As a flight of fancy, ncaa.com recently picked an all-time starting lineup of Mississippi State alumni, a Maroon 9, so to speak. It’s a very impressive bunch: CF Dan Van Cleve, SS Adam Frazier, 1B Will Clark, RF Rafael Palmeiro, LF Brent Rooker, 3B Travis Chapman, C Ed Easley, 2B Jeffrey Rea and P Jeff Brantley. Of course, a lot of great players were left off. One of the more glaring omissions would seem to be Jake Mangum, currently the Bulldogs’ center fielder. The former Jackson Prep star has a .356 average, 49 doubles, 87 RBIs, 154 runs and 34 stolen bases over 195 games entering 2019. He has been the SEC’s freshman of the year, an All-SEC pick, a Ferriss Trophy winner and an All-America selection. He has been drafted twice by MLB clubs. He led State to the College World Series last summer and returned for his senior season to try again for that elusive national title. It’s hard to imagine a player having had a greater impact on the program. He certainly rates a spot in the Maroon 9.
Jake Mangum’s excellent adventure will continue in the Cape Cod League playoffs, which start today. Mangum, former Jackson Prep star, led the SEC in hitting with a .427 mark and won the Ferriss Trophy as a freshman at Mississippi State this year. The switch-hitting outfielder has backed that up with a strong showing in the Cape, the premier college summer league. He hit .300 with nine RBIs, 19 runs and 11 stolen bases for the Bourne Braves. He also went 1-for-3 in the CCBL All-Star Game. Mangum was 4-for-5 with a couple of RBIs in Bourne’s last regular season game on Wednesday. Mangum’s State teammate Brent Rooker had an even better year in the Cape, batting .305 with three homers and 22 RBIs, but his team, Brewster, didn’t make the eight-team playoff field. State’s Ryan Gridley (.225) was also on that team. Ole Miss’ Will Golsan and Will Stokes are with Orleans, a playoff team. Stokes posted a 3.37 ERA in 15 games, while Golsan hit .235 with a homer and eight RBIs, finishing the regular season with a 3-for-4, 4-RBI game. Southern Miss’ Kirk McCarty went 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA for Orleans but isn’t on the playoff roster. State’s Trystan Barlow, who had an 8.21 ERA in 12 games for Harwich, is the only other Mississippi collegian in the Cape playoffs.