Friday, January 29, 2010

Dumping out a very full in-box

Over 250 Google News Alerts piled up during my 1-week online sabbatical. As usual, most of it was worthless. And then there was . . .

Baseball America's Top 25 has Texas #1. So does USA Today. After the Longhorns, the preseason polls are shockingly short on Big 12 teams, and entirely devoid of Mizzou.

■ Aaron Fitt is looking forward to the Houston College Classic (Top 25 Chat)

■ The Houston Chronicle has a preview of the Houston College Classic
Question Marks: The entire pitching staff, and the rest of the lineup. Only one pitcher who started even semi-regularly last year returns, and that's Nick Tepesch, who put up a 6.27 ERA in 2009. Basically every hitter besides Senne who hit for a decent average and/or any kind of power last year is gone. Losing nearly every significant contributor from last year's team (which wasn't exactly dominant in the first place) could spell a lot of trouble for the Tigers.

■ has a state-the-obvious preview of the Big 12 in 2010

Player to watch for in 2010: Russell LaFleur (

■ And a related piece on

Upon returning to campus, LaFleur showed the Mizzou coaching staff he was ready to shine. In the first game of the Tigers’ Fall World Series, LaFleur hit a game-tying three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. He went on to star for the Gold team with five RBI and four runs scored in four games.

LaFleur was joined on the Gold team by former Pump Jack and 2009 All-TCL catcher Brett Nicholas. Nicholas, who transferred to Missouri after his sophomore season at Scottsdale Community College, made a big splash in the Fall World Series as well. The 2009 TCL RBI champion batted .384 (5-for-13) with five RBI, tying with LaFleur for the second-highest RBI total in the series.

Perfect Games 2010 State-by-state follow list (
• Includes Mizzou players #1 Nick Tepesch, Brett Nicholas, Tyler Clark, Brad
Buehler, Aaron Senne, Jonah Schmidt, Aaron Blunt, Russell LaFleur, Jesse Santo,
TJ Scheiber, Andrew Thigpen, and former Tiger Ryan Allen. Also MU recruit
Matt Linderer, plus Derek Rallo, brother of former Tigers Mike and Ryan.
Full list at (subscribers only)

South Texas Preseason All-Star team ( includes MU recruits Rob Zastryzny and Michael Franco

Local baseball stars Zastryzny, Franco are Mizzou bound (
“Missouri is a really competitive Big 12 school,” said Zastryzny, who went 9-4 with a 2.25 earned-run average as a junior last season. “Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to go to a school that would compete with anybody and could help me get to the next level.”
. . .

Zastryzny’s signing also means two local players will be headed to the Tigers next year, as Moody third baseman Michael Franco also has signed with Missouri.
“He and I are actually really good friends,” Zastryzny said. “We had talked about going to the same school for a while, just kind of joking about it, but I don’t think either of us really thought it would happen. But, him going there, too, just makes the decision even better.”

Mizzou Athletics All-Decade Team

Baseball's All-Decade Performer: Aaron Crow (Kyle Gibson and Max Scherzer
were Honorable Mentions)
■ Aaron Crow is #41 on's Top 50 Prospects

■ Kyle Gibson is Ready for the big time (Greenfield Daily Reporter)
Fully healthy, Greenfield's Kyle Gibson is eager to make some waves in Minnesota podcast includes a conversation with Kyle Gibson
We talked about what he’s been doing since instructional league to get ready for
the upcoming season, his engagement, the economics of MLB’s draft, and again,
much more.

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