Thursday, May 7, 2009

Draft Day cometh

■ The First-Year Player Draft . . will have a completely new look on June 9, with a prime-time move to the new MLB Network and its dazzling Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J, according to

The Draft begins at 6 p.m. ET on that Tuesday in June in the scale-ballpark studio named after Jackie Robinson, and it will be expanded, from two days to three days, with the final two days being conducted via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York.'s main 2009 Draft page has many scouting reports on recruits.

■ To be eligible, a 4-year college player must have completed 3 years or have turned 21 by the day of the Draft. The following Mizzou players are eligible for the draft:
Ryan Allen
Ian Berger
Trevor Coleman
Greg Folgia
Ryan Gargano
Kyle Gibson
Steve Gray
Scooter Hicks
Austin Holt
Michael Liberto
Ryan Lollis
Kyle Mach
Phil McCormick
Andrew Mueller
Aaron Senne
List edited after helpful followers of the team pointed out the missing names. Thx)

In addition, former Tiger pitcher Aaron Crow, who did not sign with the Washington Nationals after being drafted in the first round a year ago, will re-enter the draft this June, and is expected to be a first-round pick again, along with fellow Tiger Kyle Gibson.

■ There are about a million or two websites devoted to projecting which team will draft which player in which round. A sampling:

• The 10,000 pound gorilla on the web is BaseballAmerica. A lot of their stuff is accessible by subscription only. But their Draft Tracker and Draft Blog are open to all. And you can see the official 2009 Draft Order and the various rules and reasons for that order.

SportingNews is the old warhorse of Baseball coverage. Their mock draft has Aaron Crow going #2 in the 1st round to the Seattle Mariners ("People forget he was one of the top 3 power arms in 2008 draft"), and Kyle Gibson going to the Baltimore Orioles with the 7th overall pick ("Projectable frame, staff leader, Andy McPhail believes in pitching, pitching, pitching") has Kyle Gibson going 6th in the 1st round, to the SF Giants organization, and Aaron Crow going 8th to the Reds.

MLBDraftSite (gotta love those catchy names) has Gibson 8th to the Reds and Crow 13th to Oakland
■ In case you're not current on Aaron Crow's status and why he's eligible for the draft again this year, check out this recent report from The Maneater: Crow visits former baseball team:
About a year has passed since Crow was mowing down hitters at Taylor Stadium, but he still can be seen there from time to time watching his former team. Crow and his agent Randy Hendricks turned down the Washington Nationals' contract offer last August, so Crow will re-enter the MLB draft in 2009 after playing in Texas for the Fort Worth Cats of the American Association, an independent league team that includes former Missouri pitcher and current Arizona Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer. Crow said Scherzer told him to "hang in there and know it's going to work out.

So with some time to kill, Crow has been hanging around the Missouri baseball facilities, working out and staying in shape. On Monday, Crow threw a live batting practice session to Missouri hitters in which he used all his pitches -- a mid-90's fastball, a devastating slider and a changeup that coach Tony Vitello intimated was much better than it was in 2008.
. . .
So, why was Crow in the stands at Taylor Stadium and not pitching somewhere in the Nationals' minor league system?

"It was a bad fit for the most part," Crow said of the Nationals. "I thought I would be better off going through the whole process again this year."
■ The Columbia Tribune also had a story on Crow this past week: All the right moves:
In preparation for this year’s draft on June 9, Crow, a right-hander from Wakarusa, Kan., will begin this season pitching for the Fort Worth Cats of the American Association, an independent minor league. Crow’s first start is scheduled for Monday, and he’s expected to get at least six appearances before the draft.
■ Comments on Crow's first exhibition start on Monday, from
I was next to a Braves scout and was over looking his gun as he clocked Crow. The best I saw was 95 but Horse was dead on most were at 93. His strike outs were all on pitches 85-87 mph. No strick outs were that of pitches in the 90's. He did seem to be tense, working a little slow, and at one time after a walk I could hear him say the "f" word. He looked as though he was putting added pressure on himself to impress. But overall for a first Spring preformance, first professional start even if it was exhibition season, he did seem to have top prospect stuff. I would look for him to increase innings next time, that or pitch count, which he was obviously on last night, and I would think he may get the avg speed up to 95. Also he may start mixing up his pitches more, he seemed to be throwing more heat than the off speed stuff. Cant wait to see start number 2.

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