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.
Ohio State-by-State List
2011 Ohio Overview
Draft Status of Cherry, Smoral Symbolic of Ohio Class
has been a very unpredictable spring for scouts in Ohio, both at the
college and high-school levels. Not only has Xavier righthander Seth
Willoughby, who was on few follow lists entering the 2012 season,
emerged as the top college prospect in the state, but it's uncertain
where the top two prep arms, righthander Taylore Cherry and
lefthander Matt Smoral, who were considered near-locks to go in the
first round, will be selected in the draft.
Kent State, which rode a national-best 17-game winning streak into
NCAA Division I tournament play, and Marietta College, the defending
Division III champion and No. 1-ranked team entering the D-III World
Series, are not expected to be factors in the draft befitting their
strong seasons on the field.
a two-way prospect who was passed over a year ago as a draft-eligible
sophomore, quickly and unexpectedly gained new-found respect from
scouts only after he broke the hamate bone in his hand, which
prevented him from swinging a bat but enabled him to concentrate on
his duties on the mound. He blossomed in a closer-only role for the
Musketeers with a fastball that reached the mid-90s and a dominant
6-foot-9 Cherry hasn't been as consistent this spring as he's shown
in the past, while the 6-foot-8 Smoral suffered a stress fracture in
his foot in March, sidelining him for the season. It’s possible,
though, that Smoral could still land in the first round if scouts are
able to get a good handle on his medical status and are prepared to
roll the dice on his status.
State has become the pre-eminent D-I college program in the state, if
not the entire upper Midwest, in head coach Scott Stricklin’s
eight-year tenure that has resulted in a 305-160 record overall and
four straight Mid-American Conference championships. The Golden
Flashes produced four picks in the first 10 rounds a year ago,
including supplemental first-rounder Andrew Chafin, but may be
hard-pressed to produce a selection in the first 10 rounds this year.
has continued to dominate at the D-III level and also might be pushed
to produce a pick in the first 10 rounds, though two seniors,
righthander Austin Blaski and shortstop Tim Saunders, were named
first-team All-Americans this year that put crowning touches on
dominant four-year careers. Both players should be rewarded by being
drafted for the first time, with Blaski considered the slightly
better bet of going in the first 10 rounds.
in a nutshell:
College position players.
(1-to-5 scale): 3.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
ON THE RISE: Seth Willoughby, rhp, Xavier University. Draft-eligible
in 2011, Willoughby was passed over as a two-way player after hitting
.326-5-36 as a second baseman and saving nine games in 22 appearances
as Xavier’s closer, while going 2-5, 3.66 overall. He sustained a
broken hamate bone in his hand in the third game of this season,
limiting him to pitching only in the early going, and that may have
been a career break for Willoughby as his stuff improved dramatically
when he was able to focus on one task. Suddenly his fastball began
peaking in the mid-90s, his slider in the high-80s, and his draft
value jumped noticeably as he assembled a 2-1, 1.26 record with 12
saves in 25 appearances.
CARD: Matt Smoral, lhp, Solon HS. Smoral
was the early favorite to be the first lefthander drafted this year,
but suffered a stress fracture in his landing foot in March, when
working off a portable mound on his team’s spring trip to South
Carolina. That abruptly ended his 2012 season, and left his status as
a potential first-round pick uncertain with the draft nearing as he
is not expected to resume pitching again until July. Teams have been
weighing the risk of taking a pitcher with limited innings this
spring versus the reward of selecting a lefthander with an extremely
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Ohio Connection:
Kris Hall, rhp, Lee (Tenn.) University (Attended high school in
Josh Desze, rhp/1b, Ohio State University.
2014 Prospect: Brian
Clark, lhp, Kent State University.
Tim Belcher, rhp, Mount Vernon Nazarene College (1983, Twins/1st round, 1st pick); Ken Griffey Jr., of, Moeller HS, Cincinnati (1987,
Mariners/1st round, 1st pick).
Burris, ss, Kent State University (Giants/1st round; 33rd pick).
Luebke, lhp, Ohio State University (Padres/1st round, 63rd pick).
Carpenter, rhp, Kent State University (Cubs/3rd round).
Krauss, of, Ohio University (Diamondbacks/2nd round).
Alex Wimmers, lhp, Ohio State University (Twins/1st round, 21st pick).
Chafin, lhp, Kent State University (Diamondbacks/1st round, 43rd pick).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
Bosiokovic, 1b/rhp, Hayes HS, Delaware.
Xavier Turner, 3b, Sandusky HS.
Casey Schroeder, c, Ottawa-Glandorf HS, Ottawa.
Ryan Brenner, 2b, Miami University.
Tim Saunders, ss, Marietta College.
Matt Smoral, lhp, Solon HS.
Matt Smoral, lhp, Solon HS.
Bores, rhp, Kent State University.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
1. MATT SMORAL, lhp,
2012 season ended after one outing in late March after he was
diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fourth metatarsal bone in his
right (landing) foot. He had surgery in early April. The 6-foot-8,
225-pound lefthander had made his season debut on his team’s spring
trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., when he suffered the injury while working
off a temporary mound in a side session between starts. It was the
second time that Smoral had suffered the same injury in the same
place, necessitating surgery. Despite essentially not pitching this
spring, Smoral’s draft stock has potentially only slid slightly and
he still stands a very good chance of going in the first
round—provided he presents a realistic signing figure to buy him
out of his North Carolina scholarship. Scouts were impressed with his
first outing of the year, which was in keeping with the way he
performed a year ago, when Smoral was seen at high-profile events
like Perfect Game’s National Showcase, PG’s All-American Classic
and the World Wood Bat Association fall championship in Jupiter,
Fla., in October, and entered this spring as a potential top 10 pick
overall. When healthy, Smoral throws from an easy, low-effort
delivery with an extended mid-three-quarters release point that may
be positively frightening for lefthanded hitters at the upper levels
of the game. His fastball has been up to 94-95 mph, at times, but the
big step he took late last year was replacing his mid-70s curve in
favor of an 84 mph slider with hard, darting action that should
become a more effective pitch against righthanded hitters. He also
throws a mid-80s changeup that continues to develop. Smoral’s
decision to attend college at North Carolina is ironic, given that
his father, Steve, was a 6-foot-3 guard on the North Carolina State
team that won the 1974 NCAA basketball championship.
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