STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) — Seven former Mississippi State players are included on Major League Baseball’s opening day rosters for the 2013 season.
The list includes four players — pitchers Paul Maholm (Atlanta) and Jonathan Papelbon (Philadelphia), first baseman Mitch Moreland (Texas) and outfielder Tyler Moore (Washington) along with three former Diamond Dogs serving in managerial or coaching roles — manager Nat (Buck) Showalter (Baltimore), first base coach Chris Maloney (St. Louis) and pitching coach Bobby Thigpen (Chicago White Sox).
Maholm and Papelbon are in their ninth seasons in Major League Baseball and their second seasons with their current teams. Moreland started at first base in the Rangers’ Sunday night season-opener while Moore begins his second year with the Nationals after becoming the 49th player with Mississippi State ties to advance to the highest level of professional baseball.
Showalter, the MSU single-season record-holder for batting average (.459), is in his 15th season as a Major League skipper and his fourth with the Orioles. Cardinals’ first base coach Chris Maloney is in his second season with St. Louis while former Major League saves record-holder Bobby Thigpen this spring begins his initial season as the pitching coach for the Chicago White Sox.