Mississippi State freshman outfielder Jake Mangum has been named the recipient of the 2016 C Spire Ferriss Trophy, presented annually to the top collegiate baseball player in Mississippi. The Pearl native becomes the first freshman to take home the award in its 12-year history.
The outstanding freshman becomes the fifth Mississippi State player to take home the award. He joins outfielder Hunter Renfroe and pitcher Chris Stratton, who won in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2012, while catcher Ed Easley and shortstop Thomas Berkery went back-to-back in 2007 and 2006.
Mangum bested four other finalists for the award, including teammates junior RHP Dakota Hudson and junior outfielder/RHP Reid Humphreys. Other finalists included J.B. Woodman of Ole Miss and Will Robertson of Delta State.
Mangum finished the 2016 regular season leading the SEC in batting average with a .427 clip. That number is good for third in the NCAA and is first among freshmen in the entire country. He and his teammates will begin postseason action Wednesday in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. where the Bulldogs have earned the No. 1 seed after winning their first SEC regular season Championship since 1989.
"There are so many people in the state of Mississippi who deserve this," Mangum said. "Mississippi baseball is what it is because of people like (Boo Ferriss), and we thank you for that."
The trophy's namesake, former Mississippi State and Boston Red Sox hall of fame pitcher Dave "Boo" Ferriss, was in Cleveland for the trophy presentation.