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2017 Mississippi State Baseball Preview: 2nd Base

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The Bulldogs have struggled to find a consistent option at 2nd base since Brett Pirtle was drafted at the end of 2014.

The maroon squad celebrates a game winning hit from Luke Alexander during the Mississippi State baseball scrimmage in 2015.
Kelly Price: @HailStatePics

John Holland was brought in from the JUCO ranks to fill the void left by Brett Pirtle when Pirtle graduated and was drafted after the 2014 season. Holland never became the offensive force many though he would be, but he was a consistent start that has to be replaced.

Departed Bulldog 2nd Basemen

  • John Holland - .229 BA, .270 OBP, 12 RBIs

I hate to label John Holland’s career at Mississippi State a disappointment, but I can’t think of any other way to describe it. Most thought he would show some power and be a guy who could produce at the top of the lineup. He never did that, and lost some playing time to Luke Alexander and Hunter Stovall. Alexander struggled at the position, but the coaching staff is high on him and might be willing to give him another shot at the position.

Returning Bulldog 2nd Basemen

  • Hunter Stovall - .241 BA, .313 OBP, 16 Runs scored
  • Luke Alexander - .222 BA, .342 OBP, 2 HR, 9 RBIs

There were a lot of people who thought Luke Alexander would be one of the everyday players in 2016. He saw playing time to begin the year, but an early season injury made the talented infielder miss most of the 2016 season. For now, I’m expecting him to see most of his time at 2nd base, but these things are pretty fluid.

Judging the freshman season of Alexander isn’t really fair. He was hurt and probably should have been out the entire season, but the Bulldogs needed help up the middle.

The Bulldogs also let Hunter Stovall have some time at second once Alexander showed he either wasn't ready to play the position or was too hurt to really be effective. Stovall could be the answer here, and don't count out the freshmen I mentioned in the shortstop preview.

The Wild Card could be a guy I’ll cover in the Catcher preview. Incoming freshman Dustin Skelton has been impressive. He was brought in as a catcher and third baseman, but if Bragg nails down third and Marrero or Lovelady solidify catcher, maybe the coaches give Skelton a shot here.

If you're wondering which position has the most questions, it's second. There are a lot of options for Coach Cannizaro but it's going to take some time to figure out who benefits the team the most playing there.