MSU Signee Will Cox Update

MSU Signee Will Cox Update

Amory High School senior right-handed pitcher Will Cox, a Mississippi State signee, has started the 2011 season in strong fashion.

Will, who was 13-1 with a 0.72 earned run average and allowed just 62 hits and 11 walks in 96.2 innings while striking out 142 in 2010, is pitching even better in 2011. In his last two 2011 outings combined, he threw 12 innings, allowing 1 (unearned) run on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 22. What has impressed his head coach is his control this year.

"One of the best things I can say about him is he pounds the strike zone," said Amory High School head baseball coach Chad Williams. "The other day (against Louisville) he threw a total of 74 pitches and 63 were strikes. He went 2-0 on one batter, that was it."

He's also performed well in his other starts.

"I've had three starts so far this season," said Cox, prior to his fourth start against Itawamba AHS in the Saltillo Tournament. "I started off against New Hope and went three pretty strong innings but threw too many pitches and gave up too many walks. I came out against Saltillo and threw pretty good; didn't give up any runs. Against Louisville I gave up 1 hit and no walks and threw 11 balls out of 74 pitches. I was feeling it that game. I felt like that was working (me) toward division play, which we start next week."

While stats usually show the ability of a player, it's the little things that make him a complete player. And Coach Williams has liked what he has seen from Cox in that regard this season.

"He's doing all the little things to make himself that much better," said Williams. "He's stepped into more of a leadership role for us this year than what he was last year. And some of the guys are responding to him."

And if he continues to do those little things, Williams sees him continuing to succeed when he gets to Mississippi State next season.

"When he gets to Mississippi State he'll get even stronger after he gets on their throwing program and their off-season workouts," said Williams.

While most kids aren't big on working out, Cox is exactly the opposite.

"I'm really looking forward to working out (at Mississippi State)," said Cox. "People say they dread it but I'm looking forward to getting over there and getting strong and getting my arm a lot stronger. And I'm looking forward to working on pitching. I'm excited about what (MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson) can do with me as a pitcher. I'm ready to see what next year will bring."

Cox is not the only one who is looking forward to next year. He also has two very proud parents who are looking forward to it as well.

"As parents, we are just real excited that he is going to Mississippi State," said his mother, Christina Cox. "He has worked hard to get there, and he knows he still has a lot of hard work ahead of him. He has a true desire to play at Mississippi State and be a starter as a freshman. We know he has that goal and desire to do so, and we are behind him 100%."

Although he also hits for Amory, that's something he will be giving up when he arrives on the Mississippi State campus this coming fall.

"I'm going to primarily be a pitcher at Mississippi State, " said the 6-4, 220-pounder. "That's what I want to do. I like to hit but I knew I was going to give it up sometime because I love pitching a lot more. I wish I could get out there every game and pitch but I know I can't. So, hopefully, the only bat I will be picking up next year will be a fungo (laugh)."

Cox is a hard-thrower who can throw his fastball in the high 80s and touch 90. He also has several other pitches he can throw.

"I throw a four-seam and two-seam fastball and I also have a slider, curveball and a circle change," said Cox, who hit 91 twice on my Stalker gun in his most recent outing against Itawamba AHS. "I know I'm topping out at 88 and 89 right now (with the four-seam fastball). Hopefully, as it warms up I will throw harder. I think I throw my slider in the upper 70s, 78-79. (And) I started working on my curveball back in January and it's become a really good pitch for me."

Will Cox's next start is a home game against Kosciusko High School next Tuesday at 5 pm.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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