PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Mosley alum RJ Yeager has been leading the reigning College World Series champions Mississippi State in nearly every hitting category this season.
The fifth-year senior transferred from Mercer, where he spent four years and was named as a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award as one of the top shortstops in NCAA baseball.
“I just feel like I’m finally starting to prove myself on a bigger stage,” Yeager said. “I feel like that’s what I wanted to do, coming from Mercer to here, to here at Mississippi State, that was my sole goal.”
Over halfway through the regular season, Yeager leads the Bulldogs in batting average (.315), slugging percentage (.639) and home runs (10).
“It gives me that confidence that I can perform against whoever whenever,” Yeager said. “So, having that confidence is huge as a player, you have to go up there and know you can do it.”
Since moving to play his final season of college eligibility in Starkville, Yeager’s under-the-radar talent has been brought to the limelight, as in just a matter of months, he’s become a common household name with Mississippi State fans.
The term ‘Yeager Bomb’ (a reference between the adult beverage and Yeager hitting home runs) has become so popular that the SEC Network has even posted on Twitter with the caption.
“We have the best fan base in America,” Yeager said. “So, you add that with a bunch of GIFs and I don’t know, photoshopped pictures, and I get tagged in stuff all the time that’s hilarious, and some of it I want to retweet but I can’t.”
The Yeager mania reached an all-time high on Friday, March 25, when he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat conference foe Alabama.
“That’s got to be one of my top memories so far as a baseball player because that place was going nuts,” Yeager said. “I hit home and my shirt came off, I didn’t know where half of my stuff was, I didn’t know where my EvoShields, I had EvoShields, I don’t know where they went, and thankfully I showed up to the park the next day and all my stuff was there so I was like alright, we’re good.”
Being a fifth-year senior, Yeager knows that MLB scouts might continue to overlook his talent, but still has hope of proving he belongs in the league.
His only goal moving forward into the rest of the season is to help lead Mississippi State back to Omaha and win a second straight College World Series title.
“We’ve just got to get hot at the right time, at the right moments,” Yeager said. “We have the players to do it, everybody knows that everybody is confident and works hard every single day. So, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re getting there, we’re getting there.”