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.
Nebraska State-by-State List
2011 Nebraska Overview
Arrival Has Signaled New Era For Nebraska Baseball
hiring of former University of Nebraska baseball/football hero Darin
Erstad breathed new life into the Cornhuskers baseball program this
spring after it had fallen on hard times since making its third and
last College World Series appearance in a five-year period in 2005.
hiring coincided with Nebraska’s move from the Big 12 Conference to
the Big Ten, and Cornhusker fans had expectations that their team
would be an immediate powerhouse program in the less-competitive
conference after missing post-season play in their final three
seasons in the Big 12. But Erstad’s first squad was on the cusp of
not even making the six-team Big Ten tournament, either, heading into
the season’s final weekend.
the start, Erstad and his staff had their work cut out for them as
the Cornhuskers were seriously over the limit on scholarship
commitments, and had to be in step with the allowable 11.7 limit as
mandated by the NCAA by the start of fall classes, as mandated by the
Big Ten (not the start of the spring season, as allowed by the Big
12). As a result, Erstad had to jettison several notable prospects
from the Cornhuskers roster, such as the likes of lefthander Logan
Ehlers, a Nebraska native who transferred to Howard (Texas) JC, and
righthander Tanner Kreitemeier who ended up at Iowa Western CC. Both
players have emerged as significant prospects for this year’s
also inherited a banged-up and uncertain pitching staff that has
struggled all of the 2012 season. But Erstad, a star outfielder at
Nebraska from 1993-95 and the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 draft,
has had a notable influence on the team’s offense as the
Cornhuskers are hitting .312 as a team, ranking it in the top 10
state’s other major-college program, Creighton, had its best season
in 2011 since making its only appearance in the Omaha-based College
World Series 20 years earlier, but suffered a couple of major
graduation losses from its 45-16 NCAA tournament team, and are
currently 21-25 overall (5-12 in Missouri Valley Conference play).
Creighton’s vaunted pitching and defense have been as strong as
ever, but the team was at the opposite end of the offensive spectrum
from Nebraska, hitting only .235 as a team.
does boast the state’s best prospect for this year’s draft, in
lefthander Ty Blach. He may be pressed to crack the top five rounds,
but is expected to end a streak, dating back to 1999, that has seen
the rival Cornhuskers produce the top draft prospect in the state
each and every year over that stretch.
in a nutshell:
University of Nebraska position players.
Draftable high-school talent.
(1-to-5 scale): 2.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAM:
Creighton Prep, Omaha.
ON THE RISE: Richard Stock, 1b/c, University of Nebraska. Stock
was a well-publicized prospect coming out of a southern California
high school in 2009—in part of his own skills, in part because his
brother Robert was one of the most-precocious talents in the 2007
class who chose to enter college at USC in 2006, a year ahead of
schedule. Stock also attended USC as a freshman, but missed most of
the 2010 season (only 17 at-bats) with shoulder problems, and then
went undrafted in 2011 after transferring to Los Angeles Pierce JC.
He has resurrected his career at Nebraska by starting to show the
power potential scouts had seen in him all along. He has caught
sparingly this spring, though, spending most of his time at first
CARD: Nate Greip, rhp/of, Millard West HS, Omaha. Nebraska
high-school players are virtually ignored in the draft. Only seven
have been selected since 2003, with lefthander Logan Ehlers (2010,
8th round) the only pick in the top 15 rounds. That drought isn’t
likely to change in 2012, but if there is a surprise selection it
would probably be the highly-athletic, 6-foot-2, 185-pound Greip. He
has dominated the Omaha prep ranks this spring, with both his arm and
bat. Greip generally works in the upper-80s with a hard, downer curve
and has bumped 92 mph a couple of times. Much to the probable chagrin
of Nebraska and Creighton, Greip has signed with Kansas State.
OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Nebraska Connection:
Logan Ehlers, lhp, Howard (Texas) JC (Attended high school in
Nebraska City; played at University of Nebraska in 2011).
Jon Keller, rhp, University of Nebraska.
Jackson Raatz, c/rhp, Norris HS, Firth.
Darin Erstad, of, University of Nebraska (1995, Angels/1st round, 1st pick).
Chamberlain, rhp, University of Nebraska (Yankees/1st round, 41st pick).
Bowman, lhp, University of Nebraska (Reds/5th round).
Pribanic, rhp, University of Nebraska (Mariners/3rd round).
Nesseth, rhp, University of Nebraska (Angels/15th round).
Mariot, rhp, University of Nebraska (Royals/8th round).
Asche, 3b, University of Nebraska (Phillies/4th round).
College Players Drafted/Signed:
School Players Drafted/Signed:
Greip, rhp/of, Millard West HS, Omaha.
Richard Stock, 1b/c, University of Nebraska.
Chad Christensen, ss, University of Nebraska.
Kevin Connelly, of, Creighton Prep, Omaha.
Cody Burleson, c, University of Nebraska.
Travis Huber, rhp, University of Nebraska.
Ty Blach, lhp, Creighton University.
Ty Blach, lhp, Creighton University.
PROSPECTS, GROUPS ONE and TWO
GROUP ONE (Projected
ELITE-Round Draft / Rounds 1-3)
GROUP TWO (Projected
HIGH-Round Draft / Rounds 4-10)
1. TY BLACH, lhp,
Creighton University (Jr.)
After he went 10-3,
2.65 with 100 strikeouts in 102 innings in a dominating sophomore
year, Blach hasn't been as strong this year, going 5-5, 2.80 with 67
strikeouts in 93 innings. Scouts say there is nothing wrong with
Blach’s raw stuff, which is at least equal to what it was in 2011.
At his best, the Colorado native works at 89-92 mph with his
fastball, and will touch 93-94, at times. His strikeout pitch is a
sharp-breaking, low-80s slider, and he also has a feel for a
developing changeup. Durability isn’t an issue with the 6-foot-1,
200-pound Blach as he leads NCAA Division I pitchers with 16 starts,
a result of occasionally starting mid-week games and throwing 1-2
innings, instead of throwing customary bullpens between his weekend
starts. Blach could hear his name called as early as the fourth round
by a team that is aggressively pursuing mature college pitching, but
will likely last a round or two beyond that, which would be more in
keeping with his raw stuff.
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