It's a terrible year for talent in Kansas. Wichita State had its weakest team since resurrecting its baseball program in 1978, and the top college (Wichita State righthander Adam Peterson) and high school (Maize High righthander Mat Jakubov) prospects were sidelined as the draft approached. The best player in the state is Wichita Heights High junior righthander Mike Pelfrey, a possible 2002 first-rounder.
Projected First-Round Picks
Possible Second- to Fifth-Round Picks
Adam Peterson. Peterson projected as a possible second-round pick until he pulled a muscle in his back in mid-March, an injury he never returned from. When healthy, Peterson offers size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and a solid three-pitch arsenal fronted by a 92-94 mph fastball. He didn't progress past throwing on the side before Wichita State's season ended. Though the muscle strain isn't considered a long-term problem, teams may be reluctant to spend an early pick on someone who worked just 19 innings.
Others To Watch:
Maize High RHP Mat Jakubov was considered the state's best high schooler entering the season because of his high-80s fastball and 6-foot-4, 186-pound frame. Then he had surgery to move the ulnar nerve in his elbow. No prep player took his place as a premium prospect . . . If Peterson's injury scares teams too much, his teammate, RHP Ben Keiter, could be Kansas' first 2001 draft pick. Keiter's best pitch is his curveball, and he has a running 88-91 mph fastball . . . Six-foor-4, 215-pound RHP Trenton Henderson surfaced this spring, throwing a 91-95 mph sinker and an above-average curveball. Scouts say he has a maximum-effort delivery, though . . . Senior SS John Nelson holds the Big 12 Conference career record for stolen bases and has a strong arm, but he hit just .316 in his college career . . . LHP Pete Smart signed with the Brewers before the draft as a fifth-year senior. He's 6-foot-7 and throws hitters off balance with a funky delivery. He has an 86-88 mph fastball, and his splitter and curveball have their moments . . . RHP Luke Robertson and Doug Lantz both have below-average fastballs and good breaking pitches . . . Wichita State RHP Steve Haines is just 6 feet, but he reaches 92-94 mph on occasion. He usually works at 89-91.
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