RJ Yeager chooses Mississippi State as next stop
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Mosley alum RJ Yeager has found his next baseball home. It is with the Mississippi State program, the team that recently won the College World Series.
Despite four stellar seasons at Mercer the shortstop did not get drafted in the 20 rounds of the MLB draft that took place last week. After listening to free agent offers, RJ decided instead to use his fifth year of collegiate eligibility and shop around for a new school. And that process ending Wednesday with his choosing the recent National Champs in Starkville!
“So it’s been a crazy couple of days, after I entered the transfer portal.” RJ told me via Zoom Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve had calls from all over the country. I’m very fortunate to have had that. But at the same time it made this decision so much harder. I visited a couple of different SEC schools, Mississippi State just felt like home. It excited me. So grateful and humble to get the opportunity to play at an SEC caliber place, the defending national champions, I’m super excited and can’t wait to get there.”
Yeager says the teams that contacted him were from all over the country, even the west coast. He whittled his list down to two finalists, and decided from there after visiting both campuses.
“I visited Florida and Mississippi State, those were my top two.” said Yeager. “And both were outstanding places, they were so awesome, great coaches. But Mississippi State was just a different animal. Mississippi State was awesome. Duty Noble Field is insane. The fan base there is amazing, I hear. So, I’ve already had like 400 Mississippi State fans follow me, like it’s insane.”
This whole process has been a whirlwind for RJ. And it’s beginning to take the sting out of going through the draft without hearing his name called. Still that disappointment lingers, he admits.
“Yeah so what a change of emotions it’s been for me the past couple of days. I guess it was Tuesday night the draft ended and I didn’t hear my name called. It was devastating, you know I even thought about hanging it up. I was just so disappointed, it was a tough time, it was crazy. But you know I believe God has a plan and everything happens for a reason. A complete 360, yeah just to be down in the dumps you know kind of disappointed that my name wasn’t called. At the same time, getting calls from SEC, ACC programs wanting, them wanting me!”
The Bulldogs return their starting shortstop. RJ says he’s been told he can come in and compete for that spot, or slide into the second base or third base spots, which are more open, in terms of no starter returning. He’s good with moving positions, adding the “key is to keep hitting!”
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