SEC triple crown winner: MSU's Brent Rooker

MSU's Brent Rooker
Staff Writer

Brent Rooker has officially gone where only one other man before him has been. Rooker, Mississippi State’s now-former first baseman, locked down the Southeastern Conference’s triple crown on Tuesday night with the conclusion of the 2017 college baseball season.

Rooker led the league in batting average (.387), home runs (23) and RBI (82). Rooker joined former Bulldog great Rafael Palmeiro as the only two players to ever win the SEC’s triple crown. Palmeiro accomplished the feat in 1984.

“(Rooker) is incredible to watch every single day,” Mississippi State head coach Andy Cannizaro said of Rooker earlier this year. “He’s worth the price of admission. He’s always going to do something really cool that’s worth the price of a ticket.”

Rooker’s bat garnered headlines for MSU all season long this past year. He became the first SEC player ever to surpass 20 homers, 30 doubles and 75 RBI in a single season. Rooker’s 30 doubles were an MSU record. Rooker’s 96 hits placed him eighth in school history for single-season hits, and his 23 homers in one year were fifth-best in the school record book.

All of Rooker’s production netted him numerous postseason honors. He became the first-ever Bulldog to win the SEC Player of the Year award. He was picked as the National Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball. He was selected as a first team All-American by five different publications. He is also in the running for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the nation’s top amateur baseball player. That honor will be presented today at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Rooker is currently playing in the minor league system of the Minnesota Twins. He became MSU’s 14th all-time first-round MLB Draft selection when the Twins picked him earlier this month.

So far, Rooker has continued to hit in Minor League Baseball. Playing for the Elizabethton Twins, Minnesota’s Rookie League team, Rooker was hitting .316 with two homers, a double and four RBI in 19 at-bats entering play on Wednesday.