Alex Yarbrough was not considered the favorite to win the Ferriss Trophy, which goes to Mississippi’s top college baseball player, so when he did not, it was not a surprise.
The grace with which Yarbrough handled himself also was not a surprise as he described the other finalists, Delta State’s Colton Mitchell and MSU’s Chris Stratton, both pitchers.
“There’s no disappointment at all. Colton’s had such a great year, just unhittable, and to throw a perfect game in college baseball is unbelievable. Chris, we got to go and face him in Starkville, and he made our whole team look silly for nine innings, pretty much. He’s probably the best pitcher that we faced. To only have one loss against the No. 1 team in the country and to put up the kind of numbers he’s put up, he’s more than deserving to win this award.”
Elsewhere, Yarbrough repeated themes he’s discussed the last several weeks, saying he’s given very little thought to his position for the upcoming draft, focus is on a strong finish for Ole Miss, possibly a home regional, and he credited new hitting coach Cliff Godwin for a big part in his development this season.
The stretch run: “We’ve got to finish really strong. It’d be nice to win a series this weekend, and hopefully we can do well in the SEC Tournament. We know what we’re going to have to have some help probably as well, but all we can do is focus on the games that we’re playing.”
Thought much about the draft? “No, I really haven’t. I’m just trying to focus on finishing this season strong and playing well for Ole Miss, and hopefully we can make a little bit of noise in the postseason.” (Yarbrough is projected between rounds 4 and 10.)
Improving as a hitter: “I missed too many pitches that were in the zone my freshman year. I would foul off a fastball that I was late on, and that would be the only pitch that I’d get to hit that at-bat. Coach Godwin, our new hitting coach this year, has been great with helping me with my approach, making sure my foot’s down in time in my swing to make sure I can see every pitch. He’s been great to work with this year.”