Scouting Reports: Missouri

2007 MLB Draft Prospects didn't equate with winning this year in Missouri. Snakebitten Missouri State had the state's two best college pitching prospects in Ross Detwiler and Scott Carroll, yet went 23-34 and tied for last in the Missouri Valley Conference. By contrast, a young Missouri team that likely won't have a player drafted in the first five rounds has won 42 games and recorded its best-ever finish in the Big 12 Conference (second place).
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
The Tigers' future also looks bright, as the top four high school pitchers in the state are part of their recruiting class.

National Top 200 Prospects

1. Ross Detwiler, lhp, Missouri State
2. Nick Tepesch, rhp, Blue Springs (Mo.) HS
3. Scott Carroll, rhp, Missouri State
4. Dave Stewart, of, St. John Vianney HS, St. Louis

Other Prospects Of Note

5. Dan Rohlfling, c, Oakville HS, St. Louis
6. Jacob Priday, of/c, Missouri
7. Brad Buehler, rhp, St. Pius X HS, Festus, Mo.
8. Evan Frey, of, Missouri
9. Bryan Collins, rhp, Central Missouri State
10. Brock Bond, 2b, Missouri
11. Ryan Dawson, rhp, Warrensburg (Mo.) HS
12. Tyler Clark, rhp, Springfield (Mo.) Catholic HS
13. Aaron Meade, lhp, Rockhurst HS, Kansas City, Mo.
14. Sean Loggins, 3b, McCluer North HS, Florissant, Mo.
15. J.C. Casey, rhp, Kickapoo HS, Springfield, Mo.
16. Kyle Paul, c, Missouri State
17. Jake Shafer, rhp, Missouri State
18. Dustin Renfrow, rhp, Southeast Missouri State
19. Nolan Keane, of, Missouri State
20. Shaeffer Hall, lhp, Jefferson County (Mo.) CC (CONTROL: Rangers)
21. Mike Grace, rhp, DeSmet HS, St. Louis
22. Seth Gilleland, rhp, Central Missouri State
23. Ryan Bird, rhp, Saint Louis
24. Cody Whitehead, 3b/1b, Jefferson County (Mo.) CC
25. Joe Lincoln, c, Tipton (Mo.) HS
26. Don Lambert, of, Westminster Academy, St. Louis
27. Luis Perez, c, Central Missouri State
28. Bill Musselman, c, Saint Louis
29. Gered Mochizuki, ss, Central Missouri State
30. Matt Lawson, 2b, Missouri State

Scouting Reports

Ross Detwiler1. Ross Detwiler, lhp (National rank: 6)
School: Missouri State. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-L. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 3/6/86.
Scouting Report: The Marlins made Brett Sinkbeil the highest-drafted player in Missouri State history when they selected him 19th overall in 2006, but his record will likely last for only a year. Detwiler could go as high as No. 2 overall to the Royals and should last no more than 10 picks at the most. Though he packs just 175 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame, Detwiler has the leverage and whip-like arm speed to consistently deliver 92-95 mph fastballs. He also throws a hard spike curveball at 78-81 mph, and sometimes will drop his arm angle to give it more sweeping break against lefthanders. His changeup has shown improvement this spring. Detwiler hasn't been able to put on weight yet has been durable. After starring in the Cape Cod League and with Team USA last summer, he endured a trying junior season, winning just four times in his first 12 starts due to a lack of offensive and defensive support. He was finishing strong, however, striking out a career-high 14 in a mid-May start that his bullpen blew for him in the ninth inning.

2. Nick Tepesch, rhp (National rank: 62)
School: Blue Springs (Mo.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 3/6/89.
Scouting Report: In a state where fans love their World Series champion Cardinals, Tepesch often gets described as a budding Chris Carpenter. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he has a similar build, and he is developing a similar fastball/curve combination. His fastball began to creep into the 90s last summer, and he opened his senior season by reaching 93-94 mph. He since has settled in at 88-91 mph, holding the velocity throughout a game, and there should be more in the tank as he gets stronger. He also has increased the velocity on his over-the-top curveball, which has good bite when it's on. He's developing feel for his curveball and changeup, but there are no questions about the quality of his arm. He'd make a fine addition to a young, talented pitching staff at Missouri, but he's more likely to sign as a sandwich or second-round pick.

3. Scott Carroll, rhp (National rank: 174)
School: Missouri State. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 220. Birthdate: 9/24/84.
Scouting Report: Signability concerns have caused Carroll to slide in two previous drafts, but he should go in the first five rounds this June. He ranked as Missouri's top high school pitching prospect in 2003 (ahead of eventual 2006 first-rounders Max Scherzer and Kris Johnson), when a scholarship to play quarterback at Purdue scared teams off. Carroll didn't play much in football and wasn't allowed to play baseball in two years with the Boilermakers, so he transferred to Missouri State. He started for the Bears at quarterback in the fall of 2005 and showed a live arm as a pitcher last spring, but his demands for top-three-round money as a draft-eligible sophomore knocked him down to the Angels in the 16th round. Los Angeles wanted to follow his progress in the Cape Cod League, but he came down with biceps tendinitis and returned to Missouri State, giving up football. Carroll has shown progress in his second year back on the mound, and has added 15 pounds of muscle and now carries 220 on his 6-foot-5 frame. His fastball sits at 91-92 mph and touches 94, and he has done a better job of maintaining his velocity through games and the season as a whole. He has replaced a flat changeup with a low-80s splitter and added a low-80s slider to go with a slow curveball that he uses as a change of pace. Carroll trusts his secondary stuff and locates his pitches more now than he did a year ago. He projects more as a reliever in pro ball, a role in which he could air out his fastball and wouldn't have to rely on his breaking pitches as much.

4. Dave Stewart, of (National rank: 189)
School: St. John Vianney HS, St. Louis. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 230. Birthdate: 11/23/88.
Scouting Report: The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Stewart led the Vianney volleyball team to a Missouri state title as a freshman and was the leading scorer on the basketball team this winter as a power forward. He also has starred as an outfielder and pitcher for the baseball team, which won Class 4 state championships in 2004 and 2006. Though he can throw 89-90 mph off the mound, Stewart's future is as a lefthanded slugger. His size gives him tremendous leverage, and he has the quick hands and strength to drive balls a long way. He runs well for his size and has the arm strength to play right field. Because he's so big, Stewart has a naturally long swing, and scouts question whether he'll make consistent quality contact against better pitching. If he attends Nebraska, where he'd get the chance to play both ways, he could become one of the better power prospects for the 2010 draft.

Fortuitous Move For Rohlfing

Shifting to catcher after three years at third base has boosted Dan Rohlfing's draft chances. He was a below-average athlete at the hot corner but an above-average one behind the plate. He has soft hands and average arm strength that plays up because of his accuracy. His hard-nosed attitude and work ethic helps as well. Rohlfing currently uses a line-drive approach, but he has enough strength in his hands and swing to hit for power. He's committed to Jefferson County (Mo.) Community College, so he should be an easy sign.

If Jacob Priday can catch, his pro stock also will rise. After catching last year, he required labrum surgery that has limited him to DH for much of the spring. Before he got hurt, he showed an average arm with good accuracy and decent receiving skills. Priday, who packs a lot of power in his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame, got off to a slow start at the plate before coming on in the second half. He moves well for his size and can play right field, but his best bet is as an offensive catcher.

Missouri already has an outstanding young pitching staff, and the Tigers have several talented arms in a recruiting class highlighted by Nick Tepesch. Righthanders Brad Buehler, Ryan Dawson and Tyler Clark all throw in the high 80s to low 90s. Buehler has the most consistent velocity and best breaking ball of the trio, while the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Dawson has the best body. Clark is probably the most signable of the group.

Outfielder Evan Frey and second baseman Brock Bond set the table for Missouri atop its lineup. Frey is an outstanding defender who routinely makes highlight catches in center field. He also has plus speed, some gap power and a knack for getting on base. Brock, who played at Arkansas as a freshman, was the MVP in Missouri's regional last June, going 9-for-16 to lead the Tigers to their first-ever super-regional appearance. He's a switch-hitter with solid speed and good instincts on the bases.

Central Missouri State consistently churns out pitching prospects, and the Mules' best this year is righthander Bryan Collins. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph and he has had more success with a slider after scrapping his curveball. The Cubs drafted him in the 31st round out of Alvin (Texas) Community College last June.

Missouri State expects to lose Ross Detwiler and Scott Carroll to the draft, but the Bears hope to bring in another talented lefty-righty duo in Aaron Meade and J.C. Casey. Meade, the southpaw in the combo, is still growing into his 6-foot-2, 175-pound body and gets good armside run and sink on a high-80s fastball. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Casey also has a lot of projection remaining and already can hit the low 90s with his fastball.

Third baseman Sean Loggins won the Missouri high school home run derby last year, part of a National Power Showcase event, blasting a 485-foot homer in the process. He's a solidly built 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, and he has a relatively short stroke for a power hitter. He doesn't run well but has arm strength, and some college programs recruited him as a two-way player. Loggins, who signed with Evansville, is the son of Angels associate scout Vince Loggins.

Righthander Jake Shafer impressed scouts in the fall by throwing 92-93 mph, but he didn't repeat that velocity this spring. He worked at 89-91 mph, showed little command and missed time with shoulder discomfort. Scouts aren't sure what to make of the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder. Shafer's younger brother Aaron is a Wichita State righthander projected to go in the first round of the 2008 draft.