- Special Sections
- Dawgs Deals
This week the College World Series begins without Mississippi State being a part of the festivities.
It was certainly not the way the Bulldogs wanted to end the season, but the late run of 2012 has placed high expectations on the program and MSU coach John Cohen wouldnât have it any other way.
âThat is exactly what we want,â said Cohen on having expectations after Stateâs 40-win season. âItâs hard to have that conversation after 23-33, but that is exactly what you want. You want your players talking about it. You want your fan base talking about it.â
Cohen has a vision for the Bulldogs and he plans on making it a reality by simply pushing forward.
âI want us to be the very, very best we can be now and not look in the rear-view mirror,â Cohen said. âWhen you constantly look in the rear-view mirror of what it was, youâre making a huge mistake.â
At the end of the day, Cohen isnât happy the season is over, but is excited about where the program is.
âIâm really pleased where we are, especially in the area of developing arms and the area of evolution of our players really buying-in and knowing weâre just right on the edge of being able to do something special," Cohen said.
State escapes MLB Draft
Each year Cohen has to hold his breath, hoping his roster isnât decimated by the Major League Baseball Draft.
This is due to the fact that the draft can quickly turn a promising team in to a rebuilding project in the matter of a couple of days.
MSU pitchers Chris Stratton, Nick Routt, and Kendall Graveman were all taken off the current roster and Will DuPont is a Bulldog signee who was drafted.
âAs of right now, we feel pretty good about it,â said Cohen. âDuPont is obviously an area of concern, but weâre optimistic weâre still going to get him. Anything can change.
âCertainly itâs an honor for Kendall to get drafted but weâre very hopeful weâre going to get him back. Obviously that would be someone very difficult to replace, but the fact that Kendall is such a huge part of our program from a leadership perspective, and the fact he is an engineering major which in most cases is a five-year program. Weâre very optimistic about him also.â
With Stratton going in the first round with the 20th overall selection to the San Francisco Giants, it is a simple decision for the Bulldog ace. As for Routt, Cohen is happy for his opportunity.
âWeâre really pleased for Nick Routt," Cohen said. "He just got his degree. The evolution of his changeup and velocity coming back throughout the year, I think he can pitch for a long time in the minor leagues.â
Bulldogs get time to heal
There's no secret of how much MSU faced the injury bug during the season.
A rash of injuries plagued the team, but now the Bulldogs have the time to return to full strength.
âMitch Slauter is going to have a little procedure done on his knee, which we feel is not going to be a big, big deal,â said Cohen. âWe feel it's going to prohibit him from probably playing summer baseball. Weâll see in a month where he is and if heâs doing well, we'll send him to the Cape.â
Third baseman Daryl Norris, will have his knee re-examined in order to determine the direction of his summer rehab.
Like Norris, first baseman Wes Rea will be re-examined as well. His shoulder continues to give the slugger discomfort and Dr. Rusty Linton will continue to monitor his progress.
âWes is really sick and tired of having to deal with it," Cohen said. "Heâll do whatever it takes to get that fixed."
C.T. Bradford will obviously be in recovery mode this summer after having shoulder surgery in April.
Graveman continues to rehab from his groin injury that bothered him over the final month of the season. No surgery appears to be needed at this time.
MSU's Boys of Summer
Mississippi State is set for summer league baseball all across the globe, headlined by shortstop Adam Frazier joining Team USA.
Roughly 20 Bulldogs have their summer assignments which is something Cohen sees as vital for their continued improvement.
âItâs really important for kids to have these summer experiences,â Cohen said. âI remember Pat McMahon pulling me into his office and telling me youâre going to play in Alaska; youâre going to be 2,000 miles from home; and itâs going to be a different culture. No matter what happens, youâre going to stick it out because you represent Mississippi State. It doesnât matter if you get homesick and it doesnât matter if youâre not playing well, you are going to stay there and represent all of us the right way.â
Even though the players will play at great distances, Cohen plans on staying in touch and may catch a game or two in person.
âYeah, Iâm hopeful I am going to get to go up to the Cape and see those guys,â Cohen said. âItâs really neat to evaluate your kids when they are playing with other kids and get the opportunity to kind of run their own program for the course of the summer.âView more articles in: