June 3, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou baseball has an exciting class of newcomers arriving on campus next fall. Three are projected to be drafted in the first five rounds of the upcoming Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft and the complete list of incoming Tigers gives Mizzou fans plenty to be excited about heading into the summer. Below is a look at what the guys have done recently.
Shane Benes - INF - St. Louis, Mo.
PerfectGame.com has labeled Benes as a big-time 2017 draft pick and is projected as a top-five round pick in this year's draft. The website lists Benes as the No. 404 prospect in this year's draft. To read more on Shane, click here to view his draft profile and click here to visit his profile. Be sure to check out video of Shane as well. And yes, he is the son of former No. 1 pick and St. Louis Cardinal Andy Benes.
Brett Bond - INF - St. Louis, Mo.
This may be a familiar name for Mizzou fans as he is the younger brother of former third base standout Brock Bond (2006-07). Known for his toughness and competitive fire, Brock Bond developed into a fan favorite during his time as a Tiger and the coaching staff is hoping that the Westminster High School product has a similar demeanor. A switch-hitter, Brett Bond committed early and he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "When I was younger, I always went up there and watched my older brother, Brock, play there, and I always had a good vibe about it." To read the full article on Bond committing to Mizzou written by Nate Latsch of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, click here.
Lake Dabney - LHP - Dripping Springs, Texas
At 6-7, Lake Dabney brings a projectable frame to Mizzou and as a lefty, he should figure to very tough against left-handed batters. In 10 Varsity appearances, opposing batters hit a mere .165 against Dabney over 32.1 innings. Dabney throws a fastball that tops out at 89, a changeup and a slider. The tall left hander uses a high leg kick and high hand delivery to deceive hitters from seeing the ball until late in his motion. To watch Luke Dabney pitch, click here.
Trey Harris - INF - Powder Springs, Georgia
Trey Harris looks to bring speed to the Tiger Infield in 2015. The 5-11 Harris played second base and third base in high school, earning a spot on the 2014 Southeast All Region Second Team. Scouts have described Trey as a solid line-drive contact hitter with quick hands and power to drive the ball into the gap. Harris gets in front of groundballs quickly and has a strong enough arm to play second or third base. To read full scouting reports on Trey Harris, click here.
Zach Henderson -RHP, OF - Greendale, Wisconsin
Zach Henderson has all the tools to be a collegiate outfielder. The 6-3 Henderson has the strength to become a legitimate home run threat in the middle of the Tiger outfield. Henderson hit .402 with five home runs and 10 doubles in his junior year of High School. Henderson also pitched for Greenwood High School, throwing an upper 80s fastball and a mid-70s curveball. According to an article written by Dave Boehler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Henderson has heard he could go as high as the sixth round in the June 5-7 MLB first-year player draft. To read Boehler's full article, click here.
Tanner Houck - RHP - Collinsville, Illinois
The 6-5 Tanner Houck threw a no-hitter in his most recent high school start. Houck looks to add depth to the Tiger pitching staff. The tall right hander looks throws three pitches effectively, a fastball, curveball, and a changeup. His fastball hits low 90s on the gun and his curveball slows down to mid-70s, with a good amount of break. PerfectGame.org believes Houck mixes his pitches well, knows how to pitch, and will add speed to his fastball with added strength. To read the full article on Houck's no-hitter by John Layton of the Metro Independent, click here. To watch a bullpen session from Houck, click here. Also, the Metro Independent detailed Houck as he gets a chance to pitch at a showcase at Busch Stadium. Click here to read the story.
Nick Kiel - LHP - Mill Creek, Washington
Nick Kiel pitched for Bellevue Community College in Washington in 2013. At Bellevue, Kiel made the All-North Region Second Team and the NWAACC all-tourney team. The left-hander is 5-9 and 200 lbs. Ranked as the No. 59 prospect coming out of junior college, Kiel is also a tremendous golfer and was recruited by a variety of northwest schools out of high school, including Washington, Washington State and Oregon. Kiel started 12 games for Bellevie last season, compiling a 1.81 ERA in 74.1 innings pitched, striking out 95 against just 16 walks as he put up video-game numbers. Five of his 12 starts were complete games as well.
Reggie McClain - RHP Johns Creek, Georgia
Reggie McClain has spent his last two seasons at the Community College level, pitching for State College of Florida. On February 18, McClain received player of the week honors for Region 8 of the NJCAA. During the week, he went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA over 13 innings of work. McClain finished the season 9-2 with a 2.83 ERA over 76.1 innings. The 6-1 right hander throws a high 80s fastball and mid-80s slider. To watch McClain pitch, click here. Out of high school, McClain drew attention from schools like Georgia, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Stanford and the Johns Creek, Ga., native continues a recent trend of Georgia natives coming to Mizzou. He was 9-2 last season in the junior college ranks, posting a 2.83 ERA in 76.1 innings pitched. He struck out 64 batters while making five starts and appearing in 17 games.
Bryce Montes De Oca - RHP - Lawrence, Kansas
Bryce Montes De Oca is a fire ball pitcher who projects to be a second-day pick in the June 5-7 MLB first year player draft. The 2014 Perfect Game First Team All-American consistently hits mid-90s on the gun with his fastball, and mixes in a curveball and changeup for off-speed pitches. The 6-8, 265-pound flame thrower will look to join the Tiger rotation immediately and contribute from day one. To watch MLB.com's video draft report, click here. To read SBNation.com's full draft profile, click here.
Nolan Gromacki - RHP - Smithville, Mo.
Hailing from Smithville High School, the home of former Mizzou baseball standout Jayce Tingler and football/basketball star Andrew Jones, Gromacki looks to make his own legacy at Mizzou next season. After committing to Mizzou last fall, Gromacki told Cody Thorn of the St. Joseph News-Press: I looked at the opportunity to get the best education and play the best baseball I can. It is definitely a huge draw being in the SEC. It is some of the best baseball in the country and they are trying to be one of the best teams in the country, and change the status quo." To read the entire article on Gromacki, click here.
Liam Carter - RHP - Highland Park, Ill.
A tall right, Carter boasts a very projectable frame and a fastball in the upper 80s that should figure to gain velocity as he gets stronger. Carter made a great impression on scouts at the 2013 Midwest Top Prospect Showcase in Cedar Rapids. PerfectGame.com said this of the tall righty: Carter has a tall and lean body with a projectable build. He pitches from an overhand arm slot with a long arm action. "Carter has good arm speed and his arm works well. He uses a high leg kick and pitches to both sides effectively with his fastball. Carter got ahead of hitters well and is a strike thrower. He has a clean delivery and projects for more velocity." To visit his Perfect Game profile, click here.
Chris Akmon - OF - Scottsdale, Ariz.
Akmon, a big-framed outfielder from Arizona, spent his last two seasons at South Mountain Community College. He his .353 but showed good power with four homers and 16 doubles while adding three triples and driving in 61 runs. He also scored 47 runs. Of his 59 games, 23 were of the multi-hit variety. Here is a link to Akmon's junior college stats last season.
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