In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.
Missouri State-by-State List
2011 Missouri Overview
Two Off Years, Missouri Back in First-Round Realm
had an embarrassment of draft riches in the four-year period from
2006-09, when five in-state pitchers were snapped up in the first
round, including one pitcher twice.
run began with University of Missouri righthander Max Scherzer in
2006 (Diamondbacks/11th overall), and continued in 2007 with Missouri State lefthander Ross
Detwiler (Nationals/6th overall), in 2008 with Missouri righthander Aaron Crow (Nationals/9th overall), and concluded with a bang in 2009 with prep righthander
Jacob Turner (Tigers/9th overall), Crow again (Royals/12th overall) and Missouri righthander Kyle Gibson (Twins/22nd overall). Notably, all but Gibson, who suffered an elbow injury this
spring that prevented him from already being called up by Minnesota,
have pitched in the big leagues.
contrast, in the 2010 and 2011 Missouri drafts only prep outfielder
Johnny Eierman (Rays, 2011/3rd round) landed in even the top five rounds. Missouri should be
represented in the first round again this year as Missouri State
righthander Pierce Johnson has shown the type of raw stuff and
resiliency, bouncing back from a sore arm in April, to warrant
serious consideration late in the first round.
all his talent, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Johnson isn’t the
most-successful pitcher on the stellar Missouri State staff as the
team’s three other primary starting pitchers have combined for a
22-4 record, compared to Johnson’s 2-6 mark, on a 35-18 Bears team.
Red-shirt sophomore righthander Nick Petree has been so dominant this
spring that he could be in line for some national pitcher-of-the-year
consideration after reeling off a streak of 38-1/3 innings without
allowing a run, and 75 innings without allowing an earned run. Both
streaks came to an end May 17 in the first inning of a 6-3 Missouri
State loss to Indiana State.
unpretentious Petree isn’t considered a premium prospect for
purposes of the 2012 draft, and scouts have had to dip into the
small-college and junior-college ranks to find the only other
pitching prospects in Missouri that are pretty much assured of being
taken in the first 10 rounds, righthander Mark Sappington of NCAA
Division II Rockhurst University and lefthander Dalton Friend of
Jefferson (Mo.) College. One of the nation’s most-talented
junior-college clubs, Jefferson (48-9) could land a second player in
the top 10 rounds in shortstop Brett Wiley.
it remains to be seen if a prep player is taken in the first five
rounds, there has been a representative number of cross-checkers
stopping by Missouri this spring to see a number of young hitters,
including outfielder Tate Matheny, the son of St. Louis Cardinals
manager Mike Matheny.
younger Matheny likely won’t need a “courtesy” pick by the
hometown Cardinals to assure being drafted, as occasionally happens
with the sons of ex-players. Matheny is projected to go any time
after the fifth round and could be the first high-school player
selected if fellow outfielder Bralin Jackson doesn’t claim that
in a nutshell:
High-end pitching talent
Premium high-school talent, polished hitters.
(1-to-5 scale): 3
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
Lee’s Summit West HS.
ON THE RISE: Pierce Johnson, rhp, Missouri State University.
Johnson’s draft stock has actually been on the rise twice already
this spring. The first time occurred over the first seven weeks of
the season, when a series of strong performances, capped by a
16-strikeout, 5-hit shutout against Creighton on March 23, propelled
him into first-round draft discussions. Soon thereafter came three
weeks on the sidelines with what was diagnosed as a forearm strain.
Johnson bounced back quickly with seemingly no residual effects. No
doubt, Johnson’s start in the Missouri Valley Conference
tournament, little more than two weeks before the draft, will be
CARD: Blake Brown, of, University of Missouri. The
6-foot-1, 195-pound Brown has third to fourth round tools, but his
performance hasn't matched his potential to date. With a distinct
lack of high potential college position players in this draft, that
should help Brown’s standing. While 114 strikeouts in less than two
college seasons reflects a need for him to improve his plate
discipline, Brown has performed at a high level when he makes
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Missouri Connection:
Stuart Pudenz, rhp, Dallas Baptist University (Attended high school
in Blue Springs).
Rob Zastryzny, lhp, University of Missouri.
Alex Lange, rhp, Lee’s Summit West HS.
Roy Branch, rhp, Beaumont HS, St. Louis (1971, Royals/1st round, 5th pick).
Scherzer, rhp, University of Missouri (Diamondbacks/1st round; 11th pick).
Detwiler, lhp, Missouri State University (Nationals/1st round, 6th pick).
Crow, rhp, University of Missouri (Nationals/1st round, 9th pick).
Turner, rhp, Westminster Christian Academy, St. Louis (Tigers/1st round, 9th pick).
Nicholas, c, University of Missouri (Rangers/6th round).
Eierman, of, Warsaw HS (Rays/3rd round).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
Brown, of, University of Missouri.
Kevin Medrano, 2b, Missouri State University.
Blake Brown, of, University of Missouri.
William DuPont, ss, Lafayette HS, Ellisville.
Kevin Medrano, 2b, Missouri State University.
Mark Sappington, rhp, Rockurst University.
Pierce Johnson, rhp, Missouri State University.
Petree, rhp, Missouri State University.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
1. PIERCE JOHNSON,
rhp, Missouri State University (Jr.)
Even though he was
drafted in the 15th round in 2009, Johnson was lightly scouted and recruited out of a
small Colorado private school. He went on to post a 1-2, 7.52 record
as a freshman for Missouri State with marginal improvement as a
sophomore (6-5, 4.76, 75 IP/80 H/34 BB/72 SO). His time spent in the
Cape Cod League last summer was limited to 12 innings after Johnson
dislocated a knee cap while warming up for a start. Despite his
performance over his first two years in college, Johnson began the
2012 season as a legitimate candidate to be an early-round pick in
this year’s draft, and that scenario began to unfold on cue this
spring, even as the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Johnson went 2-6, 2.85. But
looking beyond the basic box score provides a more accurate reading
on the true degree of Johnson’s talent. His lively fastball has
been consistently in the 92-94 mph area this spring, while touching a
high of 96 mph—several miles faster than his fastball as a
high-school senior, or even as a college sophomore. His biggest
improvement this spring, though, has come in the quality and command
of his two off-speed pitches, a low-80s breaking ball that is
alternatively called a slider and a hard curve by scouts, and a
potential plus change. Johnson’s 3-week stint on the sidelines in
April with forearm tenderness doesn’t seem to have hurt his draft
stock, as he returned with no obvious signs of discomfort or a
decline in raw stuff. Johnson’s chances of ultimately landing in
the first round in June may all hinge on his final outing of the 2012
season, possibly in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
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