Scouting Reports: Missouri

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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). 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

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

Other Prospects Of

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


Ross Detwiler1. Ross Detwiler,
lhp (National rank:

Missouri State. Class:
B-T: R-L.
Ht.: 6-4.
Wt.: 175.
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:

Blue Springs (Mo.) HS. Class:
B-T: R-R.
Ht.: 6-4.
Wt.: 200.
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

3. Scott Carroll,
rhp (National rank:

Missouri State. Class:
B-T: R-R.
Ht.: 6-5.
Wt.: 220.
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

4. Dave Stewart, of
(National rank:

St. John Vianney HS, St. Louis. Class:
B-T: L-R.
Ht.: 6-6.
Wt.: 230.
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

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.

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.

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.