Thursday, June 30, 2011

John Anderson Celebrity Fundraiser

MU grad and ESPN's John Anderson is having a public event on Sunday, July 10 from 6-9 pm at Shiloh's in Columbia. A good number of the celebrities that will play in the next day's golf tourney will be at the Shiloh event.

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn and former MLB All-Star Andy Van Slyke will headline this year's golf invitational along with 3-time NBA champion and current ESPN Analyst Bruce Bowen. ESPN anchor and Mizzou grad Michael Kim also joins this year's field.Returning for a 2nd year are Mizzou legends Mel Gray and Johnny Roland, KC Chiefs TE Walter White and St. Louis sportscaster Tom Ackerman. Other celebrity participants include: Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden, Wyoming Head Football Coach and former Mizzou offensive coordinator Dave Christensen, KOMU-TV sports director Chris Gervino and Big Ten Network anchor Mike Hall.

Money raised at the tourney and from a promotion at Shiloh's will go to the local food bank, and there will also be a "school supply drive" for Joplin schoolkids. For more details go to

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

The worm has turned for Ian Kinsler (
It's a good thing we're only halfway through, though, because there's always a chance for things to get better. And, for Kinsler, it appears that the time has come for a change. After a poor May and an 0-for-23 start to June, Kinsler has hit .375 and rediscovered his power in a tantalizing glimpse at what could be a second half to savor.

The last two nights in Houston have provided much of the excitement for Kinsler's future. He has three homers and a triple in the two Rangers victories and his two homers on Wednesday were a big reason why the team secured the Silver Boot given to the winner of the six-game Texas series every year.

9 Reasons to Follow College Baseball: The Ballpark

This is part 3 of our weekly series on 9 reasons to follow College Baseball.

The Ballpark: Home Sweet Home

Taylor Stadium is not the biggest stadium in the Big 12. It doesn't have as many first class amenities as some of those other places. The parking could be better, and the walk from the Reactor Field parking up the Summit to the ballpark can be brutal. The weather in March and April can be miserable at times. The student interns up in the booth sometimes make questionable choices about the music they play. And I wish the powers that be would tighten up or replace the black backstop netting that looks like an over-the-hill hooker's sagging fishnet stockings.

But I love Taylor Stadium.

I've not yet been to the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The last time I went to the old Busch, I had pretty good (free) seats just a few rows up, down the left field line. Albert Pujols was playing left field (I told you it's been awhile), and I even got to see him hit a home run.

And I spent most of the game wishing I was back at Simmons Field.
  • The best seat in the house (that I can afford) at a place like Busch Stadium is not as good as the worst seat at Taylor Stadium. When I sit in my reserved seat in Section E, Row, Seat 1, I know that when I yell at the umpire to turn over the plate and read the directions, he hears me.

  • There are games on wet and frigid days in March when there are only about 200 people in the stands. While watching a game in such conditions can be miserable (and I discovered this season that my body can't deal with those conditions like I used to), there is a plus side to those days. People get up and walk around, standing on the walkway, huddling together while watching the game. You get to know your fellow insane fans. You make long-lasting friends during those games. And even on those rare sunny Saturdays in May when 2,000+ fair-weather fans are in attendance, you still find yourself gravitating toward those friends you found during the 32-degree double-header six weeks before.

  • At any major college ballpark you'll find yourself sitting near people you'd never get close to at a major league stadium. On any given day at Taylor Stadium I've found myself sitting with or talking to A.D. Mike Alden and other members of the Mizzou administration, movers and shakers of the Columbia Community, athletes from other MU sports (both obscure and well-known), MU Baseball alumni, former major leaguers (Andy Van Slyke, Bob Gibson, Jack Clark, etc.), major league scouts (some of whom are also former major leaguers, like Alan Benes and Mitch Webster), local and national media "celebs" (Chris Gervino, John Anderson, Bernie Miklasz), current Tiger ballplayers charting pitches in the stands, and Mizzou Baseball "old-timers" like Coach Gene McArtor and Frank Graham, both of whom are a treat to talk to and a source of countless baseball stories.

  • You can let your kids have the run of the place at Taylor Stadium. With a few negotiated boundary rules, your kids can run around and make new friends, chase foul balls and home runs, and even watch the game off and on. When my son was younger, he knew Taylor Stadium as well as he knew his own back yard. And he learned to love the "feel" of being at the ballpark better than he would have if I forced him to sit with me and watch the game.

  • The college atmosphere lends itself to college sports traditions, like tailgating and group heckling. The Simmons Savages continue both of those traditions. I'd love to see more active student involvement in the games, developing more of the type of college game day traditions like we see surrounding MU Football and Basketball.

  • There's a whole different atmosphere when you leave the Taylor Stadium grandstands and spend some time watching the game from the ground-level open space and green-roofed pavilion down the left field line. This is where you'll always find some ballplayers' dads enjoying the relative quiet, talking baseball and other things while they watch their sons plays. You'll also find a certain "super fan" hanging out down there, usually in a more tranquil mood. He's got some stories to tell as well.

  • If you really want to feel a part of Mizzou Baseball, show up early and stay late. The people who are at the stadium an hour and a half before game time are either related to someone on the team or true die-hard baseball fans - or both. Some of the best conversations I've had, and some of the best baseball friendships I've made, happened during batting practice.

  • And then try hanging around for a while after the game is over. Head down toward the third base line and you'll see the families and friends and girlfriends of the players standing around in little groups talking to their favorite ballplayers. And you'll see kids looking for autographs. Even if you just stand on the edge of the crowd and watch, you'll see a side of those tough ballplayers that you won't see anywhere else. The catcher who stood his ground and got bowled over an hour ago is hugging his mom and basking in the light from his proud father's eyes. The pitcher who looked so disgusted when he got pulled from the game during a tough inning is now signing autographs for little kids, a small smile on his face as he realizes he used to be one of those little kids.
Take me out to the ballgame;

Take me out with the crowd;

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack;

I don't care if I never get back;

I'll still root, root, root for the Tigers,

If they don't win it's a shame,

But it's one, two, three strikes you're out

At the old ballgame.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

Ian Kinsler to consider playing for Israel (ESPN Dallas)
Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler has told the Israeli website Walla ( that he would consider playing for the Israeli national team when it attempts to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

The WBC is expanding from 16 teams to 28 and Israel is among the countries that has been invited to participate in a new 16-team qualifying round in 2012 along with the likes of Brazil, Great Britain and Thailand.

Ian Kinsler: I'd love to play for the Israeli National team (
For a good laugh, click that link and then click Translate.

Mizzou Baseball: Final 2011 rankings

  • RPI: 75th
  • ISR: 96th

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mizzou Network

Missouri among schools seeking to improve presence in new technology (Columbia Tribune)
In collaboration with Learfield Sports, KOMU and, MU hopes to unveil what officials are calling the Mizzou Network by the end of this year.

The proposal includes offering free broadcasts of nonrevenue events, archived game footage and original athletic and academic programming to viewers through virtually every electronic medium except cable and satellite television. Fans would be able to watch live and on-demand video via the web, smartphone, tablet and connected television — a fast-growing technology that merges high-definition TV and the Internet.

“There’s just so much potential that I can’t even get my hands around it,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Whit Babcock, who is overseeing the project for Missouri’s athletic department. “I feel like we’re ahead of the game.”
. . .
The NCAA softball regional in Columbia last month proved to MU there is extensive interest in high-quality broadcasts of nonrevenue games. More than 2,900 unique viewers tuned into both days to watch the tournament games, said Kevin Fletcher, Missouri’s coordinator of online operations.

While Missouri typically requires viewers to pay $9.95 a month to watch nonrevenue events that often feature one stationary camera trained on the entire field, the softball broadcasts showcased a new model.

The games were free and featured three remote cameras, a manned camera perched behind the plate and a producer in charge of replays.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Minor League Report: Who's hot, who's not (Dallas News)
Class-A Hickory: Who's hot: RHP Nick Tepesch (3.38 ERA) tossed his second masterful start of June, shutting West Virginia out for six innings while fanning nine of the 25 batters he faced. Tepesch's once-pedestrian K/9 rate has skyrocketed from 4.26 in May to 8.89 in June.

Change is in the air for slumping Grizzlies (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
The Grizzlies signed four players and activated another from the injured list. At the same time, Gateway released four players.

The players released Saturday were -- the team's 2010 closer, Jake Shafer, who posted a 2.38 earned run average and 11 saves last summer but slumped to an 0-1 record with just one save and an 8.74 ERA in 11 games this season; starting hurler B.J. Dail, who went 1-3 with a 5.93 ERA in five starts; reliever Brad Buehler, who had just been signed three days earlier, but allowed five earned runs in one inning of work over two outings; and infielder Evan Button, the former DeSmet standout who lasted exactly one week on the roster, but managed to hit a solid .304 with two home runs and six runs batted in, including the game-winning homer in the Grizzlies' only win in the Evansville series.

Summer Ball

Bombers relief pitcher Emens gets first start against Joplin Outlaws (
Opposing teams haven’t had much luck against Sedalia Bombers relief pitcher Jeff Emens over the last 17-plus innings he had pitched. Until Thursday night, he hadn’t given up a run in that span. For his efforts, he earned his first start.

The Joplin Outlaws had another rough night as the Bombers rolled to a 12-1 win at Liberty Park Stadium. Emens pitched seven strong innings to earn the win. He allowed one earned run on seven hit with eight strikeouts and a walk.

“Jeff’s done a good job of keeping the down in the zone with a little more on his fastball and it’s usually pretty effective when you’re throwing strikes and keep it down in the zone,” Kindle said.

How to get the most out of Summer Ball (
With the season again ending for more teams over the weekend and summer ball fast approaching for some players, and already underway for most, it is important for each player to have a plan in place to get something accomplished in preparation for their return to school in August.

Summer can be vital for any baseball player’s development as it is the one time of year where each player can focus completely and solely on baseball on a daily basis

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors photo
How to talk to a pitcher (
Aaron Crow was walking through the clubhouse flipping a ball up and down so I took the opportunity to ask him to show me his grips. This is a sure-fire conversation starter with any pitcher. You could be having dinner with the queen of England, the president of the United States and Jesus, and if a pitcher was there and you asked to see his grips, he’d forget the other dinner guests, grab a dinner roll and start to demonstrate.
. . .
Then Aaron showed me his change-up and went through three different grips. I asked, why so many? “Because none of them work.”
. . .
Scherzer eyes better results, consistency (Columbia Tribune)
When Max Scherzer found out early in the season that the Detroit Tigers were planning on handing out bobblehead dolls with his likeness, he had just one request.

Make that more of a demand.

“I talked to our media guy,” Scherzer said in a phone interview yesterday. “I said, ‘That thing better have two different-colored eyes. Otherwise, I will not endorse it. I won’t use it. I’ll come out and bash it.’ ”
. . .

Mizzou Baseball Draft Update

Generals add Mach and Dalton to roster (
Conner Mach will be returning to Victoria for his second summer in a Generals uniform. Mach just finished his junior season at the University of Missouri and was recently drafted by the New York Yankees in the 46th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.

Mach hit .295 with nine doubles, four home runs, 30 RBIs, and 21 runs scored to help lead the Generals to the 2010 TCL Championship last summer.

"The Yankees want to see Conner play a little more this summer before they decide anything on him," commented Blake Koch, Victoria's general manager. "Conner has the option of returning for his senior year at Missouri or signing with the Yankees. We're glad to give him a platform to showcase his skills here in Victoria."
Brandon Platts: "I've kind of got a feeling" (Des Moines Register, 6/23)
“I haven’t made a decision yet,” Platts said between games.

He said he hopes to have a decision shortly after the state tournament.

“I’m going to have 15 days set aside before college starts,” he said. “I’ve kind of got a feeling right now.”

What’s that feeling?

“I’m not going to say,” he said with a smile. “It’s going to depend on a couple of small things.”

Like money.

Platts said he has a number in mind. He wasn’t discussing that yet though.

Stay tuned.

■ From drafted MU recruit Brandon Platts on Twitter: "last day in town tomorrow before summer school at the Zou!"

Graves looks back on time at Francis Howell (News Magazine Network)
A few days removed from winning the state title, Brett Graves was picked by the Cardinals in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

“That was a pretty exciting deal and a honor to be picked by the home-town team I grew up rooting for,” Graves said.

Then shortly after that, Graves got to have a visit with Cardinals pitcher Kyle McClellan, who is friends with Graves’ football coach Brian Koch and like Graves was committed to Missouri in 2002 before the Cardinals drafted him late that spring.

“Coach Koch is his (McClellan’s) neighbor and arranged for me to meet him,” Graves said. “He told me about his experiences in the minor leagues and told me to continue to work hard and stay focused and good stuff will happen. He’s a pretty cool guy.”

Graves said that it will be about another month before the Cardinals begin negotiations with him and his family.

This summer Graves has been busy playing baseball with the Rawlings Prospects, a travel league team that travels a six-state area playing tournaments and games and help recently graduated seniors gain attention for college baseball.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Ball: Eric Anderson gets win for Team USA

CNT edges past North Shore, 4-1 (
Chris Elder (Oral Roberts) picked up two hits and Eric Anderson (Missouri) scattered three over five innings as the USA Baseball National Team defeated North Shore, 4-1, Sunday night at Fraser Field.
. . .
Anderson allowed a double and walk in his first two batters faced but retired the next nine straight before allowing hits in the fourth and fifth innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked one in five innings of work, being replaced by Ryne Stanek (Arkansas) to start the sixth.

Anderson, a right-hander, picked up the win after starting for the second consecutive day - he was slated to be Team USA's starter Saturday at Holyoke. However, he never made it to the mound as the game was cancelled after just one pitch.

Summer Ball: EA w/ USA

Missouri pitcher hopes to stay on USA Baseball's National Team with coach Tim Jamieson (Columbia Missourian)
There’s no guarantee, however, that Anderson stays with the team for more than one start. With more permanent selections joining the national team after the College World Series, there will be only a few spots for Anderson and the other alternates to remain with the team for the duration of the summer.

“It’s really going to come down to how well he pitches relative to the other guys that are here,” Jamieson said. “There’s only a couple spots left, and I think we have four or five pitchers here as alternates. So he’s got a chance to make the roster, but he has to outperform the other guys that are here.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

Two members of Twins organization selected for XM Futures Game (
The XM All-Stars Futures Game will take place on Sunday, July 10, two days before the Major League Baseball All-Star game at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona. The game is set up in a "U.S. vs the World" format, and takes a total of 50 players from all levels of minor league baseball to comprise its rosters.

Two members of the Minnesota Twins organization have been selected to the game, and they will be on opposite sides of the diamond, as one will be on the U.S. roster and one will be on the World roster.

On the U.S. side, we have right-handed pitcher Kyle Gibson. The 6'6", 210-pound right-hander has spent the entire season with the Twins' AAA affiliate in Rochester, and has posted a record of just 3-7 in 14 starts in 2011 with an ERA of 3.89. Despite the lack of eye-popping numbers, Gibson is widely regarded as the Twins' top pitching prospect, and possibly the best prospect in the organization overall (at least according to our friends at Twinkie Town). He has posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 80-to-20 this season.

Jonah Schmidt: MU Punter?

@JonahSchmidt25 (twitter): I'm actually going to try to walk on the football team because I have one semester left

@BlumbergOTB (twitter): #Mizzou baseball player @JonahSchmidt25 is going to try out (punter) for the football team soon.

■ Well, he's not a swimmer/diver, but I guess he'll do... (

Here's the kicker (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 21, 2007)
Jonah Schmidt's college decision wasn't easy.

Should the Chaminade senior two-sport standout go to the University of Missouri, where his father pitched in the late 1970s, to play baseball and possibly walk on to the football team as a punter in a couple years?

Or should he go to Ohio State to play baseball for his father's former college coach, Bob Todd, with the possibility of being the Buckeyes' punter and playing in the Horseshoe in front of 100,000 fans in a few years?

"I've always loved baseball since day one when I was little," Schmidt said, "but I was getting more interest for football."
. . .
Schmidt is a two-time Post-Dispatch All-Metro first-team selection in football as a punter. He averaged 41.4 yards per punt as a junior, then 43.4 yards per punt as a senior, when he also kicked three field goals.

As Chaminade's quarterback, he threw for 1,512 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 149 yards and five touchdowns. He led Chaminade to a 7-3 record and second-place finish in the Metro Catholic Conference.

Jonah was also a pitcher at Chaminade

9 Reasons to Follow College Baseball: Boyz II Men

This is part two of our weekly series on 9 reasons to follow College Baseball.

Boyz II Men: Watching them grow

■ In the Spring of 2004, I often saw a young Mizzou ballplayer sitting in the stands behind home plate during games, charting pitches and having a good time talking to friends. He was a pitcher, but he didn't see a lot of mound time during his freshman year - about 20 innings pitched. I really didn't know much about him.

Then I watched him pitch against Southwest Missouri State in a mid-week contest. He wasn't entirely successful, but his fastball was getting the attention of the batters, the fans and a few scouts in the stands.

This was the first glimmer I had seen of the potential of this young prospect from Chesterfield who had been so highly spoken of as a recruit.

At one point during that season I received an e-mail from someone sharing this kid's last name, telling me that I really needed to learn to spell it correctly, because I was going to be writing it a lot. It was not Sherzer, but Scherzer.

Going into the following season, all of a sudden Tim Jamieson and the expert prognosticators were predicting that Max Scherzer was going to be the leader of the Tiger pitching staff - the kid who had been somewhat wild on the mound, but mostly on the bench.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I've written more than once about the joys of watching young recruits arrive at Mizzou and develop into leaders on the team:
  • Jonah Schmidt: I still remember the first time I met Jonah, at the First Pitch celebration prior to the 2008 season. He was like an excited little kid, just thrilled to be there with all these fans and all these former Tigers. Oh wait. That was his dad.

    It's been a blessing to watch Jonah develop from a fun-loving all-or-nothing swing for the fences freshman into a fun-loving bat-control specialist, accepting the role of Senior leader. And he still has the best hair on the team.

  • Aaron Senne: One of the small highlights of the season for me was the weekend when Jim Senne introduced to me a young man who had driven all the way to Columbia from Rochester, MN to watch Aaron Senne play ball. Turns out this was one of Aaron's coaches along the way, in Legion ball (I did not catch his name).

    As the team played Texas Tech that weekend, I was not sitting far from Aaron's old coach, who had claimed a front row seat for himself. At one point, when Aaron hit a long ball that he stretched into a double, the coach's face lit up like the 4th of July. He turned around to Aaron's dad and I could easily read his lips amid the crowd noise as he shouted, "We taught him to do that! You and I taught him to do that!"

  • Kyle Gibson: I remember coming across a picture of Kyle Gibson when he was just a recruit out in Indiana somewhere. Gibson is probably thankful I lost track of the picture at some point, since it shows him sitting in the dugout hamming it up with his finger up his nose.

    My first impression of him as a freshman at Mizzou was that he must have escaped from a Tim Burton movie, all long arms and thin legs and sharp angles. I recall Tex Little referring to him as a "tall drink of water".

    Those long limbs stayed long, but they filled out with muscle over his three years at MU, making him the dominant pitcher he was in 2009.

    Everyone knew he was going to be great, but he really grabbed the baseball world's attention on the day of his first Big 12 game this season, against the mighty Longhorns.
If you follow Mizzou Baseball, or any college baseball team, you'll see a lot of history as it happens. Those recruits that you read about on, the ones with the fresh faces and big league dreams, come to MU their freshman year and discover a new world.

They've grown up being the best player on their team - on every team they've played on. Maybe even the best player in their city. They've been treated like a star throughout their growing years.

And then they have to compete with a bunch of other best-in-their-town players for the few open starting positions on the team. And they have to learn how to pitch or hit against Division I competition - and then against Big 12 caliber opponents.

Not all of them make it. Some never make the team. Others rarely crack the starting lineup. But all of them pour their hearts, their lives, their entire beings into the game.

And they get better.

Every year the college baseball fan says good-bye to Juniors and Seniors who they've watched change from those wet-behind-the-ears newcomers into seasoned veteran players. You can see the uncertainty and, yes, the fear, in the eyes of the young ones. And as the seasons pass, you see the deer-in-the-headlights look turn into the eye-of-the-tiger look.

And then another crop of young kids comes along. And we do it all over again.

You don't get that same sort of experience following Major League baseball. When an MLB player gets traded or leaves as a free agent, it can be difficult for the fan to let go.

But when a college player leaves, the fan looks on with an almost parental pride, knowing that three or four years at Simmons Field has turned this kid into a man.

I watch Max Scherzer on TV these days, confident and poised on the mound, or fielding an interviewer's questions with the experienced manner of a professional, and I always chuckle. Because I can still see that kid in the stands, laughing with his friends like a kid.

And it makes me think of the kids I saw in those same seats this season, the ones who were wondering all season whether they'd ever get to play more. They should know that they're in the right place, the place where boys become men and where dreams come true.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And to think we could have gone to the Big 10

This is funnier than a half-hour sitcom. Which is about how long it will take to read it.

Jim Delany's fight to change the CWS (
College baseball is unique, Delany says. No other sport disenfranchises such a large swath of the country, especially regions it once treated equally.

This isn't ice hockey, Delany says, where NCAA participation is limited to 59 predominantly cold-weather schools. Baseball is sponsored by almost 300 Division I schools, most of which are located in northern states.

Delany's numbers breaks down the nation into 15 Sun Belt states and 35 non-Sun Belt states. The Sun Belt has 137 baseball programs, the non-Sun Belt 149.

Since 1987, 91 percent of CWS participants came from 15 states. In the same period, only three national champions were non-Sun Belt teams.

The last Big Ten team to reach the CWS: Michigan in '84.

Mizzou in Summer Ball

Baseball summer update (
With summer baseball kicking into high gear, plenty of current Mizzou baseball players are playing with summer league teams throughout the country. will take a weekly look at how each of the Tiger players are doing so far. In all, there are 15 Tigers playing in summer leagues throughout the country. Below is a look at how those players have fared so far this summer.

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

Clearing up the misconceptions about Ian Kinsler (Baseball Time in Arlington)
There's a battle being waged right now in the Rangers blogosphere -- and, perhaps even more visibly, through Twitter -- that involves Ian Kinsler and the great divide between those who believe he is one of the Rangers' best -- if not the best -- players this season, and those on the other end of the spectrum who believe he has been a massive disappointment and, depending on who you talk to, is one of their worst everyday regulars.
. . .

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Nicholas shines again for Indians (
For the second straight night, Brett Nicholas provided the winning hit, an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, and the Spokane Indians beat the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-3 in Northwest League baseball Sunday before 4,090 at Avista Stadium.
Nicholas, 4 for 5 for his second straight game, hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to tie the game 3-3.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Ball: USA National Team

Anderson named alternate for USA Baseball (
As Mizzou head baseball coach Tim Jamieson prepares for his stint as the head coach of the USA Baseball collegiate national team this summer, one of his Tiger players has been added to the roster as an alternate. Sophomore righty Eric Anderson has been selected to this year's team as an alternate, meaning that he will join the team if several other pitchers on the current roster are still playing with their collegiate teams in the NCAA College World Series.
. . .
Also, Mizzou volunteer assistant coach Dan Pietorburgo will make the trip with Jamieson as the auxiliary coach for the collegiate national team. It will be his first stint with USA Baseball in a coaching role.

MU's Jamieson will learn on the fly as Taam USA coach (Columbia Tribune)
Jamieson leaves Tuesday for Keene, N.H., where he will get one practice day with the team before competition starts Thursday. This is the first year USA Baseball is not conducting a tryout.

“This is the new model,” Jamieson said. “There’s not a precedent there to really go back or to try to follow, so we’re trying to blaze a trail. Because this is the way it’s going to be, at least for the short term.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mizzou @ the College World Series

■ Former MU Head Coach Gene McArtor, always a straight-shooter, was in the news at the College World Series today.
Florida beats Texas 8-4 in CWS (Sports Illustrated)
Johnson appeared to be robbed of a home run in the seventh after his two-out hit off Nathan Thornill bounced back onto the field after appearing to strike the railing above the yellow line atop the wall in right center. Umpires kept him at second base after conferring.

After the game, NCAA umpire coordinator Gene McArtor issued a statement acknowledging that the hit should have been ruled a home run.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors -- Mathis Again

Athletics sign Doug Mathis (
The Athletics have signed Doug Mathis to a minor league deal according to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League transactions page. He signed a minor league deal with the Giants back in April, but apparently became a free agent at some point since then.

Mathis, 28, made 13 starts for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate and posted a 3.60 ERA in 65 innings. He struck out 7.5 batters per nine innings while walking 4.3 per nine. Mathis appeared in 45 games (six starts) for the Rangers from 2008-2010, pitching to a 4.84 ERA in 87 1/3 innings. The Athletics have a full five-man rotation on the disabled list right now (Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Rich Harden, Brandon McCarthy, and Tyson Ross), so Mathis will give them some much needed depth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Brett Nicholas thinks the Indians have a shot a championship ( VIDEO)

Brett Nicholas' Spokane Indians play their first game tonight against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, where Phil McCormick begins his minor league career.

Free Live Audio tho this game and many other Minor League games available HERE at

Mizzou in Summer Ball

Mizzou baseball players playing in Sedalia ( - Includes VIDEO)
Emens made 22 relief appearances for the Tigers last season, but he credits the Missouri training staff and says arm soreness is not a problem. "Mizzou trainers do a good job of keeping us in good shape and helping us with any soreness that we do have."

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ Eugene Emeralds 2011 season preview (
Under the Radar: Matt Stites is a 17th round pick out of the University of Missouri was an effective starter for the Mizzou but at 6 feet 185 lbs. is going to be turned into a relief pitcher. He is a solid athlete with low 90s fastball and four serviceable pitches but will probably focus on his fastball and slider.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Mathis released

Grizzlies Report (Fresno Bee, 6/15/11)
Roster move: Right-hander Doug Mathis opted out of his contract and was granted his release. Mathis, now a free agent, was 0-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 14 starts.

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

Howell's Graves reflects on achievements, looks forward to more (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Graves, 6 feet 1, 180 pounds, is a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher who also played shortstop and first base. As Howell's table-setting leadoff hitter, he made an impact whenever he took the field.

A Missouri signee, Graves went 9-1 with two saves and a 1.95 ERA in 61 innings pitched, striking out 70 batters, walking 21 and holding opponents to a .194 batting average.

He batted .441 with 12 doubles, six homers, 35 RBIs, 45 runs scored, 12 stolen bases and a .537 on-base percentage.

Mizzou in Summer Ball: Ryan Gebhart

Ryan Gebhart appears to be taking full advantage of a new lease on life in summer ball. Playing for the El Dorado Broncos of the Jayhawk League, Gebhart is leading his team with a .404 batting average and .723 slugging percentage (Current Stats).

Broncos take three-game sweep at Dodge City (El Dorado Times)
Broncos 7, Dodge City 6

Cody Dufrene drove in four runs in El Dorado's 7-6 victory in the game that began Saturday night and completed Sunday due to the weather. Dufrene hit a solo homer in the second inning, then followed with a three-run shot in the seventh that proved to be the game-winner.

Ryan Gebhart also homered in the contest while driving in three runs.
. . .
Broncos 3, Haysville 9

El Dorado wiped out a 1-0 deficit in the third when Josh Halbert and Ryan Gebhart hit back-to-back homers. The Broncos added their final run in the fourth when newcomer Graham McIntyre walked, stole second and scored on Joe Kornbrust's two out single to right.

9 Reasons to Follow College Baseball: The College World Series

Today begins a weekly series on 9 reasons to follow College Baseball, scheduled to run each Thursday from now through mid-August.

We begin with a timely topic, considering that the 2011 College World Series begins this weekend in Omaha. And we kick off the series with a heretical claim:

Why the College World Series is Better than that OTHER World Series.
  • 8 teams playing 17 games in 12 days: Even if you're not in Omaha watching the games live, the CWS provides as many as 17 games (although it could be fewer, depending on the results of the double-elimination tournament) for your viewing enjoyment (on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3), all compacted into a couple of weeks.

  • There's always an underdog: The 2-team MLB World Series increases the likelihood that both teams will be among the elite teams in the league - the same teams over and over. With 8 teams in the CWS, there's always an underdog. this year my favorite fairy tale team is the California Bears, who began the season under the certainty that the Cal Athletic Department was going to eliminate the program at season's end. They not only managed to raise enough money to save the program (not necessarily a completely good thing), but are among the Elite 8 in Omaha. See From Six Feet Under to One of Eight Teams Left (College Baseball Today)

  • The culmination of a 64-team tournament: You may be wondering why having a whopping 64 teams in the post season is a positive thing. Fans like to complain about the cheapening of the regular season of major sports due to the huge number of teams that make it to the playoffs: 16 of 30 (53%) in the NBA and NHL; 12 of 32 (37.5%) in the NFL; 8 of 30 (27%) in the MLB. 64 seems like a large number. But with 300 Division I schools playing baseball, that means only 21.33% make it to the post-season. And it's a great tournament stretched over two weekends of great baseball that matches March Madness for excitement.

  • Destination: Omaha. The CWS has been held in Omaha, Nebraska since 1950. This season, venerable Rosenblatt Stadium has been replaced by TD Ameritrade Park. To baseball fans used to the MLB World Series, it may seem odd to not play the Championship series in the home parks of the teams. But by mid June, most of the schools are either shut down for the summer or in their summer school session with a greatly decreased population of students. This makes the home field advantage considerably less important. Instead, Omaha offers what college sports excel at: Tradition.

  • For the love of the game: There are no millionaires on the diamond in the CWS. There are few players in the CWS who will be millionaires shortly after the series is over. There are four first round draft picks in the CWS this year, plus many more players on the 8 CWS teams who were drafted last week. But most of the players on these teams will never see the major leagues and won't be getting bonuses in the millions if they do sign to play in the minors. They're here for the love of the game. Since mid-February they've been stepping up to bat, sliding hard into home plate and bearing down to strike out the tying run at home plate. They've been doing this in the sort of weather major leaguers don't have to play in. They've been playing sometimes in front of crowds that wouldn't fill the luxury field boxes at a big league ballpark. And now they're playing for the love of the game and for school pride.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors: Ian Kinsler

Five Myths (and Facts) about the Texas Rangers' offense (Baseball Time in Arlington)
Ian Kinsler is a infield fly-happy, poor-hitting vegetable: The air is thick with vitriol for Ian Kinsler these days, and his sub-.700 OPS showing since the third day of the season goes a long way towards explaining why; furthermore, if you go so far as to cite his total wins above replacement (2.2) as being the best on the team, sometimes you get a nice message back casting doubt upon the validity of the metric itself using a synonym for male cattle excrement. (The virtues and flaws of WAR are best discussed another day). I, for one, won't profess satisfaction in Kinsler's offensive performance this season, because I keep waiting for that truly special breakout season and I'm beginning to think that I'm not going to see it happen in my lifetime. Next lifetime? Maybe.

Let me lay this on you, though -- yes, Kinsler's been especially atrocious with the bat this month (47 PA, 175/.298/.225), but he's done so while posting a walk rate in line with this season's (career-best) 13.3 percent mark, and while posting a horrid .200 BABIP that isn't congruent with his excellent batted-ball rates. That's a microcosm of his entire season, really -- enhanced walk rates, terrible BABIPs that you wouldn't expect given his otherwise decent batted-ball rates, and overall hitting performance that is, surprisingly, still right there among the best marks at second base in baseball. I'm not going to tell you to fall in love, but I am going to tell you that this will get better ... and I'm also going to tell you that his 10.2 percent infield fly ball rate is only the 68th-highest mark in baseball.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors: Oregon Trail

■ From Phil McCormick on Twitter: Going to short-season in Oregon! #livinthedream

That would be the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the SF Giants' Short-Season A-level team in the the Northwest League.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Crawdads sweep SAL weekly awards (
Outfielder Jake Skole was named the Player of the Week and righthanded pitcher Nick Tepesch captured Pitcher of the Week honors, helping lead the Crawdads to a 5-1 record during that stretch and pulling them within two games of the first-place in the Northern Division.
. . .
Tepesch, 22, had one start last week and made it a good one. He won his only appearance with a dominant pitching performance against Lakewood. The rightander struck out a career-high ten men, and gave up just one earned run on three hits in seven innings last Tuesday. This season, Tepesch is 2-3 with a 3.55 ERA through 14 outings and eight starts. In 50 2/3 innings, Tepesch has allowed just 22 runs (20 earned) on 51 hits with 11 walks and 40 strikeouts. Tepesch was selected out of the University of Missouri in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB draft.

Tepesch gets the starting nod Monday night against the Asheville Tourists at Historic McCormick Field. Game time is 7:05 pm.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ Chukars announce position players (
The 2011 Idaho Falls Chukars projected roster is now complete, as the team has released the list of position players expected to be on the squad Opening Day.

Three players who spent time in Idaho Falls last season return in outfielders Cameron Conner and Juan Polonia and infielder Michael Liberto.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recruiting Calender

Updated Recruiting Calender (
Within the next month, prospects in many sports who are completing or have completed their junior year of high school can begin receiving recruiting calls and in-person, off-campus contacts from Division I and II coaches. The “magic date” is June 15 for Division II, and July 1 for most Division I sports (subject to the recruiting calendars for each sport).
Informed Athlete is a service of Rick Allen, parent of a former Mizzou pitcher, who has extensive experience in compliance and recruiting.

Mizzou in the Minors: Brock Bond rehabs

■ As for McCormick, he’s been talking to some of his ex-teammates. McCormick is the fifth Tiger drafted by the Giants since 2000. The left-hander has been on the phone with 2009 draftees Ryan Lollis and Kyle Mach to discuss the organization. Also, Brock Bond will be on a rehab assignment in Scottsdale. Bond, a 2007 pick, suffered a concussion while playing for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

“It’ll be nice to see a familiar face,” McCormick said. (Columbia Tribune)

2011 Draft: Phil McCormick

The wait worth it (Columbia Tribune)
He knew eventually he would get the call and go right to work. So he didn’t worry about what preceded his selection. He took a few phone calls Wednesday morning from interested organizations, but he said he wasn’t keeping an eye on’s Draft Tracker.

“Actually, I got a text from Brad Buehler saying, ‘Congrats, dude.’ I was brushing my teeth,” said McCormick, who was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the 31st round. “After that is when the scout called to tell me they drafted me. Then I just went and hung out by the pool. So it was a pretty good day.”
. . .
The left-hander from Wildwood will soon join the Giants’ rookie-league team in Scottsdale, Ariz.
. . .
Soptic is expected to sign, but the others will have decisions to make. Graves might have an incentive to stay. A pair of Vikings teammates — Jake Ivory and Case Munson — are expected to join the Tigers.

2011 Draft: Brett Graves and the Howell Tigers

Missouri baseball commit has a big decision to make (
Brett Graves, a graduate of Francis Howell High School says, "I'm looking forward to being at Mizzou in the fall, and just ready to get going."
. . .
Graves says that he is still waiting on the Cardinals to give him a call. But the Tigers might have the sweeter deal. If Graves doesn't sign with the Cardinals, he will be playing at Mizzou with Francis Howell teammates Case Munson and Jake Ivory.

Graves talked about the opportunity saying, "It's pretty sweet, we've been playing with each other for a long time, and to take that kind of trust that we've had and that experience that we've had and take it to the next level, it's awesome."

Tigers stay HOT in Summer Ball

Blues 5, Cal Poly Clube Team 0 (
Offensively, the Blues were led by CF Brannon Champagne who went 1 for 4, with a double, a run scored, and 2 RBI's.
Black Bears chalk up first WCL win (
A seven-run lead was plenty for Cowlitz starter Ian Ekery, a lefty from the University of Missouri. Ekery allowed just four hits and a walk in six sharp innings, feasting on the strike zone — and continuing a trend of strong starting pitching by the Bears. Ekery became the fourth consecutive Cowlitz starter to pitch at least five innings and allow two earned runs or fewer.

Ekery did not allow an earned run, as Walla Walla scored on a two-out error in the sixth, and lowered the starting staff's earned run average in league games to 1.63.

"He just pounded the strike zone," Head Coach Bryson LeBlanc said of Ekery. "Against Kitsap, every walk we gave up just killed us. We walked guys after getting ahead in counts. Tonight, we buried strikes when we were ahead."
Bombers 2, Chillicothe 1 (American Chronicle)
Jeff Emens was even more untouchable in relief, tossing four innings of one-hit ball with three strikeouts.
Jacks fall in lengthy pitching duel (
James Hudelson picked up right where Munson left off in the sixth, tossing three and a third innings in relief. Hudelson gave up one hit while striking out three.

The Pump Jacks pitching staff was excellent at getting out of jams tonight, stranding 12 Cane Cutters on base.

Foresters fend off Team Vegas in ninth inning (
It was aggressive base-running and rock-solid defense that made the difference for Santa Barbara, which scored its final five runs in the final three innings of the game. Four of those five were driven in on two-RBI singles by University of Missouri outfielder Blake Brown.

“I just got the pitches I was looking for in those situations and was fortunate enough to get some important hits,” said Brown.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mizzou Recruits

Star-Telegram Baseball Super Teams (Fort Forth Star Telegram)
First Team INF Patrick Quintanilla, Carroll, Sr.: Hit .434 with 11 doubles, one triple and five home runs with 40 RBIs.

Mizzou Recruits

Prep Baseball Report confirms that Francis Howell's Case Munson has singed to come to Mizzou this fall.
Francis Howell's Case Munson has changed his committment, and will now attend Mizzou next season. Munson will be joining teammates Brett Graves and Jake Ivory, after leading Howell to a Class 4 State championship. Munson batted .446 with 12 HR and 59 RBIs.

Mizzou 2012 Recruit: Ryan Phillips, SS/RHP

Ryan Phillips,SS/RHP

■ 2011 batting stats (Junior year): .473 BA; 32 R; 7 2B; 22 RBI

■ 2011 Pitching stats: 7-0;
1.23 ERA; 40 IP; 7 ER; 52 K

Staying in Town (
Rock Bridge junior pitcher/infielder Ryan Phillips has given a verbal commitment to Tim Jamieson and the Missouri Tiger baseball program.

Phillips batted .473, with two home runs, and 22 RBI last season. Phillips only struck out two times in 108 plate appearances.

As the ace of the Bruins' staff, Phillips complied a 7-0 record with a 1.23 ERA.

Phillips is being recruited as a position player and relief pitcher.

Rock Bridge pitcher adapts since pitching in Little League World Series (Columbia Missourian, 4/29/2010)
Pop. Pop. Pop.

Even in middle school, Ryan Phillips could throw “some pretty good cheese,” Widbin said. The pitcher’s throwing session was enough to jar Widbin’s memory.

He quickly realized Phillips was that kid who pitched in the 2006 Little League World Series. Only then, Phillips was a 5-foot-6 12-year-old who could throw a fastball in the 70s coupled with a sharp breaking ball.

Now, he is a 16-year-old starting pitcher on the Bruins’ varsity baseball team with a 6-0 record, 0.66 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. He is only 5-9, but he throws a fastball in the high 80s to accompany that breaking ball. He is the team’s ace, head coach Justin Towe said.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mizzou Recruit Brandon Platts on being drafted

"It's going to take a lot for me to forego Missouri."

Mizzou in Summer Ball

Cowlitz knocks off Walla Walla, 7-1 (
Black Bear starter Ian Ekery was great on the mound, giving up just one unearned run over six innings. The lefty was all around the strike zone, finishing the night with five strikeouts and only one walk. He retired the first nine batters of the game before dropping a flip from his first baseman on a ground ball. It nearly cost him but the two batters later his defense bailed him out.

Mizzou in Summer Ball

Commodores drop opener in extras (
Falmouth starter Eric Anderson (Missouri) matched Buccifero by spinning six innings, allowing one run and striking out two. While pitching in a scoreless game, Anderson induced outfielder Andrew Toles into a double play in the fifth inning with two runners on. Toles, the son of a former NFL player, is likely the fastest runner on the team.

The Commodores took a 2-1 lead in the 11th inning on an aggressive baserunning play by Eric Garcia, but the Whitecaps answered back immediately when Jamie Bruno (LSU) singled home Taylor Davis (Morehead State) off Nick Martinez (Fordham).

BeeJees batter Lynx pitchers (
After hitting a double off Divett leading to their first run, Lusardi hit another double, this time off Jorgenson to put runners on second and third before Garrison McLagan hit a home run off the scoreboard for three RBIs. That was the last of the Lynx offense as their rally was cut short.

Pump Jacks end skid with win over Brazos Valley (
James Hudelson came on in the eighth in relief of Guillen and put the Bombers down in a 1-2-3 inning. He came out in ninth and retired the first two batters before giving up three straight singles resulting in the Bombers only run of the game. Hudelson then struck out Stevyn Rivera to earn his first save of the summer and give the Jacks the win.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Ball

2011 Danbury Westerners player capsules (Greenwich Time)
  • Dillon Everett, Missouri -- Freshman infielder saw action in 23 games, including 11 starts ... Batted .205 with three RBIs.

  • Dane Opel, Missouri -- Sophomore played in 35 games, including 32 starts ... Batted .209 with one home run, eight RBIs and two stolen bases.

HiToms win big (
Thomasville’s Kyle Barbeck (MU Recruit) allowed just two hits to go with nine strikeouts in six innings.

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

Rosters announced for Missouri-Illinois showcase at Busch (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The second annual Missouri/Illinois high school baseball showcase returns to Busch Stadium on June 20 and figures to be bigger and better than the inaugural event a year ago.

The teams are comprised of 25 seniors from Missouri against 25 seniors from Illinois and are coached by former St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny and John Mabry.
. . .
The rosters are loaded with players who will continue their baseball careers in college and some who will get selected in the Major League Baseball Draft this week.
Graves, a right-handed pitcher from Howell, was selected as the Gatorade Missouri player of the year last week. He has signed with Missouri, as have Howell teammate Jake Ivory and Lafayette left-hander Jake Busiek.

Graves, Ivory and Howell teammates Munson and Peel led the Vikings to their second Missouri championship over the weekend, as did Allee at Westminster.

Mizzou Baseball Projected 2012 Roster

This is my best projection at this point of the Fall Roster for the Missouri Tigers, based on those remaining on the roster after Senior and Draftee departures, plus the list of recruits we have at this point.

Three recruits and two MU Juniors were drafted this week. Matt Stites has already signed with the San Diego Padres, but I've included Conner Mach on this roster until we hear whether he'll be a Tiger or a Yankee next year. We'll have to wait and see about the 3 drafted recruits, though. RHP Jeff Soptic has signed with the White Sox, but the ultimate destination of Platts and Graves won't be absolutely certain until the signing deadline of August 14th.

For more information about the incoming recruits, see our posts labeled Recruiting.

Newcomers in BOLD

Alphabetical List
• Eric Anderson, RHP (JR)
Kyle Barbeck, LHP (JR)
• Sal Belfonte, OF (SO)
• Blake Brown, OF (JR)
• Jake Busiek, LHP (FR)
Justin Byrd, C (JR)
• Drew Carlile, C (SO)
• Brian Carr, LHP (SR)
• Brannon Champagne, OF (JR)
Jeff Cline, RHP (JR)
• Ryan Clubb, RHP (SR)
• Jeff Emens, RHP (SR)
• Ian Ekery, LHP (RS-FR)
• Dillon Everett, IF (SO)
• Eric Garcia, IF (JR)
• Ryan Gebhart, OF (SR)
Brett Graves, RHP (FR) ??
Blake Holovac, LHP (JR)
Tyler House, RHP (FR)
• James Hudelson, RHP (SR)
Jake Ivory, C/OF (FR)
• CJ Jarvis, IF (SO)
• Matt Linderer, RHP (SO)
Landon Lucansky, IF
• Conner Mach, OF/IF (SR) ??
John Miles, RHP (FR)
Nick Moore, IF (FR)
Case Munson, IF (FR)
• Dane Opel, OF (JR)
• Andreas Plackis, C (JR)
Brandon Platts, RHP (FR) ??
Patrick Quintanilla, C (FR)
• Dusty Ross, RHP (SR)
• Scott Sommerfeld, C/1B (JR)
Gavin Stark, 1B (JR)
Brett Thomas, RHP/SS (FR)
• Ben Turner, C (SR)
• Ryan Yuengel, RHP (SO)
• Rob Zastryzny, LHP (SO)

Sorted by Position

• Eric Anderson, RHP (JR)
Kyle Barbeck, LHP (JR)
• Jake Busiek, LHP (FR)
• Brian Carr, LHP (SR)
Jeff Cline, RHP (JR)
• Ryan Clubb, RHP (SR)
• Jeff Emens, RHP (SR)
• Ian Ekery, LHP (RS-FR)
Brett Graves, RHP (FR)
• Blake Holovac, LHP (JR)
Tyler House, RHP (FR)
• James Hudelson, RHP (SR)
• Matt Linderer, RHP (SO)
John Miles, RHP (FR)
Brandon Platts, RHP (FR)
• Dusty Ross, RHP (SR)
Brett Thomas, RHP/SS (FR)
• Ryan Yuengel, RHP (SO)
• Rob Zastryzny, LHP (SO)
• Sal Belfonte, OF (SO)
• Blake Brown, OF (JR)
• Brannon Champagne, OF (JR)
• Ryan Gebhart, OF (SR)
Jake Ivory, C/OF (FR)
• Conner Mach, OF/IF (SR)
• Dane Opel, OF (JR)
• Dillon Everett, IF (SO)
• Eric Garcia, IF (JR)
• CJ Jarvis, IF (SO)
• Conner Mach, OF/IF (SR)
Landon Lucansky, IF
Nick Moore, IF (FR)
Case Munson, IF (FR)
• Scott Sommerfeld, C/1B (JR)
Gavin Stark, 1B (JR)
Brett Thomas, RHP/SS (FR)
Justin Byrd, C (JR)
• Drew Carlile, C (SO)
Jake Ivory, C/OF (FR)
Andreas Plackis, C (JR)

Patrick Quintanilla, C (FR)
• Scott Sommerfeld, C/1B (JR)
• Ben Turner, C (SR)

There may be others who will be added to the Fall roster, and there may be some of these players who do not return for Fall Practice or for the 2012 season. I've also not included some uperclassmen who didn't make the team in 2011 but still have eligibility left, so it's possible one or more of those REDs will come back and contribute in 2012.

UPDATE, 6/10/2011: I have learned that Jeff Lusardi and Myles Smith will not be returning to the Tigers.

If you have information about MU Recruits or Departures from the team - or if I inadvertently left someone off the list - send me an e-mail at

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 Draft: Stites on the road, Mach on the fence

MU's McCormick, Mach, Hardoin go on final day of MLB draft (Columbia Tribune)
Though it hadn’t been announced by the Padres as of this morning, Missouri Coach Tim Jamieson said Stites has already signed.
. . .
“I’d love the opportunity to go play pro ball, but to go back to college and finish school, that’s not a bad deal, either,” Mach said. “It’s a win-win situation.”

Mizzou Recruit: Case Munson, 3B

Case Munson, 3B
5'11", 183 lb
Francis Howell HS (StL)

■ 2011 Stats: .447 BA (46-for-103), .509 OB%, .981 Slg %, 43 R, 11 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 59 RBI,
Francis Howell's Munson sets two school records in 13-10 win over Vianney (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Case Munson had a game he will never forget.

The Francis Howell senior third baseman hit three home runs and drove in nine runs, both school records, and his walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Vikings a dramatic 13-10 come-from-behind victory over visiting Vianney at C&H Park.

"It's just a true blessing," Munson said. "I really wanted to be in that situation so bad. Just to be able to use the ability God gave me and just go in and trust my hands and give the glory to Him."
Case Munson, Francis Howell Baseball (st. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The senior third baseman was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Midwest Classic after leading the Vikings to the championship. In five tourney games, Munson was 9-for-16 with four home runs, four walks, 11 RBIs and nine runs scored. Munson put an exclamation mark on the Vikings' 10-3 win over Fort Zumwalt East in the championship game with a two-run blast to dead-center field at C&H Park. A first-team all-state pick and first-team all-conference selection in the GAC South last season.
■ Munson was originally headed to Jefferson College, a Ju-Co, but is reportedly now Missouri-bound.

Mizzou Recruiting: Minus 1, Plus 1

I've received word that MU recruit D'Andre Heggie will not be coming to Mizzou. Instead he will reportedly be going to Blinn Community College.

On the other hand, Case Munson, a third baseman from Francis Howell HS, who had intended to go to Jefferson College (a community college), is now headed for Mizzou. More details on Munson later today.

Mizzou in the Majors: Papa Ian

Rangers place 2B Ian Kinsler on paternity leave (
The Texas Rangers today announced prior to tonight's game that the club has placed second baseman Ian Kinsler on the Major League Paternity Leave List, effective today. To take his place on the active roster, the club has recalled infielder Chris Davis (#19) from Triple-A Round Rock. Davis is in the starting lineup for tonight's series finale against Detroit in Arlington.

Kinsler's wife, Tess, gave birth to the couple's second child and first son, Jack Jamisson Kinsler, at 1:43 p.m. CDT today. The baby weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 19 1/2 inches long. A player can be on the Paternity Leave List for a maximum of 3 days, meaning Kinsler would return to the active roster on or before Saturday's game at Minnesota.

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Crawdads sweep Blue claws (
Winning pitcher Nick Tepesch (2-3) was dominant. He retired the first nine men he faced, and ended up tossing seven shutout frames, scattering three hits, walking one and striking out 10.

New Mobile version of

Are you used to checking out on your mobile device? There's now a mobile version that will be much easier to read and navigate. You will still have the option to revert back to the full web version.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 Draft: 4 Tigers, 3 recruits drafted

The 2011 MLB Draft is complete, and Mizzou saw 4 current players and 3 recruits drafted by major league organizations.

The signing deadline for drafted players is August 14th. We may not know for sure on some of the drafted players whether they're going to sign or not until close to that deadline.

Current Tigers Drafted

Matt Stites was drafted by the San Diego Padres organization as the 533rd overall pick in the 17th round of the MLB Draft.
It appears almost a certainty that Stites will sign with the Padres and move on to the next part of his career. On Twitter Tuesday night, he posted this: @MUBallaz: Off to the #Padres! Couldn't be happier! Thanks for all the good wishes!

Phil McCormick was drafted by the San Francisco Giants organization as the 957th overall pick in the 31st round of the MLB Draft.
Lafayette alum picked by Giants (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Lafayette grad Phil McCormick, a senior left-hander at the University of Missouri, was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the 31st round (No. 957 overall).

McCormick went 8-2 with eight saves and a 3.50 ERA, leading the Tigers in wins, saves and ERA, in 61 2/3 innings as a senior. He struck out 56 batters, walked 32 and allowed 53 hits.
Conner Mach was drafted by the New York Yankees organization as the 1409th overall pick in the 46st round of the MLB Draft.
Mizzou's Mach gets picked (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The Yankees selected University of Missouri junior infielder and Parkway West High graduate Connor Mach in the 46th round (No. 1,409 overall).

Mach started a team-high 58 games for the Tigers this season and batted .288 with 12 doubles, one triple, 31 RBI, 30 runs scored, 11 stolen bases and a .383 on-base percentage.

Mach's older brother, Kyle, who also played at Missouri, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 27th round in 2009.

Zach Hardoin was drafted by the Houston Astros organization as the 1420th overall pick in the 47th round of the MLB Draft
Draft updates: Familiar names part of Astros’ Day 3 group (Houston Chronicle)

While today is mostly about filling out rosters for their three short-season minor league clubs, the Astros won’t be against finding a ballplayer or two.

They may have found a few in their own backyard – or at least their own metropolitan statistical area – on Day 3.
. . .
And they dipped into the local pool again in the 44th round, taking Lamar University righthander Blake Ford, a Lufkin High School alum and in the 47th round, taking Missouri lefty Zack Hardoin, who played at Klein Collins.

Mizzou Recruits in the Draft

Jeff Soptic, RHP, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox organization as the 110th overall pick in the 3rd round of the MLB Draft.
This was no surprise. Soptic was expected to be drafted high, and is expected to sign.
Brandon Platts, RHP,was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as the 392nd overall pick in the 13th round of the MLB Draft.
Some posts on Twitter seemed to indicate people who know him expect him to still go to Mizzou
Brett Graves, RHP, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals organization as the 800th overall pick in the 26th round of the MLB Draft.
According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the other day, it looks like Brett and his father are prepared to take a careful look at which option provides the best long-term "opportunity" for him. It will be harder to choose since it was his hometown Cardinals that drafted him.

An article in this morning's Post-Dispatch quotes Graves: "I don't think I could go wrong either way," Graves said. "It's going to be with good coaching, good support, good facilities, good everything to make myself better. It will come down to what they can offer. ... As of right now I'm a Missouri Tiger."

■ I like this quote from a fan with close ties to the Tigers, @GoJL16 on Twitter
Can u say "Legion of Doom" RT:“@MUTigerBaseball: Tough choices for Soptic, Platts, & @BGraves05. Will be a stout staff if they make it to MU

2011 Draft: Zach Hardoin drafted by Astros

■ Zach Hardoin was drafted by the Houston Astros organization as the 1420th overall pick in the 47th round of the MLB Draft.

2011 Draft: Conner Mach drafted by the Yankees

■ Conner Mach was drafted by the New York Yankees organization as the 1409th overall pick in the 46st round of the MLB Draft.

2011 Draft: Phil McCormick drafted by the Giants

■ Phil McCormick was drafted by the San Francisco Giants organization as the 957th overall pick in the 31st round of the MLB Draft.

2011 Draft: MU and the 1st 30 rounds

In the first 30 rounds of othe 2011 MLB Draft, Mizzou saw one current player and 3 recruits drafted by major league organizations.

The signing deadline for drafted players is August 14th. We may not know for sure on some of the drafted players whether they're going to sign or not until close to that deadline.

The remaining 20 rounds of the draft will be held today, beginning at 11:00 AM Central Time. You can follow the draft live at I will again be monitoring the draft all day and posting Mizzou-relevant news here on and on Twitter.

Matt Stites was drafted by the San Diego Padres organization as the 533rd overall pick in the 17th round of the MLB Draft.
It appears almost a certainty that Stites will sign with the Padres and move on to the next part of his career. On Twitter last night, he posted this: @MUBallaz: Off to the #Padres! Couldn't be happier! Thanks for all the good wishes!

Here's a Tip of the Cap from all Tiger fans to Matt. Thanks for being a Tiger in 2011!

Mizzou Recruits in the Draft

Jeff Soptic, RHP, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox organization as the 110th overall pick in the 3rd round of the MLB Draft.
This was no surprise. Soptic was expected to be drafted high, and is expected to sign.
Brandon Platts, RHP,was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as the 392nd overall pick in the 13th round of the MLB Draft.
Some posts on Twitter seemed to indicate people who know him expect him to still go to Mizzou
Brett Graves, RHP, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals organization as the 800th overall pick in the 26th round of the MLB Draft.
According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the other day, it looks like Brett and his father are prepared to take a careful look at which option provides the best long-term "opportunity" for him. It will be harder to choose since it was his hometown Cardinals that drafted him.

An article in this morning's Post-Dispatch quotes Graves: "I don't think I could go wrong either way," Graves said. "It's going to be with good coaching, good support, good facilities, good everything to make myself better. It will come down to what they can offer. ... As of right now I'm a Missouri Tiger."

■ I like this quote from a fan with close ties to the Tigers, @GoJL16 on Twitter
Can u say "Legion of Doom" RT:“@MUTigerBaseball: Tough choices for Soptic, Platts, & @BGraves05. Will be a stout staff if they make it to MU

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Matt Stites on Twitter

Off to the #Padres! Couldn't be happier! Thanks for all the good wishes!

2011 Draft: Brett Graves drafted by the Cardinals

■ Brett Graves, RHP, a Mizzou recruit, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals organization as the 800th overall pick in the 26th round of the MLB Draft.

High school baseball standouts decide between college and pro (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
At least 26 local graduating seniors have committed to play baseball at Division I schools. A handful of those players may be drafted.

One is Brett Graves, a Francis Howell pitcher and shortstop who was recently named the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year. He's also bound for the University of Missouri, having signed a letter of intent in November. For his family, the issue of staying true to the scholarship offer or pursuing the pro route is a matter of weighing the options.

"It comes down to opportunity," Scott Graves, Brett's father, said. "Does it seem like a good opportunity? ... Obviously some of it comes down to money and balancing the opportunity against the Mizzou education."

2011 Draft: Matt Stites drafted by Padres

■ Matt Stites, RHP, was drafted by the San Diego Padres organization as the 533rd overall pick in the 17th round of the MLB Draft.

Matt Stites drafted by San Diego Padres (
Mizzou junior righty Matt Stites was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft on Tuesday (June 7). He was the first current Tiger to be selected in this year's MLB Draft as he went 533rd overall.

Stites was a starter for the Tigers all season long and finished the season with a 3.72 ERA in 92.0 innings pitched. He started 15 games in 2011 and struck out 77 batters while compiling three wins on the year. The majority of his starts were as the Tigers' Saturday starter. He led the team in innings pitched (92.0), strikeouts (77), complete games (one) and was second on the team in wins (three) and ERA (3.72).

The Festus, Mo., native had a great stretch during league play that spanned four starts in which he showed big league potential. In four straight starts against Oklahoma State, Kansas, Baylor and Texas A&M, Stites went 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA. He struck out 30 batters in 29.0 innings in that span.

2011 Draft: Brandon Platts drafted by Pirates

Brandon Platts, RHP, a Mizzou recruit, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as the 392nd overall pick in the 13th round of the MLB Draft.

Twitter commenters seem to think he will likely pass on the Pirates and go to Mizzou.

Platts picked in 13th round by Pittsburgh Pirates (Globe Gazette)
The right-handed pitcher who signed with Missouri was a first-team all-state selection last year with an ERA of 1.08 and a 10-0 mark.

"I'm really excited. I knew when I woke up today it would be an exciting day for our program," Mohawk coach Troy Rood said. "He's a special talent. He's maximized that by the hard work he's put in."

Platts' next decision will come in the coming weeks when he will have to decide to pursue a professional baseball career or head to Columbia, Missouri.
. . .
"The draft is a funny thing," Platts said a couple weeks back. "There's been guys that go in the 10th round that were supposed to go in the 20th round.

"And there's guys that go in the 20th round that were supposed to go in the 10th round."