Draft : : State Preview
Monday, May 13, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Kansas

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Kansas 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.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Kasnas State-by-State List

This has been a slim year for professional prospects in the state of Kansas, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some good baseball played. Far from it. Kansas State has posted a surprising 34-15 record and has a Boyd’s RPI of 25, with Kansas close behind at 31-18 and a 42 RPI. Those are the two best RPIs in the Big 12 and far outpace some other notable pairs of state programs from nearby locations, including Oklahoma (Oklahoma 44th
, Oklahoma State 45th) and Texas (Texas A&M 57th, Texas 62nd). In addition, Cowley County CC is one of the best junior college teams in the country, with a 44-9 record and the No. 8 ranking in the latest Perfect Game National juco rankings.

That achievement is even more notable when you consider that Kansas hasn’t been producing that much high school talent recently, and even the best of that, such as right handed pitcher Ryne Stanek (Arkansas), outfielder Bubba Starling (Kansas City Royals) and left handed pitcher Garrett Cleavinger (Oregon), have left the state in recent years. Kansas has not had a high school player worthy of extensive cross-checking this spring, although the good news is that the state’s two top high school prospects, left handed pitcher Jordan Floyd (Shawnee Heights HS, Topeka) and right handed pitcher John Roblez (Bishop Ward HS, Overland Park) have signed with Kansas State.

  Strong college programs at all levels
WEAKNESS:  Premium high school talent
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 2

 Kansas State

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Thomas Taylor, rhp, University of Kansas:
Taylor has been well known to scouts since he was in high school and has always had firm enough stuff, including a fastball that will work into the plus range on occasion, to keep them interested. He’s become the Jayhawks ace this year, going 5-1, 2.37 in 11 starts as a 23-year old, fifth-year senior.

WILD CARD: Isaac Lueth, rhp, DeSoto HS:
The loose-armed and athletic 6-foot-5, 200-pound Lueth has emerged as the most projectable young pitcher in the state. His stuff hasn’t developed enough to survive yet in professional ball, but there has been speculation that the hometown Royals will at least draft him at some point. He’s signed with Hutchinson CC.

 Ryne Stanek, rhp, U. Arkansas (attended high school in Overland Park)
Top 2014 Prospect: Casey Gillespie, 1b, Wichita State
Top 2015 Prospect: Hayden Edwards, rhp, University of Kansas


Draft History:
Joe Carter, of, Wichita State (1981, Cubs/1st round, 2nd pick); Darren Dreifort, rhp, Wichita State (1993, Dodgers/1st round, 2nd pick)
2008 Draft: Conor Gillaspie, 3b, Wichita State (Giants, 1st round/37th pick)
2009 Draft: Garrett Gould, rhp, Maize HS (Dodgers/2nd round)
2010 Draft: Ryne Stanek, rhp, Blue Valley HS (Mariners/3rd round)
2011 Draft: Bubba Starling, of, Gardner-Edgerton HS (Royals/1st round, 5th pick)
2012 Draft: Collin Wiles, rhp, Blue Valley West HS (Rangers/1st round, 53rd pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 4/4
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 3/2


GROUP 2 (rounds 4-10)

1. JARED KING, of, Kansas State University (Jr.)
King has a realistic chance of being drafted in the late second or third round, especially by a team that has a long history on him from previous college seasons and the Cape Cod League. He was hampered early in the season by a sore hamstring that caused him to miss only a couple of games and has affected his play in others. At his best and healthiest, King is one of the better all-around offensive players in college baseball. He’s a switch-hitter who led the Big 12 in hitting as a sophomore (.377-7-47) and has extra base power from both sides of the plate. King also has a polished approach at the plate (49 walks vs. 45 strikeouts the past two years) and the speed to steal double figure bases as a professional. There also might be some family bragging rights on the line in June, as King’s older brother, former KSU shortstop Jason King, was a fourth-round draft pick (137th overall) of the Tigers in 2011, a mark that King could easily surpass. For more on this high performance outfielder, read Frankie Piliere’s Perfect Game Draft Focus profile

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