/Jake Mangum’s rest of the story From walk-on to paltry signing bonus

Jake Mangum’s rest of the story From walk-on to paltry signing bonus

Mangum argued for three additional paid assistant coaches (from two), and for significantly increasing the number of scholarships per team to 11.7. Here’s some information you might not have known. Jake Mangum is the icon of Mississippi State and the Southeastern Conference’s hits leader. He has been a walkon since his sophomore season with the Bulldogs. You read that right. He returned to play his senior and junior seasons, when he could have been a pro, without any scholarship. Mangum stated that he was lucky enough to come from a family that could afford college. “My father and mother agreed to it and I accepted it because the money could be better used for another player. “I haven’t been on scholarship the last two years.” I know, it’s crazy. The last two seasons were free for one of the greatest baseball players in SEC history. It gets even more crazy. Last year, Mangum declined bonuses of $300,000. He was called by teams stating that they would draft him for this amount. Mangum replied, “No.” He was determined to go back to State to try and win a national championship. In the hope that he would change his mind, however, the New York Mets drafted Mangum in 32nd round. This was not to be. You probably already know that the Mets selected Mangum in the fourth round this year’s draft. Two days ago, he signed for the Mets for – get this – a signing Bonus of just $20,000. This is right, 20 grand for the SEC’s all-time top hits leader and strong-armed center fielder. This is in comparison to the $1.8million contracts that Ethan Small, his teammate, and Southern Miss slugger Matt Wallner signed, both juniors. Mangum replied to a question regarding the small signing bonus. Major League baseball places a high value on power and pitching. It’s all about home runs for position players. There’s more. “That’s how it works with college seniors. Mangum stated that you have no leverage. “Baseball is amazing in that you don’t get a scholarship for two years and then you are severely penalized financially for not staying in school. That was something I knew when I made the decision.” Mangum stated that he wouldn’t change one thing. “I would do the same thing. I’d go back right now. He would go back in a heartbeat.” Instead, he travels to Brooklyn, N.Y., to live in a hotel, and play in the NY-Penn League’s Class A short-season Brooklyn Cyclones. One could argue that he was exposed to better and more consistent pitching than he will encounter in the SEC. Mangum’s ability to hit and field at a higher level than he will face in the SEC could be argued and it might have been more sensible to start him at the advanced class A or Class AA level. Mangum stated, “This may sound clichéd but it’s true in this instance.” “I don’t want to worry about anything I can’t control at the moment. My goal is to perform at the highest level possible at any given level, then move up. The Brooklyn team attracts large crowds. They want to win. Mangum feels pressure to win. I told him that I could see him one day returning to Mississippi State as a baseball coach or as an athletic director. It is possible to do that at State. Mangum stated, “My plan is play professional baseball as long as possible, and I plan on playing for a long while.” “But after that, I would love to coach college baseball. That would be my dream job. “But Coach Chris Lemonis will win so many games there and eventually win a national title, and I can’t WAIT to see it.” There are no regrets, other than the ridiculous NCAA limits. Mangum stated that it wasn’t what we expected. We didn’t win, but that was our goal. But, no, no regrets. It’s something I would do again and I am so grateful for the support that I received – and have received – from Mississippi State employees. It’s that special thing that makes it so great.”