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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Just four more days: four budding Bulldogs who could play big roles

INF/OF Aaron Downs.
Courtesy Photo | MSU Athletics

INF/OF Aaron Downs.

Coming off of a national championship win, Bulldog fans are in high anticipation of how the returning players will perform in a new season. There are four particular freshmen who stand out and could potentially show out this season. 

Among these, true freshman Aaron Downs stands out. Ranked 69th among the MLB high school draft prospects, the Pella, Iowa, native who had recently moved to Columbus, Mississippi, was a great steal for the Mississippi State University baseball team. 

During fall scrimmages, Downs hit the first home run of the team, showcasing his strong offensive capabilities. He has potential as a third baseman, which was his position during the 2020 national showcase as well as other infield and outfield positions. 

When he signed with the Bulldogs as a junior at Heritage Academy in 2020, Downs was expectant of his time at MSU.

“I feel like I can be an impact player right away when I get there,” Downs said in an interview with The Dispatch about his signing.

Another freshman MSU fans should be excited to see on the field this season is Pico Kohn, a left-handed pitcher from Verbena, Alabama. 

During his senior year at Chilton County High School, Kohn’s work in 72 innings included 19 walks, 41 base hits and 126 strikeouts. 

When he committed in 2018, he shared a tweet about his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity. 

“I am extremely humbled and blessed to announce I have committed to Mississippi State University to further my academic and baseball careers,” Kohn tweeted. “I would like to thank all the coaches that have helped me get here and most importantly God for giving me this opportunity.”

Another freshman with pitching potential, Bradley Wilson from Irwinton, Georgia, was ranked No. 70 among Georgia prospects. 

Wilson lettered in both football and baseball at West Laurens High School and was just finishing up his football season when MSU moved forward with the offer. Wilson had to choose between two Bulldogs: MSU and the University of Georgia.

With his accurate, high speed throws as a third baseman and right-handed pitcher, scoring Wilson was a win for MSU.

Last in the four freshman roundup, infielder Slate Alford from Madison, Alabama, shows tremendous potential for time on Dudy Noble Field this season. 

Although he shows strong capabilities in the infield, Alford really shines when he’s up to bat. His senior year, he nailed 14 home runs and batted .464. Fans can expect to see him rounding the bases in maroon and white soon. 

With these four on the field in addition to other young players, head coach Chris Lemonis feels confident in his team moving forward with this season.

“We had a really good recruiting class and they’re putting some pressure on some guys who probably played some last year that are gonna have to play well this year,” Lemonis said in a media session earlier this month. 

About the Contributor
Lydia Palmer
Lydia Palmer, Former Sports Editor
Lydia Palmer served as the Sports Editor from 2020 to 2021.
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Just four more days: four budding Bulldogs who could play big roles