June 28, 2012
Columbia, Mo. -The Mizzou baseball program has developed a reputation of consistency in success, having qualified for a NCAA regional in eight of the previous 10 seasons. But much less known is the Tigers' success in the professional ranks. This year's class of four draftees is just a small part of the 19 Mizzou alumni that are making names for themselves in professional baseball.
Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers)
The 30-year-old second-baseman has improved at the plate from last year's campaign, increasing his average 17 points to .272. His OPS has dropped to .784, but he is on pace to surpass last year's RBI total (77) with 38 so far this season. Kinsler is leading the league doubles (24), runs (56), plate appearances (353), and at bats (320).
Max Scherzer (Detroit Tigers)
Scherzer leads the league with 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, and he has struck out 107 batters so far in the season. He averages 3.57 strikeouts per walk, and has posted a 5.12 ERA in 15 starts. In his starts, Scherzer has a 6-5 record as the second pitcher in Detroit's rotation, behind only Justin Verlander.
Aaron Crow (Kansas City Royals)
In 37 appearances this season, Crow has posted a 2.65 ERA while coming out of the Royals' bullpen. He has a 1-1 record through 34 innings pitched on the year. He has surrendered just one home run and has not hit a single batter this year. He has posted 32 strikeouts in comparison to 14 walks.
Doug Mathis (Pawtucket Red Sox; Boston Red Sox AAA)
Mathis has appeared in 15 games (14 starts) for the Pawtucket Sox and has compiled a 3.83 ERA with 48 strikeouts. He is 5-5 on the season and has been a very reliable starter at the AAA level this summer.
Brett Nicholas (Myrtle Beach Pelicans; Texas Rangers Advanced-A)
In his third season in the Rangers' system, Nicholas is having his best season to date. He has posted a .283 batting average as well as a .754 OPS. He also has 34 RBI through 66 games, only 11 short of his career high for a full season. A possible factor in his success could be a position change from catcher to first base.
Ryan Lollis (San Jose Giants; San Francisco Giants Advanced-A)
Lollis has batted .302 so far this season, and he has 34 RBI in 64 games. Lollis received a call-up to double-A Richmond last year for three games after batting .255 in 14 games in San Jose, and appears poised to do the same again this season after his hot start.
Michael Liberto (Wilmington Blue Rocks; Kansas City Royals Advanced-A)
The utility man has posted a .286 average in his limited play this year, appearing in only six games so far this season. He has four hits in 14 appearances, including two walks. He has scored one run on the season.
Brock Bond (Fresno Grizzlies; San Francisco Giants AAA)
Bond is in his third season with triple-A Fresno, and he has posted a remarkable .398 on base percentage. The third baseman appears poised for a call-up to the big leagues this season as his bat is also red hot, posting a .312 average with 17 RBI.
Trevor Coleman (Kansas City T-Bones; American Association)
Coleman was recently released by the Seattle Mariners and is now playing with Kansas City T-Bones. He has played in 28 games this season, posting a .245 average in 94 at-bats with 14 RBI and 19 runs scored. He has five doubles, two triples and two homers as well.
Evan Frey (Reno Aces; Arizona Diamondbacks AAA)
Frey received a call-up after 34 games this year, when he batted .221 in double-A Mobile. He has benefited from his time in Reno, increasing his average to .240 in 39 games with a .358 on base percentage. He has 18 RBI and a home run in his stint with the Aces.
Aaron Senne (Greensboro Grasshoppers; Miami Marlins A)
After a season off in 2011, Senne has returned to post a .295 average. Senne has four home runs to go with 24 RBI in his 31 games played, and he has seven doubles. Senne claims a .775 OPS.
Rick Zagone (Bowie Baysox; Baltimore Orioles AA)
Zagone has gone all throughout the Orioles' farm system this year, starting the season with triple-A Norfolk before being assigned to advanced-A Frederick and ultimately landing in Bowie. Zagone is 1-0 with his new team, posting a 1.29 ERA in seven innings pitched. His WHIP in AA is .714, and stood at .529 with AAA Norfolk before being sent to Frederick.
Phil McCormick (San Jose Giants; San Francisco Giants Advanced-A)
McCormick has been solid for San Jose this season, posting a 3.60 ERA in 32 appearances. He has a WHIP of 1.333, and he averages 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He has registered one save in his 30 innings on the mound.
Matt Stites (Fort Wayne TinCaps; San Diego Padres A)
Stites has appeared in 18 games for the TinCaps and has earned one win in his 21.1 innings pitched on the season. He has recorded a WHIP of .469, and has an average of 3.8 hits per nine innings pitched. He has 27 strikeouts compared to allowing just one walk.
Blake Holovach (Pulaski Mariners; Seattle Mariners Advanced-Rookie League)
Holovach has thrown two shutout innings for Pulaski, holding opposing batters to a .143 average. He has yet to start a game, and he has fanned two batters in his limited action.
Eric Garcia (Danville Braves; Atlanta Braves Advanced-Rookie League)
Garcia has a .211 average through his first 19 professional at bats. His on base percentage is .333, and he is slugging at a .316 clip. He has recorded a triple as one of his four hits on the year, and he has scored three runs. Garcia is 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts.
Blake Brown (Danville Braves; Atlanta Braves Advanced-Rookie League)
Brown has brought his average up to .200, posting a home run and four RBI in 30 at bats. He also as a double, boosting his slugging to .333. His OPS stands at .606 as the 5th-rounder adjusts to life in professional baseball.
Ben Turner (Salem-Kaizer Volcanoes; San Francisco Giants Class A-Short Season)
Turner was a later-round draft pick, and has yet to record an at bat with the Volcanoes. The catcher was stout defensively for the Tigers, and provided excellent leadership as a captain his senior season.
Nick Tepesch (Frisco Rough Riders; Texas Rangers AA - Texas League)
Tepesch was recently called up to AA Frisco and is 1-0 with a 2.30 ERA with 12 Ks in 15.2 innings pitched. Combine that with his 5-3 mark and 2.89 ERA in 12 starts in A ball, Tepesch has put together an impressive year. He is dubbed as one of the top pitching prospects in Texas' organization and owns a 2.78 ERA in 14 starts this summer with 71 Ks in 87.1 innings pitched.
Hunter Mense (Kansas City T-Bones; American Association)
The color voice of the Missouri Tigers has returned to the playing field, posting a .256 average through 12 games with the T-Bones. Mense has three doubles, a triple, and a home run so far, and he is credited with seven RBI.
Tyler Clark (Lakeland Flying Tigers; Detroit Tigers Class A-Advanced)
Clark has appeared in 19 games out of the bullpen for the Flying Tigers, owning a 4-0 record with an ERA of 0.99 and an opponent batting average of .135 as he has been one of the top arms out of the bullpen. He has 34 strikeouts in just 27.1 innings pitched and has picked up a pair of saves as well. He has allowed just 12 hits and three earned runs in 27.1 innings pitched.
Zach Hardoin (Greenville Astros; Houston Astros Rookie League)
Hardoin has impressed with Greenville so far, appearing in four games and boasting an ERA of 3.52. He has thrown 7.2 innings and allowed just three earned runs while striking out nine in those 7.2 innings.
Kyle Gibson (Rochester Red Wings; Minnesota Twins AAA)
Gibson, billed as the Twins’ top pitching prospect, had a setback as he underwent Tommy John surgery on Sept. 7 last year. He is currently rehabbing his arm. In 2011 before the surgery, he had a 4.81 ERA in 18 starts with a 3-8 overall record.