In the weeks leading
up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview
of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as
well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the
state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as
well as providing mini-scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players.
Oregon State-by-State List
Oregon State Civil War Spills Over to Baseball Field, Draft
Oregon State and Oregon
were at opposite ends of the baseball spectrum in 2006 and 2007, when
OSU was in the process of winning improbable back-to-back College
World Series titles while the Ducks didn’t even have so much as an
intercollegiate baseball program.
Just three years later,
the shoe was largely on the other foot. Oregon, in just its second
year back after reinstating its baseball program in the wake of
Oregon State’s stunning national success, was the program on the
upswing in 2010, posting a 40-24 record overall and breezing into
NCAA tournament play. Oregon State was struggling just to hang on,
and it barely qualified for post-season play. Clearly, it was being
upstaged by the new kid on the block.
As the 2011 college
season unfolded, Oregon seemed to have a clear-cut advantage on its
more-established rival, with a roster teeming with potential
early-round draft picks in each of the next three draft classes. The
Beavers roster was filled with uncertainty.
But when the two
arch-rivals prepared to meet each other on the final weekend of the
2011 regular season, in what was billed as baseball’s equivalent of
the traditional Civil War between the football teams at both schools,
it was Oregon State, and not Oregon, that had gained a clear upper
hand in the rivalry. The Beavers (38-14) held down first place in the
Pacific-10 Conference at 17-7, while the Ducks were just 30-26
overall, and a hugely-disappointing 8-16 in conference play.
Even as Oregon, in one
last gasp, turned the tables on the Beavers and won the first two
games of their highly-charged series, both by 4-1 scores, the Ducks
had long been resigned that they would be sitting on the sidelines
when at-large bids were extended to this year’s NCAA tournament.
In many ways, the two
Oregon teams have been the biggest surprises in all of college
baseball this season—Oregon State for what it did do, Oregon for
what it didn’t do.
Scouts have weighed in
closely this spring on all the draftable talent at both schools, and
the Beavers and Ducks are expected to make a profound combined impact
on this year’s draft—in different ways, in many cases, than what
was anticipated when the 2011 college season began.
Oregon State’s somewhat
unexpected rise to the top of the Pac-10 standings has been
accomplished, in large measure, by the return to full health of
high-profile lefthander Josh Osich (6-3, 3.44), who missed most of
the last two seasons with injuries, and catcher Andrew Susac, who had
a shaky college debut in 2010 for the Beavers (.260-2-13), but
blossomed this spring (.348-5-31) into the nation’s foremost
college catcher. Both players are in the first-round mix as the draft
nears, though somewhat tentatively.
There’s little question
that the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Osich, a red-shirt junior, has always
had a first-round quality arm, especially with a fastball that has
been clocked in the past at 97-98 mph. Under normal circumstances, he
would rank as one of the elite power arms in this draft, but there
were lingering questions when the 2011 season began about how he
might respond after missing most of the last two years. He underwent
Tommy John surgery in June of 2009 and had the procedure repeated
seven months later.
Osich, who was drafted in
the seventh round last June despite never having won a game in three
years at Oregon State and also not throwing a single pitch for the
Beavers in 2010, was initially brought along slowly this spring,
employing only his fastball and a changeup. His fastball was mostly
in the 92-96 mph range, and he made steady strides using just those
two pitches. He also had surprisingly good command for someone in his
first year back from major elbow surgery.
Osich’s signature game
of the 2011 season, a no-hitter against UCLA, came about,
coincidentally, when he was finally given the green light to cut
loose with his breaking stuff. He dominated the Bruins with all three
pitches, and that single performance may have pushed Osich over the
top and into first-round consideration, though teams will remain
leery of his long medical file and checkered record of success in
four years at Oregon State.
Susac also seemed like a
lock to be drafted in the first round midway through the 2011 season,
when he led the Beavers in every major offensive category. With his
combination of raw power and arm strength, he quickly asserted
himself as the premier catcher in this year’s college class. But
Susac then broke the hamate bone in his catching hand, forcing him to
the sidelines for 20 games, and scouts say he hasn’t been quite the
same player since he returned, either at the plate or in the field.
He still led the Beavers
in batting (.348) and was in the top two on the team in homers (5)
and RBIs (31) entering the final weekend of the regular season, but
has struggled with timing issues since his return, especially against
the superior pitching he has faced in the Pac-10. He also appeared to
be babying his hand behind the plate.
Susac is far from a
polished defensive catcher anyway as he has always had issues
blocking balls in the dirt, with his tendency to box them instead.
With concerns about his health and the deficiencies in his game, not
to mention his highly-leveraged sophomore class standing and obvious
huge price tag, teams were beginning to have second thoughts on the
eve of the draft about even drafting Susac in the first round, and
wondered if another year in college might not be in his best
interests. His situation will bear watching closely.
Junior righthander Sam
Gaviglio, meanwhile, has also had a breakout season for the Beavers
that was critical to the team’s unexpected surge to the top of the
standings. He is 11-2, 1.95 this spring after going just 3-4, 5.60 as
though, is much lower than that of either Osich or Susac as he won’t
blow anyone away with a fastball in the 89-91 mph range. But the
6-foot-2, 180-pound righthander has thrived this season because of
his excellent pitchability. He can carve up hitters with his ability
to throw four pitches for strikes, and though his fastball has just
average velocity, it has excellent sinking and diving action.
Of all the quality
college arms that abound in Oregon this spring, Oregon lefthander
Tyler Anderson ranks at the top of the list. He is the surest bet to
succeed at the next level, and there is little doubt that he will
roll off the draft board first, probably somewhere in the middle of
the first round.
Anderson has been
everything he was supposed to be for the Ducks, going 8-3, 2.17 with
a school-record 114 strikeouts. He systematically dismantled the
Beavers in the opening set of their three-game showdown series in
pretty much the same way he has overmatched other teams he has faced
Anderson is not
overpowering, even in his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame. His success
stems more from excellent command of four pitches, including a
four-seam fastball that normally sits at 90-92 mph, but tops at 95.
He is so advanced in his approach to pitching that he is on the short
list of pitching prospects in this draft who could reach the big
leagues the quickest.
Two other prominent
members of Oregon’s deep, talented pitching staff, righthanders
Madison Boer and Scott McGough, on the other hand, each went just 3-6
on the season. Additionally, McGough blew several critical save
situations early in the season, costing the Ducks several victories,
and ultimately lost his job as the team’s closer. Boer was one of
many arms the Ducks used to try and fill that void.
For all his 2011
failings, McGough should still be a prominent draft as he is capable
of reaching 97 mph, though his fastball is more often in the 92-94
range. An inconsistent breaking ball and undeveloped changeup were at
the root of McGough’s early-season problems.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound
Boer was Oregon’s primary closer in 2010, and while he briefly
returned to that role this spring, he has the stuff, including a
92-96 mph fastball, and physical, athletic frame to be a starter in
With the abundance of
pitching talent across the country in this year’s draft, the
disappointing seasons by McGough, and to a less degree by Boer could
push them down slightly in the draft. However, both are seen as solid
second- to third-round talents.
Beyond the inconsistent
seasons turned in by Boer and McGough, another critical factor in
Oregon’s demise this season was the inability of several key
players to swing the bat. As a team, the Ducks hit just .256.
Shortstop KC Serna led
the team in hitting a year ago at .349-5-37, but was plugging along
at a .224-2-21 clip in the final weekend. His struggles at the plate,
along with two team-imposed suspensions during the year, have
significantly cut into draft value, though he remains one of the best
pure shortstops in the Pac-10.
catcher Jack Marder enrolled at Oregon two years ago with a
reputation as a top hitting prospect and a player without a position.
But as he has surprisingly become a stalwart defensively behind the
plate in his two seasons with the Ducks, he became a liability at the
plate this season, hitting just .209-2-19. There is little chance now
that he will factor prominently in this year’s draft, and it’s
almost a given he will return to school for his junior year. Still, a
team that values defense in a catcher, may take a run at him.
Numerous other prospects
of note on both the Oregon and Oregon State rosters have seen their
draft stock fluctuate during the course of the 2011 season—some up,
Among those who have
significantly enhanced their value are two senior righthanders,
Oregon’s Kellen Moen and Oregon State’s James Nygren. Both
pitchers came to Oregon with big reputations from junior college, but
struggled in 2010 and weren’t even drafted. They’ve been
completely different pitchers this season.
Moen, an Alaska native,
pitched sparingly a year ago for the Ducks because the team was so
backed in quality arms. But Moen’s fastball velocity has been 5-6
mph better this spring, his curve is tighter, and he ended up saving
eight games for the Ducks as a valuable arm at the back of the
Nygren, an Oregon prep
product who wasn’t even recruited out of high school by the
Beavers, initially attended the College of Western Nevada. When his
fastball peaked at 95 mph in the fall of his freshman year, Nygren
quickly did a reverse take and enrolled at Oregon State in time for
his freshman year.
But he never pitched up
to expectations in his first three years with the Beavers, and never
materialized into the kind of prospect scouts thought he would
become. Suddenly this year, though, Nygren’s delivery has been a
lot cleaner and his fastball has returned to the low-90s, and he
responded with a solid senior season, going 8-2, 3.15 with 15 walks
and 49 strikeouts in 66 innings. He and Moen could squeeze their way
into the top 10 rounds as two of the better senior signs in the
From a state-wide
perspective, players from Oregon and Oregon State will almost
completely dominate the early rounds of this year’s draft. The
possibility exists that they will produce three first-rounders
between them, along with three picks each in the top three rounds.
all-consuming Oregon/Oregon State rivalry has also played itself out
in a fascinating dynamic at the high-school level this spring,
principally involving Westview High righthander Sam Johnson, an
Oregon recruit, and Southridge High lefthander Jace Fry, and Oregon
Johnson and Fry have been
acknowledged all along as the two best pitching prospects in the 2011
prep class, while also playing on the state’s two best high-school
teams. Johnson was a clear No. 1 at the outset of the 2011 season, in
large part because of the mid-90s velocity he showcased at various
national events last summer. Fry was close on his tail.
But Johnson has
unexpectedly struggled to throw as hard this spring as he has in the
past, working more in the high-80s. His breaking ball has also been
flatter, and not surprisingly he hasn’t posted the dominant results
expected. He has easily been upstaged by Fry, who now is the state’s
No. 1-ranked prep talent.
Everything came to a head
between the top two teams and top two pitchers in a May 10 showdown,
with Fry outdueling Johnson, enabling Southridge to edge Westview
3-2. Fry was the difference maker on the mound and at the plate,
allowing three hits and striking out 11, while drilling a critical
three-run homer off Johnson in the fifth inning. Johnson was tagged
for eight hits and struck out seven.
If there was doubt before
that game which team and which arm was No. 1, that showdown pretty
much swung the balance of power in favor of Southridge and Fry. In
fact, a third member of a clearly-defined Oregon prep pitching trio,
West Linn righthander Riley Wilkerson, may have surpassed the sliding
Johnson, as well.
At any rate, Fry is a
clear No. 1. With a 10-0, 1.42 record, along with 92 strikeouts in 59
innings, Fry has performed much better overall than Johnson, who is
6-3, 2.65 with 75 strikeouts in 58 innings. Wilkerson is a
commendable 11-1, 1.37, but with only 52 strikeouts in 71 innings, he
has not dominated like Fry has.
For added measure, Fry
has spanked the ball at a resounding .488-4-38 clip. And if
signability stands for anything, Fry is considered the most signable
of the three Oregon prep arms. He has indicated a preference for
signing right out of high school, while Johnson and Wilkerson are
more inclined to attend college.
While only Frye is pretty
much a lock to be the only Oregon high-school player drafted in the
top 10 rounds, the exceptional talent in the state’s college crop
will more than make up the shortfall and lead to this draft becoming
the greatest in Oregon’s history.
Oregon in a Nutshell:
High-school position players.
(1-to-5 scale): 5.
BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
TEAM: Mt. Hood.
BEST HIGH-SCHOOL TEAM:
Southridge HS, Beaverton.
PROSPECT ON THE RISE:
Josh Osich, lhp, Oregon State University. Despite undergoing
Tommy John surgery twice and producing no wins in his first three
seasons with the Beavers, Osich has unmistakable first-round stuff
with a high-90s fastball. He finally got to showcase it this spring.
PROSPECT ON THE
DECLINE: Sam Johnson, rhp, Westview HS, Portland. Oregon’s top
prep arm entering the 2011 draft and a possible 4th-6th-round
draft, Johnson has not shown close to the same stuff this spring that
he did last summer, when his fastball reached the mid-90s.
WILD CARD: Andrew
Susac, c, Oregon State University. Susac seemed like a lock to go
in the first round earlier this year, but doubts have crept in since
he broke a hamate bone at mid-season, missed 20 games, and has been
slow to return to his pre-injury form. His sophomore standing only
muddles the picture.
PROSPECT, Oregon Connection: Kylin Turnbull, lhp, Santa Barbara
CC (attended high school in Hillsboro).
TOP 2012 PROSPECT:
Christian Jones, lhp, University of Oregon.
TOP 2013 PROSPECT:
Ryon Healy, 3b/rhp, University of Oregon.
HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS
Dave Roberts, 3b, U. of Oregon (1972, Padres/1st round,
2006 Draft: Dallas
Buck, rhp, Oregon State U. (Diamondbacks/3rd round).
2007 Draft: Eddie
Kunz, rhp, Oregon State U. (Mets/1st round, 42nd pick).
2008 Draft: Ty
Morrison, of, Tigard HS (Rays/4th round).
2009 Draft: Erik
Stavert, rhp, U. of Oregon (Rockies/7th round).
2010 Draft: Tyler
Waldron, rhp, Oregon State U. (Pirates/5th round).
Andrew Susac, c, Oregon State University.
Best Power: Andrew
Susac, c, Oregon State University.
Best Speed: No
Jack Marder, c, University of Oregon.
Josh Osich, lhp, Oregon State University.
Best Breaking Stuff:
Tyler Anderson, lhp, University of Oregon.
TOP PROSPECTS, GROUPS
ONE and TWO
ONE (Projected ELITE-Round Draft /
TYLER ANDERSON, lhp, University of Oregon (Jr.)
LHP with ++ pitchability/poise/polish; commands 4 pitches, FB
90-92/T-95, has all UO SO records.
ANDREW SUSAC, c, Oregon State University (So.)
Best combination of
power/arm strength of any college C in draft; broke hamate bone,
defense needs work.
JOSH OSICH, lhp, Oregon State University (Jr.)
hi-risk/hi-reward; power LHP with 96-98 FB, but long medical record,
limited history of success.
MADISON BOER, rhp, University of Oregon (Jr.)
arm with superior stuff (92-94 FB/T-96, + SL/CH); used in variety of
roles (3-6, 2.27, 3 SV).
SAM GAVIGLIO, rhp, Oregon State University (Jr.)
most consistent arm (11-2, 1.95, 106 IP/25 BB/102 SO); FB only 89-91,
but 4 pitches, ++ pitchability.
SCOTT McGOUGH, rhp, University of Oregon (Jr.)
as UO closer early (3-6, 3.83, 4 SV), but FB ranges 92-97, flashes +
SL, plagued by inconsistency.
TWO (Projected HIGH-Round Draft /
JACE FRY, lhp, Southridge HS, Beaverton
to top of state HS list (10-0, 1.42, 59 IP/92 SO); quick/deceptive
arm, FB 88-91/+ movement; + CU.
KELLEN MOEN, rhp, University of Oregon (Sr.)
as SR (1-4, 3.07, 8 SV); FB 86-89 as JR, now 90-94; tighter CU,
abandoned split for true CH.
JAMES NYGREN, rhp, Oregon State University (Sr.)
stuff still not back to FR form (95-96 FB then, 88-92 now), but
cleaner delivery, made big strides as SR.
JACK MARDER, c, University of Oregon (So.)
huge strides defensively, but bat has regressed since HS (.209-2-19);
SO eligible, so tricky to figure.
RILEY WILKERSON, rhp, West Linn HS
frame/arm (6-4/180); made + strides (11-1, 1.37), 3 pitches for
strikes; OSU commit/tough sign.
SAM JOHNSON, rhp, Westview HS, Portland
prep arm in state coming in, but velo has slipped (FB in mid-90s last
summer, hi-80s now, CU flatter).