will now have to replace the 2020 first-round pick. Jacksonville grad transfer Scotty Dubrule looks like the guy to take over second base in 2021. Dubrule has been a hitting machine his whole career, ranking second in hits among active players with 249.

Dubrule was slashing .426 with 29 base knocks in 18 games for Jacksonville in 2020. He was selected twice to the All-Atlantic Sun conference team and will try to translate his hitting ability to the SEC level. Dubrule brings a lot of experience to Starkville, drawing 194 starts in four seasons for the Dolphins.

Junior Tanner Leggett could also see playing time at second base this year. Leggett drew five starts for MSU last year, two at third base and three as a designated hitter. He went 2-17 in his limited appearances.


Kamren James will move over to his natural position to replace Jordan Westburg after spending time at third base a year ago. He hit a solid .308 with three doubles, a home run, and 12 RBIs in his debut season. James started 14 contests, with 12 of those coming at third base.

James will be a huge factor in whether Mississippi State will make it back to Omaha this season. He will be relied on to play a clean shortstop and provide some offense in the middle of the lineup.

Third base: 

Third base is a position up for grabs this season for Mississippi State after Kamren James’s move to short. Kellum Clark and Landon Jordan are the top two candidates to land the starting job at third.

The 6’4”, 220-pound true freshman Clark will have a chance to make an immediate impact with his power at the plate. Whether he can make the adjustment from high school to college baseball remains to be seen.

Jordan has contributed in his first two years on campus and should have an expanded role in 2021. He’s been used mainly as a designated hitter but has made starts at both second and third base. Jordan hit .328 as a freshman in 2019 but got off to a slow start last year, hitting just .182.


Logan Tanner will likely be the starting catcher come February 19. He started in 11 games and performed well in his freshman campaign. Tanner hit .268 with two home runs and five RBIs without committing any errors behind the plate.

Luke Hancock is also a dependable option at catcher for Chris Lemonis. Hancock is entering his third season in Starkville and has made 20 starts in his career. He has hit .290 with six doubles over the past two seasons, and many expect him to take the next step power-wise in 2021.