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Draft : : State Preview
MLB Draft Preview: Arkansas
David Rawnsley        
Published: Tuesday, May 07, 2013

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.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.



Arkansas State-by-State List

The level of talent in the state of Arkansas is generally more dependent on the fortunes of one school more than any other state in the country, and this year is no exception. The University of Arkansas has not disappointed, having maintained a steady top 20 ranking while posting a 32-16 record and leading all of college baseball in team ERA with a microscopic 1.77 mark.

That pitching staff, led by potential top 10 pick right handed pitcher Ryne Stanek and hard throwing closer Colby Suggs, could have up to seven or eight pitchers drafted next month and has plenty of underclassman lined up behind that for future years. The level of position talent is not nearly as strong, though, creating an imbalance both on the Razorbacks’ roster and in the state’s talent base.

After a relatively strong year in 2012 highlighted by fourth rounder D’Vone McClure (Indians), the Arkansas high school ranks are thin this spring, with no players projected to be taken among the top 10 rounds.

STRENGTH:
University of Arkansas pitching
WEAKNESS: High school talent
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
Arkansas
BEST JUNIOR-COLLEGE TEAM: Arkansas Baptist
BEST HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Fayetteville

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Bradley Wallace, rhp, Arkansas State University.
Wallace gets the nod in this category simply because he was on no one’s prospect radar before last summer, wasn’t even firmly in Arkansas State’s own plans, and the established University of Arkansas prospect talent has remained pretty static this spring. As a late developing smaller school player with some projection left, Wallace has the chance to keep improving in professional ball.

WILD CARD: Colby Suggs, rhp, University of Arkansas.
The fact that Suggs has only threw 15-2/3 innings as of May 6 means that scouts obviously haven’t had much to go on, especially since his innings early in the year weren’t solid in terms of either performance or stuff. Suggs track record and tools are well known despite his lack of innings, though, but just which scout saw him at which outing will be very important to where he’s selected.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Arkansas Connection:
Greg Milhorn, rhp, Northeast Texas JC (attended high school in Texarkana, went to Arkansas as a freshman)
Top 2014 Prospect: Brian Anderson, 3b, Arkansas
Top 2015 Prospect: Trey Killian, rhp, Arkansas

HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS

Draft History:
Jeff King, 3b, Arkansas (1986, Pirates/1
st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Logan Forsythe, 3b, Arkansas (Padres/1st round, 46th pick)
2009 Draft: Dallas Keuchel, lhp, Arkansas (Astros/7th round)
2010 Draft: Hayden Simpson, rhp, Southern Arkansas (Cubs/1st round, 16th pick)
2011 Draft: Dillon Howard, rhp, Searcy HS (Indians/2nd round)
2012 Draft: Matt Reynolds, 2b, Arkansas (Mets/2nd round)

2012 DRAFT OVERVIEW

College Players Drafted/Signed:
11/9
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 0/0
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 1/2


TOP PROSPECTS - GROUPS 1 and 2

GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. RYNE STANEK, rhp, University of Arkansas (Jr.)
Stanek has given scouts plenty to talk about this spring while going 6-2, 1.87 (67 innings, 53 hits, 26 walks, 59 strikeouts) and opinions on the Kansas native range all over the first round. Those who like him the most point to his consistent mid-90s fastball that tops at 97 mph with heavy sink and his mid-80s slider as two future plus to plus/plus big league pitches and see him as a potential top 10 pick. His detractors point to his lack of pitchability and dominance considering his raw stuff in comparison to other top college hurlers such as Jonathan Gray and Mark Appel. For more on Arkansas’ ace right hander, read Frankie Piliere’s Perfect Game Draft Focus profile here.


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