By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi State junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe has won the Ferriss Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top college baseball player in Mississippi.
Renfroe beat out four other finalists, including Ole Miss pitcher Bobby Wahl and Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner. Renfroe is hitting .362 with an SEC-leading 15 home runs and 51 RBIs this season. He also leads the league with a .691 slugging percentage, has scored 48 runs, walked 33 times, struck out 34 times and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases with nine. Defensively, he has been a strength in right field, with five outfield assists.
Coach John Cohen has hailed Renfroe as a five-tool player, and the Crystal Springs native is expected to be taken in the first round of the MLB Draft this summer. Baseball America currently lists him as the No. 13 prospect in the country.
“I don’t know if he’s the best hitter I’ve ever coached, (but) I think he’s the most gifted athlete on a baseball field I’ve ever coached,” Cohen said earlier today. “And the difference there is he’s a legitimate five-tool guy, at least at the college level.”
Renfroe won the award despite some recent hitting struggles. Over his last 17 games, he’s batting .226 (14 of 62) with two home runs and one double. He’ll try and get that turned around this week, when the No. 16-ranked Bulldogs open SEC Tournament play against Missouri on Tuesday in Hoover, Ala.
This is the second consecutive year an MSU player has won the award, with pitcher Chris Stratton winning it last year. Four of the 10 Ferriss recipients have been from MSU.