Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MLB Draft: More on 1st-rounders Crow and Gibson

The first three rounds of the MLB Draft were completed Tuesday night, with Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson going in the 1st round. No other Tigers and no Mizzou recruits were drafted.

The Draft continues today beginning at 11:00 AM Central Time, with full coverage at Draft Central. The 4th through 30th rounds will be Wednesday, followed by the 31st through 50th rounds beginning at 10:30 AM CT on Thursday.

Here at "we" will continue to monitor the Draft and report on current Tigers and Tiger Recruits who are named in the draft.

Missouri pitchers selected in first round of MLB Draft (Columbia Missourian)

Kyle Gibson and Aaron Crow were both on the Missouri Tigers pitching staff two seasons ago. Now, there is a distinct possibility they will be pitching against each other in the American League Central Division in the near future.

In Tuesday’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft, Crow was selected 12th overall by the Kansas City Royals. Gibson was selected by the Minnesota Twins 10 picks later, with the 22nd pick in the first round.
. . .
“I was sore and I definitely didn’t tell people about my arm. I don’t blame the coaches or anyone for throwing me cause I want the ball every time,” Gibson said. “I always pride myself on bring a team guy. The one thing I wanted to do was go out there and pitch and prove the draft wasn’t first thing on my mind.”

Missouri pitching coach Tony Vitello thinks Gibson’s performance versus Monmouth shows Gibson is an exceptional teammate.

“People need to know Gibson put millions of dollars on the line to pitch for his teammates,” Vitello said.

Vitello also said he has no concerns about the injury hampering Gibson’s pitching
ability down the road.
. . .
Those who follow the draft say the teams that chose Crow and Gibson got good deals. Jim Callis of Baseball America said he thinks that if the draft was held a month ago, there would be no chance for the Twins to select the highly touted Gibson.

“I can imagine Kyle contending for a rotation spot in 2011,” Callis said Tuesday evening by phone.

Callis also liked the Royals pick of Crow, pointing to the 23-year-old’s game experience at Missouri and in Fort Worth as a positive factor for his development once he reaches the Royals’ minor league system.

“He’s already faced professional hitters in the American Association, and was in a great conference in the Big 12. He can move quickly through the system, and it’s very possible he can be with the Royals by the end of next season. But only if he signs soon,” Callis said.
The man behind the draft picks (Columbia Missourian)

When Tony Vitello elected to transfer from St. Louis Community College to MU to play baseball, the expectations weren’t exactly high. His own father, who was also Vitello's high school baseball coach, called him a "little bit above average" baseball player.

“When I told (Missouri coach) Tim Jamieson that my son would like to come to Missouri, Tim kind of rolled his eyes a little bit,” Greg Vitello, Tony’s father, said. “To be real honest with you, I thought his baseball career might come to a screeching halt.”
. . .
Although his work with Missouri’s pitching staff may garner the most praise, Tony Vitello’s work as Missouri’s recruiting coordinator might be just as vital to the program’s rise in recent years.

Missouri’s national profile has expanded under Tony Vitello’s watch. Among Gibson, Crow, and Scherzer, only Scherzer hails from the state of Missouri. Missouri’s 35-man roster features 17 players from outside the state. Tony Vitello cites the recent
success of the entire athletic program and “goofy connections” for helping expand Missouri’s reach.

He said recruits are getting tougher to read, although his background with pitching prospects can make the job a little bit easier.
KC brings Crow home in Round 1 (
"We were getting excited as we moved toward our pick, seeing some of the names that were still up there, and Aaron was a guy that quite honestly, we're happy that he was there," said J.J. Picollo, the Royals' assistant general manager/scouting and player development. "We didn't anticipate that he would be there, but we were prepared that if he were there, he was the guy we were going to take."
. . .
"Aaron spent time at our Spring Training complex this past spring," said general manager Dayton Moore. "He's met pretty much all of our scouts."

Crow explained he was in Arizona and working out at a training facility near the Royals' camp at Surprise. The Royals invited him to their first Spring Training game and he sat down and talked to Moore.

"They were the only team that did that," Crow said. "And now I'm with them."
Royals pick Aaron Crow ( VIDEO interview with Aaron after the pick was announced
Crow: I was a fan, but I wouldn't say I was their biggest fan. But still, definitely, they were my favorite time all my life

Royals GM: We scouted this guy very, very hard. He's grown up a Kansas City Royals fan, there's an attraction here. It was really a no-brainer for us.
■ From EverythingRoyals Blog:
I'm pleasantly surprised that Crow fell to the Royals at No. 12. Dayton Moore seriously had to be doing backflips when Crow was sitting there for the taking.
Many scouts and team executives had Crow pegged to go in the top 5 picks after having a stellar start to the season at Fort Worth - where he flashed major league caliber stuff.

Already a year into professional baseball, plus the fact he went through college, Crow is advanced enough that he will likely shoot through the minor leagues and contribute to the big league club soon. Royals fans should be excited.
Royals Draft - Day 1 Recap (Royals Review blog)
I'm going to speculate a little bit. Crow is projected top 10--many times Top 5 until the past couple of days when teams are getting scared off by his bonus demands and he drops to us. Will Myers was considered a mid-late 1st round pick but teams backed off in the past couple of days because he was said to want "Top 10" money. Both of those situations sound a little like Tim Melville to me. Teams backed off Melville because they percieved that he wanted a ton of money. In reality, he signed for a healthy bonus with the Royals because there was a good relationship there and we were one of, if not the only, team he wanted to sign with. I wonder if Crow and Myers started throwing out big bonus amounts to scare off other teams because the Royals had worked things out with them and they had a comfort level with the Royals. Crow will probably get $3.5-4 million and Myers close to $2. Just a theory but I think the Royals may be on to a good way to wrap up some talent. I think Crow will sign relatively quickly and go to either Burlington or WIlmington. I think Myers will agree to a contract that will not be announced until closer to the deadline (like Melville and other way above slot later picks) to avoid the full ire of raging Bud.
■ Twins take pitcher in first round (
“I think it’s a really good organization for me to be in,” Gibson said, referring to their reputation for developing young pitchers.

Gibson’s goal wasn’t necessarily to land in the first round. He was just looking for a good fit.

“It’s not just about the draft. It’s about being a major league pitcher and helping out the club,” he said on a conference call with local reporters.
Round One: Minnesota Twins Select Gibson (Twinkie Town blog): Good summary of scouting reports

Twins snag Missouri righty in first round (
"We kind of got a sense, I would say midway through the first round, that he was starting to slide," said Deron Johnson, the Twins' director of scouting. "We had some guys in mind, and we ended up going for the ceiling. When he's healthy, he's one of the top pitchers in the Draft."
. . .
The Twins were one of the clubs to get a copy of the MRI. Johnson said the club had team orthopedist John Steubs look over Gibson's medical records and no red flags were raised, allowing them to take the pitcher with their first-round pick.

"[Steubs] said the elbow is structurally fine and all he needed was rest," Johnson said.
"No surgery is needed from what we know. So everything should be a go."

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