Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another Kind of Tigers

I was going to go to the Missouri Tigers baseball game this Friday night. I had several reasons for making the trip, most prominently to get some game action practice using my new camera before I head to Florida for Spring Training next week. Unfortunately, the game has been cancelled because of cold weather.

I did do some research in preparation for my trip, though, so here is my quick preview of the 2008 Missouri Tiger baseball team:

Main Attraction

The big gun on this team is clearly Aaron Crow. He is one of the top rated pitchers in the country and is expected to be a top 5 draft pick this June. He was undrafted out of high school and wasn't considered a top prospect until this past offseason, when his fastball gained several mph in the Cape League (he now sits at 94-96 with his fastball). In 2007, as a Sophmore (and before his velocity jumped), he went 9-4 with a 3.59 ERA, with a 6.9 K/9 inning rate and a 2.5 BB/9 inning rate.

Other Stars

The 2007 recruiting class was huge for the Tigers. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year last year was catcher Trevor Coleman (drafted in the 38th round by Cincinnati out of high school) who put up a .282/.429/.506 line with 9 home runs in 170 at bats. Sophmore outfielder Aaron Senne is another solid bat from the class (drafted in the 13th round by the Twins). His line last year was .289/.389/.482 with 7 home runs in 218 at bats. The final big gun out of the 2007 recruiting class is pitcher Kyle Gibson (drafted in the 36th round by the Phillies). Reminiscent of Crow his Sophmore year, Gibson is currently more of a command pitcher than a power pitcher, but he may develop more velocity as he grows into his 6'6" frame. He has already been mentioned by Baseball America as a possible top pick in the 2009 draft.

Senior Jacob Priday is the power source in the middle of the lineup. Last season he hit 13 home runs while putting up a .297/.402/.575 line. Ostensibly an outfielder, the Tigers use him most often at the designated hitter spot (which does not bode well for him defensively at the next level).

Others to Watch

Missouri had another nice recruiting class this year, getting three commits that were drafted by major league clubs. The jewel of the class could be Missouri native (Blue Springs, MO) right handed pitcher Nick Tepesch, who was drafted in the 28th round by the Red Sox. The other two Freshman draftees are also both right handed pitchers: Brad Buehler (43rd round by the Rays) and Tyler Clark (46th round by the Cubs).


Missouri started the year ranked in the top ten nationally and behind Aaron Crow and their underclassman hitters, they have a chance to stay there all year. Missouri is becoming known as a pitching pipeline, with Max Scherzer getting drafted early in the first round two years ago, and now Crow, Gibson, and perhaps Tepesch all lined up for first round selections in successive years.

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