The Mississippi State Bulldogs baseball team is coming off a historic 2021 season, and they are looking to claim their second national championship in a row this year.
The team is returning a solid group of infielders and starting catcher Logan Tanner. They have also picked up a handful of high-profile freshmen and one standout transfer to add depth and new talent to their respective positions.
With the season quickly approaching, here's a look at the seven infielders and three catchers that will suit up for the Bulldogs this season.
INF Slate Alford: As the only true-freshman infielder currently on the team, Alford will have plenty of opportunities to learn with his older teammates. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound third baseman was ranked No. 1 in the state of Alabama at his position by Perfect Game in 2021.
INF Kellum Clark: Clark had 26 starts as a true freshman during the 2021 season, but he spent most of his time as a designated hitter. He finished the year with 22 hits, 16 runs batted in and five home runs. Fans might see him play more defense in the coming months.
INF Lane Forsythe: One of the team's best defenders is returning to the field yet again. Although he wasn't the team's best hitter, Forsythe excelled as a shortstop and posted a .930 fielding percentage. He was recognized for his efforts when he was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team after helping his Bulldogs win a national title.
INF Kamren James: James started 67 games for the Bulldogs as a third baseman during the 2021 season. He was one of the top offensive players on the team, especially towards the end of the season. James hit .264 on the year and finished the season with 12 home runs and a team-high 20 stolen bases.
INF Tanner Leggett: Nobody will ever forget Leggett's game-winning line drive against Texas to lead the Bulldogs into the championship series of the CWS Series. He may not have been in the starting lineup regularly last season, but he more than proved that he can step up in big moments and will undoubtedly rise as a star this season.
INF Davis Meche: Despite only seeing playing time in 10 games, Meche had a .250 batting average and recorded three hits, four runs, and one run batted in. As a defender, he had no errors. He is still one of the younger infielders but has the potential to be a regular part of the Bulldogs' starting lineup.
INF RJ Yeager: Yeager is one of Mississippi State's graduate-transfer pickups, and he's already a rising star. During his senior season at Mercer, he started each of the team's 57 games at shortstop and posted a .308 batting average with 13 home runs, 17 doubles and two triples.
C Gray Bane: Bane is the Bulldogs' newest true-freshman catcher, and he will most certainly benefit from working with Logan Tanner and Luke Hancock. The former Lewisburg High School standout was ranked the No. 19 overall player in Mississippi by Perfect Game in 2021.
C Luke Hancock: During his 2021 season, Hancock was a defensive triple threat: he saw playing time as a catcher, first baseman and designated hitter. He was also one of the best batters on the team and had 61 hits, 63 RBIs and 10 home runs.
C Logan Tanner: The Bulldogs will need to appreciate having Tanner this season because he is already a projected top-20 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. As good of a hitter as Tanner was last season, his arm was his best quality. Defensively, he had a .995 fielding percentage and 700 putouts.