Draft : : State Preview
Monday, May 13, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Missouri

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game
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.

Missouri State-by-State List

The most notable aspect of the state of Missouri’s draft list isn’t the presence of a couple of strong armed pitchers in Devin Williams and Rob Zastryzny at the top of the list, it is the complete lack of position prospects with top 10 draft potential. While Missouri has a long track record of producing talented young arms, the lack of athletes in the state, especially at the state’s Division I programs, does stand out.

The Missouri list would also be a bit longer if it included Parkway South High School left handed pitcher Jake Brentz. Brentz decided to pitch in the Iowa Spring League this spring to best further his conversion from the outfield to the pitcher’s mound and has been up to 97 mph this spring. He will be included in the Iowa State Preview.

  Right handed high school pitchers
WEAKNESS:  Position players
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 3

 Missouri State

PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Devin Williams, rhp, Hazelwood West HS, Florissant:
Williams was well known to scouts before the spring season, especially after his dominating performance at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. last October, but has continued to improve this spring and impresses scouts with his easy velocity and projection. He can’t help but remind some national level scouts of top Mariners prospect, right handed pitcher Taijuan Walker, given his build, athleticism and raw stuff.

WILD CARD: Brian Howard, rhp, St. Louis University HS:
Extra tall and loose pitchers always excite scouts, although the supply of them in the Major Leagues is a bit short. Howard qualifies to an extreme degree as he’s 6-foot-9, 195-pounds and has a very loose and easy arm action that can produce low-90s fastballs right now. His lack of a quality breaking ball and his TCU scholarship will complicate the evaluation process for the scouting community.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Missouri Connection:
 David Masters, ss, Central Arizona CC (attended high school in St. Louis and is committed to attend Missouri State next year)
Top 2014 Prospect: Alex Lange, rhp, Lee’s Summit West HS
Top 2015 Prospect: Alec Rash, rhp, University of Missouri


Draft History:
Roy Branch, rhp, Beaumont HS, St. Louis (1971, Royals/1st round, 5th pick)
2008 Draft: Aaron Crow, rhp, University of Missouri (Nationals/1st round, 9th pick)
2009 Draft: Jacob Turner, rhp, Westminster Christian Academy, St. Louis (Tigers/1st round, 9th pick)
2010 Draft: Bret Nicholas, c, University of Missouri (Rangers/6th round)
2011 Draft: Johnny Eireman, of, Warsaw HS (Rays/3rd round)
2012 Draft: Pierce Johnson, rhp, Missouri State (Cubs/1st round, 43rd pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 5/5
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 11/5


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

1. DEVIN WILLIAMS, rhp, Hazelwood West HS, Florissant
Williams has been steadily moving up draft boards all spring and will be talked about by many clubs in the later parts of the first round. He is the epitome of projectable with a fast, loose arm and an athletic 6-foot-4, 190-pound build that has plenty of room to add strength. Williams pitches with a fringy plus fastball that will reach 95 mph now with the anticipation that it will be comfortably a true plus velocity pitch in the near future. His ascension on the draft boards actually stems more from his continued flashing of a potential plus changeup and the improvement in his slider, which he just started throwing in the last year. For more on Williams, read his Perfect Game Draft Focus profile here

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