Draft : : State Preview
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

State Preview: Kansas

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Wichita State

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 scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.

Contributing: Allan Simpson

Kansas State-by-State List
2011 Kansas Overview

Kansas Overview:
From 2011 to 2012, Kansas Experiences Draft Extremes

By any standard, Kansas had an outstanding draft in 2011. High-school phenom Bubba Starling was the fifth overall selection, and signed with his hometown Kansas City Royals for $7.5 million. In all, 10 players from the state were picked in the top seven rounds, and 16 eventually signed contracts totaling almost $10 million in bonuses. If ever a state deserved a perfect “5” on Perfect Game’s state rating scale, it was Kansas.

The same can't be said this year, as there may not be a single player from the state taken in the top 10 rounds this year.

The four highest-ranked college prospects, in fact, stand to be the four college players—Wichita State first baseman Johnny Coy, righthander Mitch Mormann and lefthander Josh Smith, and Kansas righthander Tanner Poppe—who were all part of Kansas’ 2011 draft class, but went unsigned. Mormann, who is already 23, and Poppe were both given solid chances to slip into the first 10 rounds at the start of the 2012 season.

Meanwhile, none of Kansas’ three Division I programs has had a particularly distinguishing season, either, and unless one is to win its conference post-season tournament, there will be no representative from the state in the NCAA tournament. Kansas State was a member of the 2011 field.

The best talent in Kansas this spring may well be in the junior-college ranks, and the state’s best draft may end up becoming Neosho County lefthander Matt Strahm, who has had a dominant 2012 season.

Kansas in a nutshell:

Junior-college talent.
WEAKNESS: Front-line talent.

Wichita State.

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Collin Wiles, rhp, Blue Valley West HS, Overland Park.
While the Kansas prep ranks are thin this year, the one player that has made the most-significant positive move is Wiles, a lanky 6-4 righthander who has climbed to the top of the state high-school rankings as his fastball has picked up velocity. Wiles has topped out at 92 mph, but with a commitment to Vanderbilt, he may be difficult to pry away from college.

WILD CARD: JOHNNY COY, 1b, Wichita State University.
Coy was drafted in the seventh round out of a Missouri high school in 2008 and 45th round a year ago as a Wichita State red-shirt sophomore. Scouts remain intrigued with the massive, but largely-untapped power potential that 6-foot-8, 225-pound Coy has in his big, athletic frame. He is tied for the team home run lead this spring at Wichita State with eight.

Michael Morin, rhp, University of North Carolina (Attended high school in Overland Park).
Top 2013 Prospect: Frank Duncan, rhp, University of Kansas.
Top 2014 Prospect: Connor McKay, of, University of Kansas.


Draft History:
Joe Carter, of, Wichita State University (1981, Cubs/1st round, 2nd pick); Darren Dreifort, rhp, Wichita State University (1993, Dodgers/1st round, 2nd pick).
2006 Draft: Kris Johnson, lhp, Wichita State University (Red Sox/1st round; 40th pick).
2007 Draft: Derek Norris, c, Goddard HS (Nationals, 4th round).
2008 Draft: Conor Gillaspie, 3b, Wichita State University (Giants, 1st round/37th pick).
2009 Draft: Garrett Gould, rhp, Maize HS (Dodgers, 2nd round).
2010 Draft: Ryne Stanek, rhp, Blue Valley HS, Overland Park (Mariners, 3rd round).
2011 Draft: Bubba Starling, of, Gardner-Edgerton HS, Gardner (Royals/1st round, 5th pick).


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 2/1.
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 7/2.


Best Athlete:
Micah Green, of, Wichita State University.
Best Hitter: Johnny Coy, 1b, Wichita State University.
Best Power: Johnny Coy, 1b, Wichita State University.
Best Speed: Daniel Kihle, of, Andale HS, Goddard.
Best Defender: Daniel Kihle, of, Andale, HS, Goddard.
Best Velocity: Tanner Poppe, rhp, University of Kansas.
Best Breaking Stuff: Collin Wiles, rhp, Blue Valley West HS, Overland Park.
Best Command: Josh Smith, lhp, Wichita State University.


(Projected ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)


(Projected HIGH-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)

1. MATT STRAHM, lhp, Neosho County JC (So.)
A University of Nebraska signee, Strahm leads National Junior College Athletic Association Division I pitchers this spring with 124 strikeouts; in 84 innings, he has posted a 7-3, 1.71 record while allowing just 22 walks and 61 hits. Strahm has dominated with a fastball up to 92 mph and a plus slider, and has a chance to develop more velocity with physical maturity as he has a loose, easy arm action and a lean 6-foot-3, 170-pound frame. He has a feel for a circle changeup with running action, but must refine it through more-extended use if he hopes to remain a starter at the next level. Strahm’s teammate, first baseman/righthander Adam Giacalone, has been one of the most-dominant two-way players in junior college (.415-12-56; 8-3, 2.22, 89 IP, 4 BB/84 SO) and could also be drafted.

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