February 14, 2013
Mississippi State outfield preview
Mississippi State graduated only one position player a year ago in outfielder Brent Brownlee.
The Bulldogs benefit from a wealth of experience returning in the outfield including junior C.T. Bradford, who missed half of the season with multiple shoulder injuries.
Bradford is back along with junior Hunter Renfroe and sophomores Demarcus Henderson and Tyler Fullerton to give MSU a solid foundation of depth to start with. Bradford missed 30 games last year due to injury hitting .258 with two home runs and 17 RBIs.
Now back healthy, head coach John Cohen has high expectations for his centerfielder.
"His swing right now versus a year ago is night and day," Cohen said of Bradford. "I think he's got a chance to be a hit machine. The thing he's worked hard on is trying to get hits instead of hitting balls hard. Little guys have a tendency to try to swing too hard at times. I think certainly he's been able to make that adjustment. If you put he and Adam (Frazier) together at the top of the order, then those are two difficult guys to pitch to. That's the kind of combination you're looking for."
Renfroe was the only player to earn starts at all three outfield positions last spring. He started 33 games in centerfield, 15 in left and 12 more in right. Renfroe is a five-tool player who batted .252 with four home runs, 16 doubles and drove in 25 runs. He can also be used as a catcher or pitcher, where he has hit triple digits on the radar gun.
Over the summer, Renfroe had his jersey retired as part of the Bethesda Big Train of the Cal Ripken Collegiate League after hitting 19 home runs, scoring 52 runs and knocking in 57.
"Hunter is such a talented young man, I've said that a million times," Cohen said. "I think he's sick of me saying stuff like that. He just wants to go out there and play. His deal is he's got to get hits instead of trying to hit balls hard. If he puts the barrel in the right spot instead of trying to reach back for something extra and doing too much, he's going to hit a lot of balls a long way.
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