As the Mizzou baseball team transitions to the SEC this season, it will be bolstered by a 2012 recruiting that ranks 24th nationally according to Aaron Fitt at BaseballAmerica.com. The Tigers ranked one spot ahead of defending NCAA National Champion Arizona, the same team that eliminated Mizzou from the NCAA Tournament last year. The class, put together by the Mizzou coaching staff includes 19 student-athletes.♦ Missouri Fares Very Well in New NCAA Academic Report (mutigers.com)
Headlining the class is Baseball America's No. 72 overall recruit Alec Rash, a right-handed pitcher from Adel, Iowa. Rash was drafted in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies but elected to enroll at Mizzou rather than take a big payday from the Phillies, making him the highest-drafted player to enroll in school this year. Fitt said this of Rash: `Long and lean, Rash works downhill with a 91-95 mph fastball with heavy life at his best, and he flashes a wipeout power slider, but he's still learning to repeat his delivery and command his stuff consistently.'
Fitt goes on to describe the rest of the Tiger signing class as a group `gritty, heady ballplayers' that should help make an immediate impact for the Tigers during their first season as members of the SEC. Fitt singles out utility man Keeton Steele, a 29th-round selection by the Tampa Bay Days in the MLB Draft, as another headliner. A utility infielder and right-handed pitcher, Steele could help the Tigers in a variety of ways this season. Fitt was also very high on Hutchinson Community College product Jace James, a 5-11 righty that, according to Fitt, could earn a spot as a starter for the Tigers this season.
Fitt identifies Kendal Keeton, an infielder from Walters State Junior College, as a potential starter up the middle and was high on Middle Georgia Community College catcher Dylan Kelly. He also listed Ryan Phillips of Columbia's own Rock Bridge High School as a potential utility player for the Tigers in the infield or a `fearless' pitcher that `attacks the zone with an 85-87 fastball and a slider.'
Shane Segovia, a third baseman from Northeast Texas Community College, was identified by Fitt as someone who could figure into the mix at third base for the Tigers while he predicted that Logan Pearson from Crowder Community College could make a huge impact for the Tigers in the outfield. Fitt was also high on Peter Fairbanks of Webster Groves, Mo., as someone who `works downhill with an 89-91 fastball and promising slider.'
The University of Missouri has a graduation success rate (GSR) of 84% for all sports, as announced today by the NCAA, up from 81% a year ago. That rate ranks Mizzou third in the Southeastern Conference, behind only Vanderbilt (1st – 91%) and Alabama (2nd – 85%).
Missouri led the SEC in five different sports, including men’s golf (100%), women’s golf (100%), women’s swimming & diving (100%), tennis (100%), and wrestling (67%). Mizzou’s football team had a 73% rate, while the men’s basketball team came in at 67%, both of which ranked as fifth-best in the SEC. This is the sixth consecutive year that MU’s overall GSR rate has increased, and it also marks the third straight year in which Mizzou had at least four programs with a perfect GSR.
“We are very pleased with our numbers in the latest report,” said Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services Dr. Joe Scogin. “We take great pride in the academic experience we provide to our student-athletes at Mizzou. They are expected to perform at a very high level in the classroom, just as they are in their sport, and the numbers show that they are doing exactly that,” he said.
The overall GSR standings for SEC schools includes: 1. Vanderbilt (91%), 2. Alabama (85%), 3. Mizzou (84%), 4. Florida (82%), 5. Georgia (81%), 6. Mississippi State (80%), 6. LSU (80%), 8. Kentucky (79%), 9. South Carolina (78%), 10. Ole Miss (76%), 11. Texas A&M (74%), 12. Auburn (74%), 13. Tennessee (73%), 14. Arkansas (72%).
Specific GSR rates/SEC rankings for each of Mizzou’s sports include:
Baseball – 71% (6th)