The Mississippi State baseball program has had an exciting few years to say the least. In a two year span, the program welcomed a new head coach, started playing in a brand new stadium, made an appearance in the College World Series, and produced their historical best MLB draft results. The Mississippi State baseball program is on an upward trajectory which should further assist their recruiting capabilities in years to come.
The Bulldogs play in the very competitive SEC West, regularly matching up against Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, and Auburn for in-conference play. Their state of the art baseball facilities and highly talented team also attract a variety of other Division 1 teams for out-of-conference play.
Although they’ve never won the College Baseball World Series, they’ve played in it 11 times, with a runner-up finish in 2013. With close to 300 Division 1 college baseball programs, reaching the College World Series is an achievement on its own. The baseball program also has a rich history with a number of well known MLB players.
With the introduction of a new head coach, the program continues to excel. We should expect this program to compete at the highest levels in the years to come as Lemonis continues to replenish the program with highly skilled players.
Chris Lemonis had a tremendous amount of success as the head coach of the Bulldogs in his inaugural 2019 season. It was actually one of the best performances by an SEC team with a first year head coach. Introducing a new head coach can cause some turbulence within a baseball program, for a variety of reasons, but the Lemonis transition was smooth and well planned out.
The 2019 Bulldogs became the second winningest baseball team in program history with 52 wins. Lemonis joined a list of three coaches in the SEC to lead their team to a College World Series appearance as a first year head coach. To top it off, during the 2019 season, an astounding 11 players were selected in the MLB first year player draft.
Lemonis’ Division 1 coaching journey started at his alma mater, The Citadel, where he was an assistant coach for 12 seasons, helping them to 5 NCAA regional appearances. Lemonis then joined the coaching staff at Louisville as an assistant coach for eight years, earning ACBA and Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year accolades during his time there.
In 2015, Lemonis took on the his first head coaching job at Indiana University. As a head coach, Lemonis is 193-106-2, with over 800 wins as an assistance coach. Although Lemonis hasn’t been a head coach for a long time, he brings along a pretty impressive resume, summarized below:
- 26 seasons as a collegiate coach
- 1 College World Series appearance as a head coach
- 3 College World Series appearance as an assistant coach
- 16 NCAA tournament berths
- 4 50 win seasons
- 29 All-Americans
- 13 Freshman All-Americans
- 79 signed professional contracts
- 17 MLB players
Mississippi State Baseball Facilities
The Mississippi State Bulldogs play their home games at Dudy Noble Field/Polk-Dement Stadium, which is named after two former Mississippi State hall of fame head coaches. The stadium is also the largest on-campus facility in all of college baseball. Not only is it the largest, but it is arguably one of the nicest college baseball venues, for both the players and fans.
The facility was recently demolished and completely reconstructed with a $68 million dollar renovation. With this renovation, Polk-Dement Stadium is now suitable for every fan with a variety of seating options. The venue offers grandstand seating, luxury style suites, and even a tailgate experience in left field.
The stadium also has the second largest scoreboard in all of college baseball, which happens to be larger than three MLB stadiums. Underneath the stadium, players have an 18,000 square foot space that contains an equipment room, training room, fueling station, team meeting area, batting tunnel, and a beautiful locker room.
In the past 20 seasons, Mississippi State has averaged about 6,000 fans for every home game. The program experienced its highest attendance figures in the 2019 season where they reached about 375k in attendance over the course of their home schedule. Of the top 25 college on-campus baseball event attendances, 19 have occurred on Dudy Noble Field. They also own the top spot for that ranking with 15,586 fans in attendance for a single game in 2014.
With a brand new stadium and an engaged fan base, the Mississippi State baseball program leverages both to bolster their recruiting efforts.
Mississippi State Baseball Alumni
Even with the shortened 2020 MLB draft, 3 Mississippi State players were selected in the first year player draft, 2 of which were in the first round. In 2019, they had their most impressive year yet, with 11 players being selected.
While Mississippi State doesn’t always produce double digit draft picks on a yearly basis, they’ve seen a fair share of their players reach the highest level of baseball. In Mississippi State’s long baseball history, 56 players have gone on to play in the MLB. Some of these include Rafael Palmeiro, Jonathan Papelbon, and Hunter Renfroe.
Get free access to the full Mississippi State baseball program evaluation through the TeamFacts tool, which contains a variety of recruiting metrics for every NCAA baseball program. Some of the metrics include transfers, redshirts, player retention, academic majors, and many more.