The Mississippi State baseball team may need to find a new third baseman as Slate Alford has reportedly entered the transfer portal.
Following the end of the seemingly endless frustration that was the 2023 Mississippi State baseball season, it appears that the MSU Bulldogs may need to find themselves a new third baseman going into 2024.
That’s because Slate Alford has apparently entered the transfer portal. According to a report from D1Baseball’s Kendall Rogers, Alford has recently entered into the transfer portal. That’s a fairly notable loss for Mississippi State baseball coach Chris Lemonis.
This news didn’t seem to surprise many MSU fans and it’s unfortunate. Although he struggled at times with fielding at third base, Alford was a key contributor at the plate and flashed some notable potential.
Alford had a .248 batting average, but managed to hit nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 2023 as a sophomore.
Slate Alford enters transfer portal after disastrous 2023 Mississippi State baseball season
Lemonis isn’t going to have an easy offseason.
The man who led the Mississippi State Bulldogs to their first national title back in 2021 is now trying to reassemble the MSU baseball program. With Scott Foxhall out as MSU’s pitching coach, Lemonis has to round out his coaching staff with a suitable replacement (and hopefully someone that can resolve the Bulldogs’ pitching woes).
On top of that, Lemonis has to manage a roster that struggled mightily in 2023. The Bulldogs are coming off a year during which they managed to post a 7.01 ERA as a pitching staff. While MSU may have struck out 528 batters, State’s pitchers walked 321.
But pitching woes weren’t the Bulldogs’ only issues.
Mississippi State had a rather concerning number of errors during 2023. Overall, in 53 games, MSU recorded 65 errors. Against SEC competition, the Bulldogs had 33 errors. Only Tennessee and Missouri had more with 37 and 36 respectively.
The SEC average is 24.8.
So, Lemonis has his work cut out for him. It’s worth noting that Alford had 13 errors in 2023, the second most of any Bulldog, but losing him to the transfer portal doesn’t solve that problem for MSU. And it just creates a couple of other issues along the way. It’s generally bad to lose young, talented players.
Lemonis has a long offseason and it’ll be interesting to see how he navigates the transfer portal as he tries to turn the Bulldogs back into the winning program they once were just a few short seasons ago.