2017 MLB Draft eligible Missouri Prospects. April Edition!

2017 MLB Draft eligible Missouri Prospects. April Edition!

Image result for Tanner Houck

The Minnesota Twins have been on the clock for a few months now determining who will be the next top selection in the Major League Baseball first year player draft. June 12th will be the day we see a whole new crop of players get spread throughout minor league systems a like.

Below I’ve listed my top 20 prospects from the state of Missouri that I believe have a chance to hear their name called between June 12th – 14th.

Each report includes a small blurb about each player with scouting grades that is based upon a 20-80 grade scale. Our friends at Fangraphs have explained in fine detail the overall grading scale which can be found clicking here.

Each prospect I have put into this list I feel has a great shot to make a case for himself to sign a pro contract. I definitely would love to discuss with anyone the order of ranking with which I listed each player.

1. Tanner Houck  RHP  Missouri Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’5 – 218 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Sinker Command
60/65 55/60 40/45 55/65 45/60
Houck represents the top selection from the state out of the University of Missouri. He will throw a mid 90’s FB, with a power CB. The CH is a work in progress, but I do expect Houck to be the first name called out of the state of Missouri
2 Jake Burger  3B  Missouri State Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’2 – 210 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
40/50 50/60 35/40 40/40 45/50
Burger has shown Major League type power during his time at Missouri State. However, multiple questions have been raised as to where he ends up on the defensive side. 3rd base may not be the long term option, but the bat will play. 60 future raw power is hard to pass up now a days.
3 Bryce Montes De Oca  RHP  Missouri Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’7 – 261 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider ChangeUp Command
60/65 50/60 40/55 40/55
At 6’7, 261 lbs Montes De Oca isn’t a small match for anyone in the game. Montes De Oca will bring a FB in the mid 90’s, a SL with good break and a CH that is developing. If Montes De Oca can learn to repeat his delivery more often and limit his walks he has a very high ceiling.
4 Jackson Rutledge  RHP  Rockwood Summit H.S. Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 6’8 – 255 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider ChangeUp Command
55/65 45/60 40/50 45/60
At 6 foot 8 inches and 255 lbs, Rutledge brings quite a bit of size to the mound for a young high school arm. Rutledge will sit 91-93 on his fastball with good arm side run. The slider I think could end up being his best pitch. I, also, think there is more velo in the tank to come.
5 Josh Fleming  LHP  Webster Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’1 – 185 B/T: L/L
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
55/60 45/50 45/55 50/60
Fleming has been shooting up draft boards with a FB sitting 91-94 that can be thrown well on both sides of the plate. CH is his second best pitch with a CB that is developing into a good 3rd pitch. Fleming is a guy who I think could go high based upon his limited innings and high upside.
6 Anthony Herron Jr.  RHP Missouri State  Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’1 – 210 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Slider Command
55/60 50/55 40/45 50/55 45/60
Herron Jr. has the stuff for the next level. His FB is heavy and hard. CB and SL at times are both break out pitches that make Herron jr. unhittable at times. Sitting out this spring could hurt Herron as far as on field expierience at higher level baseball, but the stuff on the mound plays.
7 Kyle Wilson  RHP Crowder CC  Video
Class RS Freshman Height/Weight 6’1 – 180 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
50/55 45/55 40/45 45/55
Wilson was red shirted last year at Crowder CC, which has turned out to be a nice refresher for the Freshman. Wilson can sit 90-94 on his FB with a decent feel for his offspeed. Wilson’s biggest need is consistency on the mound.
8 Doug Still  LHP  Missouri State Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’2 – 205 B/T: L/L
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
50/55 55/60 45/50 45/55
Still has the draft experience already to go along with a group of pitches he can use to get out of any situation. Still has good arm side run on his FB. Draft in the 2014 and 2015 MLB draft I expect this Missouri State Bear to be picked once again.
9 Miller Hogan  RHP St. Louis U  Video
Class Sophomore Height/Weight 6’2 – 200 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
45/60 45/50 40/45 50/55
Hogan is a draft eligible sophomore at St. Louis U. that will sit consistently 87-92 with an occasional 93 mixed in. He’s pitched his way into draft conversations. Supporting the bilikens with an ERA below 2, Hogan should another name taken from St. Louis U.
10 Shane Benes  SS/3B Drury  Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’2 – 222 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 55/60 40/45 50/55 50/55
Benes, a transfer from the University of Missouri, has tapped into his power source this season for the Drury Panthers. I believe Benes will move to 3B in the near future as he draws a Troy Glaus type comparison for me. Raw power and an arm to play at the next level.
11 Robbie Glendinning  2B/SS Missouri  Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’2 – 196 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 45/50 40/50 45/50 50/55
Glendinning, the Australian, came over the pond and lit up the junior college last year at Iowa Western. Transferring into Missouri to sub-plant the middle of the infield. Glendinning will bring solid contact at the plate and will support good enough glove to stay up the middle.
12 Max Hogan  3B  Missouri Southern Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 5’10 – 195 B/T: L/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
50/60 45/50 40/40 45/50 35/40
Hogan is ranked so high for me because of the bat. Lightening quick hands, a balanced stance at the plate, and a hitter’s mindset give Hogan a level above most college hitter’s tools. I see him more than likely moving across the diamond to 2B in the near future. Jason Kipnis anyone?
13 Wes Degener  CF Lindenwood Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’3 – 210 B/T: L/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 40/45 45/55 40/50 40/50
Degener is a ball player. He will be the scrappy type that will go out and get the job done. He has enough speed to stay in CF long term. His bat is his best tool among the five main ones. Quick hands and sweet stroke helped Degener become a starter right as he stepped on campus as a freshman.
14 Trey Turner  RHP Missouri State Video
Class Junior Height/Weight 6’1 – 195 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider ChangeUp Command
50/60 50/55 40/45 45/60
Turner came to Missouri State with the thought of being an OF. Since moving over the mound the RHP has lit up the radar and filled up the zone with strikes. 13 IP on the season to go along with an era of 2, 22 K’s and 4 BB’s. I think Turner could be a solid late pick for a great bullpen arm.
15 Ryan Colombo  RHP Drury  Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 6’1 – 172 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
45/55 45/55 40/45 50/60
Colombo is both an impressive arm and impressive bat. I like him more on the mound long term. Colombo will be crafted on the mound and will eat innings. I do think he’ll play pro next year, but it will take time for him to develop the proper arm slot to be effective at the upper levels
16 Justin Paulsen  1B Missouri State  Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 6’0 – 215 B/T: L/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
55/55 45/50 40/45 45/50 50/55
Paulsen is a scrappy ball player. He’s one that will go out and battle for each team he’s playing on. Hit tool is probably his best overall tool. He will add in some power occasionally, but long term I believe he ends up in the OF full time with some part time help at 1B.
17 Aaron Ashby  LHP Crowder CC  Video
Class Freshman Height/Weight 6’2 – 165 B/T: R/L
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
45/55 50/55 40/50 45/55
Ashby is a new face on the top prospects list for Missouri. Ashby will sit 87-89, touching 90 on the FB. He has a decent CB and some feel for his CH. 50 K’s so far on the season for the young left in 32 IP. If he continues to miss barrells I think his name could be called.
18 Justin Mitchell  C Platte County HS Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 5’11 – 200 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 50/60 40/45 45/50 45/50
Mitchell with a strong swing. Exit velocity will sit around 97 mph off the bat. Behind the plate, the Oklahoma signee has soft hands a quick release. Foot work will need some developing, but I think this small HS catcher could be another Tanner Murphy who was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 2012 MLB Draft.
19 Matt Russell  RHP Staley HS  Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 6’2 -190 B/T: R/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Slider Command
45/55 40/45 45/55 40/50 40/55
Russell is my 3rd HS pick in this top 20. I think he ends up in college, but does possess upside. The FB and CH are his best pitches, but with decent arm side run. CB and SL are still developing with spots of good late break. Russell has some raw characteristics to him which a team could find attractive long term.
20 Bryan Young  RHP Missouri State  Video
Class Senior Height/Weight 6’1 – 215 B/T: L/R
                    Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball ChangeUp Command
40/45 45/50 45/50 50/55
Young has been the closer for Missouri state for a few seasons now. Consistently shutting games down with his ability to move the ball in and out. He will not light up the radar, but he will miss bats with good off-speed usage. Young will be picked up this summer.

Thanks for reading!

2016 MLB Draft Recap, Missouri edition

Just about a month has  past since we heard the names of many young baseball players called to begin their pro careers. The major league baseball draft took place this year between the dates of June 9th through June 11th. Forty rounds of drafting took place in 3 days, farm systems were replenished and projections began.

This year the state of Missouri had a decent size pool taken in the MLB draft. Twenty-three players were selected from the show me state.  The Midwest as a whole was generous to teams this year with 2 first rounders going at #4 in Riley Pint (Colorado Rockies) and at #40 Joey Wentz (Atlanta Braves), both players however coming out of the state of Kansas.

Missouri was led by a Senior sign in Joseph Lucchesi of Southeast Missouri State. Lucchesi kicks off my recap of the players selected out of the State of Missouri:

 

 

Round 3-10

Round 4 Pick 114: Pick Value ($521,200) 

Joseph Lucchesi – 6’4 – 220 – LHP – Southeast Missouri State. (San Diego Padres)

Lucchesi started off the drafted players out of the show me state and was well deserved in being the state’s top selection. Lucchesi led the nation in strikeouts (149) in 111 innings pitched and was named the Division 1 pitcher of the year this past year after going undrafted as a junior. Lucchesi came to Semo in the 2015 season as a junior following 2 seasons of pitching at a California junior college.

Lucchesi will work with some funk and deception from the left side with a fastball that will sit 90-93 and the makings of what could be a plus curveball.

Round 5 Pick 143: Pick Value ($394,100)

Sam Perez – 6’3 – 210 – RHP – Missouri State (Florida Marlins)

Perez is an interesting arm to say the least. He put together 91 innings on the season, but did not start a single game. 36 appearances tallied by the right hander helped him accumulate 112 k’s and an era at 2.86. I’d be curious to see if he becomes a SP at the next level.

Round 5 Pick 155: Pick Value ($350,900)

Ryan Howard – 6’2 -180- SS – Missouri (San Francisco Giants)

Howard is a local to St. Charles, graduating from Francis Howell Central. This year makes the second year in a row Howard has been drafted after being marked as a draft eligible sophomore. Howard has an incredible work ethic. A mid-season freshman starter for the University of Missouri turned into a full-time starter at 3B and then moving to full-time Shortstop.

Round 11-40

Round 11 Pick 333 

Tyler Benninghoff – 6’4 – 180 – RHP – Rockhurt H.S. (Minnesota Twins)

Good Fastball with movement. Decent off speed stuff. Benninghoff hit the radar as a sophomore in high school. Since being drafted he is headed to have tommy john surgery which was a well known fact to the Twins prior to Benninghoff being taken. Benninghoff has a very high ceiling, twins got a great kid in the 11th round.

Round 16 Pick 486

Keith Grieshaber – 6’1 – 168 – SS – Jefferson College (Los Angeles Angels)

Grieshaber can run, run, run and run some more. He led Jeffco this year in stolen bases and will be a force on the pro base path. I am not sure if he stays at SS, but 2B could become his new home.

Round 16 Pick 487

Spencer Johnson – 6’4 – 200 – LF – Missouri State (Houston Astros)

The Astros like bats with serious power. Johnson certainly can provide the power. The Leftfielder led Missouri State this year with 24 homeruns.

Round 21 Pick 645

Matt Eckelman – 6’4 – 240 – RHP – St. Louis University (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Eckelman was SLU’s top starting pitcher this year with a 9-4 record and a 3.12 era. Eckelman, also, created some SLU history as his selection marked the 4th straight year SLU has had a player drafted in the first year player draft.

Round 22 Pick 664

Sterling Sharp – 6’4 – 180 – RHP – Drury University (Washington Nationals)

Sharp has a good projection with his size and frame. Sharp made 18 appearances on the year for Drury and struck out 43.

Round 24 Pick 721

Zach Matson – 6’3 – 225 – LHP – Crowder College (Baltimore Orioles)

Matson is a LHP with a physical frame to with stand long term work. FB sits upper 80’s touching low 90’s. Matson’s offspeed is still a work in progress, but in just 2 years at the Junior College level Matson improved dramatically.

Round 25 Pick 754

Branden Boggetto – 6’0 – 190 – SS – Southeast Missouri State (Washington Nationals)

The senior shortstop. Boggetto, batted .339 this past spring while driving in 61 which was first on the team and ranked in the top 50 in the nation.

Round 29 Pick 883

Gavin Grant – 6’2 – 235 – RHP – University of Central Missouri (Kansas City Royals)

Grant was the Mules 2016 closer. Grant locked up 13 saves and 35 strikeouts in 30 and 2/3 innings.

Round 29 Pick 885

Geoff Hartlieb – 6’6′ – 210 – RHP – Lindenwood University (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Hartlieb has one of the highest ceilings among all Missouri players drafted. Standing at 6 foot 6 inches and has been clocked at 96 with a plus slider when it’s on, Hartlieb could be a major bullpen asset to a major league team someday if he can get some consistency with his offspeed.

Round 31 Pick 931

Jake Ring – 5’10 – 170 – CF – Missouri (Baltimore Orioles)

Ring is one of my favorites among the Missouri players drafted, not so much for his ceiling, but for his makeup. Ring came into the University of Missouri maybe weighing 150, two years later he’s put on 20 more pounds and is driving the ball. I think he stays in CF, but will need the bat to play more for him to rise through the ranks.

Round 31 Pick 946

Jonathan “JD” Murders – 6’2 – 180 – 2B – Bolivar H.S. (St. Louis Cardinals)

Murders was one of the interesting stories. Played at a smaller school in southern Missouri. Murders can flat hit. He committed to play for the Texas Tech Red Raiders as a sophomore in High School and I am confident he will hit in the big 12 or at the pro level. Murders is rumored to be signing a contract to start pro ball soon with the birds. (7/11/16 update)

Round 33 Pick 1003

Kameron Misner – 6’4 – 205 – OF – Poplar Bluff H.S. (Kansas City Royals)

Misner will be a name we hear again in 3 years if he chooses to by pass the Royals offer. Signed to play his college ball at Mizzou in the SEC will most likely be where he ends up. Tall Lefthanded bat who can both pitch and swing it. He will certainly help the Tigers under coach newly hired coach Steve Bieser.

Round 34 Pick 1030

Anthony Herron – 6’2 – 195 – RHP – Jefferson College (New York Mets)

This is Herron’s 2nd time being drafted in his career and he could return for a possible 3rd or 4th. Herron drafted originally by the St. Louis Cardinals out of High school and now here in 2016 by the Mets. If Herron by passes this draft he will be pitching next spring at Missouri State.

Round 34 Pick 1033

Nathan Webb – 6’2 -215 – RHP – Lee’s Summit North H.S. (Kansas City Royals)

Webb was originally set to attend the University of Central Missouri, but with a great spring the Royals took a flyer on the big Right Hander. Webb will be an interesting arm to watch as he develops.

Round 35 Pick 1053

Austin Tribby – 6’5 – 225 – LHP – Missouri (Minnesota Twins)

Tribby was a tall lefty out of the Tigers pen last year with a few spot starts here and there. Tribby k’d 54 bats in 52 and 1/3 innings this past spring.

Round 36 Pick 1096

Robbie Gordon – 6’2 – 205 – RHP – Maryville University (St. Louis Cardinals)

Gordon put Maryville on the map in a huge way going in the 36th round this past month. Gordon had 57 strikeouts in 61 innings with a 3.98 era. Gordon finished the season with a 4-4 record and 2 saves.

Round 39 Pick 1172

Pedro Alfonseca – 6’0 – 178 – CF – North Kansas City H.S. (Cleveland Indians)

Alfonseca a late pick by the Indians is expected to continue on to Black Hawk College where he will play his junior college baseball.

Round 40 Pick 1207

Lucas Williams – 6’3 – 195 – RHP – University of Central Missouri (Houston Astros)

Williams was another strong arm for the Mules this past season. Williams struckout 42 in 45 innings while only walking 14.

I’ve listed the summation of how many Missouri picks each MLB team selected. Please give me a quick comment or follow me up on Twitter! Would love to talk some baseball with you!

San Diego Padres : 1          Los Angeles Angels : 1      Houston Astros : 2

Miami Marlins : 1              Pittsburgh Pirates : 2   Washington Nationals : 2

San Francisco Giants : 1  Baltimore Orioles : 2     Kansas City Royals : 3

Minnesota Twins : 2         St. Louis Cardinals : 2   New York Mets : 1

Cleveland Indians : 1