|THIS YEAR’S CROP|
|*****||One for the books|
|***||Solid, not spectacular|
|**||Not up to par|
|*||Nothing to see here|
Dakotas are rarely much of a factor on draft day, though Darin Erstad
and Rick Helling became first-round picks after leaving North Dakota to
play college elsewhere. South Dakota, which sent Mark Ellis to the
University of Florida and then on to the big leagues, has a pair of
interesting NCAA Division I recruits. Shortstop Dusty Coleman could be
a decent 2009 draft pick after three years at Wichita State.
1. Dusty Coleman, ss, O’Gorman HS, Sioux Falls, S.D.
2. Ben Jukich, lhp, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
3. Jack Van Leur, lhp, Brandon (S.D.) HS
4. Tyler Lundy, of, Minot (N.D.) HS
5. Jake Rogers, ss, South Dakota State
Two Dakotas Athletes Could Emerge In College
two best high school players in South Dakota are headed to Missouri
Valley Conference schools. Wichita State-bound shortstop Dusty Coleman
is a multi-sport athlete who has led O’Gorman High to state titles in
baseball and football (as a quarterback) and has earned all-state
honors in basketball (as a point guard). Six-foot-2 and 180 pounds, he
offers arm strength, power potential and average speed.
Lefthander Jack Van Leur,
a Creighton recruit, is also a three-sport star who played football
(quarterback) and basketball (forward). He gets a lot of sink on an
84-86 mph fastball that should get quicker as he fills out his
6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. He has a short-arm delivery that isn’t
ideal, but it is deceptive.
Lefthander Ben Jukich
led the NAIA in strikeouts (144) and strikeouts per nine innings (13.7)
while setting Dakota Wesleyan records for whiffs in a season and in a
game (17). He doesn’t have overpowering stuff to match those numbers,
though he does maintain an 88-89 mph throughout a game. His secondary
pitches are just OK.
North Dakota’s top prospect is outfielder Tyler Lundy, who’ll play at Iowa Western Community College next year. His best tool is his bat.