State Report: Dakotas

Jackrabbits supply talent on the prairie

See also: Baseball America's Complete 2010 Draft Map

***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
The Dakotas are never a fertile draft ground, but South Dakota State did have its best season ever, tying a school record with 39 wins and earning a share of the Summit League regular-season title. The Jackrabbits fell to Oral Roberts in the conference tournament championship to end their season.

South Dakota State has the three best 2010 prospects in the Dakotas, starting with righthander Blake Treinen. The region's top high school prospect, righty Kolton Emery, has also committed there. He isn't much of a pro prospect yet, with his fastball peaking in the high 80s.




1. Blake Treinen, rhp, South Dakota State
2. Trever Vermeulen, rhp, South Dakota State
3. Jesse Sawyer, 3b, South Dakota State
4. Andy Leer, ss, Mary (N.D.)
5. Kolton Emery, rhp, Stevens HS, Rapid City, S.D.


Treinen Comes Out Of Nowhere

Blake Treinen didn't play in an official game in the first three years of his college career, serving a stint on the junior varsity team at NAIA Baker (Kan.), not playing baseball at Arkansas and sitting out 2009 at South Dakota State after transferring. He has been a revelation this spring, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound righthander with a fastball that tops out at 94 mph. He's still learning to pitch, so his hard breaking pitches and command need refinement, but he has more potential than the typical Dakotas prospect. He went 7-0 in the regular season before Oral Roberts routed him with 14 runs in four innings in the Summit League tournament.

South Dakota State plays in an offensive environment, with the Jackrabbits and their opponents averaging a combined 17.2 runs per game in 2010. That makes righthander Trever Vermeulen's 1.12 ERA (third in NCAA Division I entering regional play) and one home run allowed in 64 innings all the more outstanding. Vermeulen is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound submariner who is more likely to be a senior sign for 2012, but he overmatches college righthanders with a lively 83-86 mph sinker and a sweeping slider.

Jesse Sawyer has set and tied South Dakota State's single-season home run record (19) in each of his two years since transferring from Lethbridge (Alberta) CC. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder offers righthanded power and arm strength, though his lack of range may force him to move from third base in pro ball.