ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The first of 40 rounds of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft began Monday at 6 p.m. So here is a running tally of the St. Louis area, Missouri and Illinois players that have officially been drafted.
Related story: Cardinals 2017 Draft Class Starts With Powerful Outfield Bat
Jake Burger, No. 11 overall by the Chicago White Sox:
Burger is a junior third baseman for the Missouri State Bears. He graduated from CBC High School in St. Louis in 2013 and was below MLB scout’s radar until his junior season in Springfield. He batted .328 with 13 doubles, 22 homers, 65 RBI this season for Missouri. The Bears lost to TCU in the NCAA Super Regional over the weekend.
Tanner Houck, No. 24 overall by the Boston Red Sox:
Houck is a junior right-handed pitcher for the Missouri Tigers. The preseason All-American went 4-7 with a 3.33 ERA in 14 starts and 94 2/3 innings, and will finish his career in Columbia with the 4th most K’s in school history. His fastball averages 92-96 mph, but can reach 98, and is a big swing-and-miss pitch. Houck graduated from Collinsville High School in Illinois in 2014.
Alex Lange, No. 30 overall by the Chicago Cubs:
Lange is a junior right-handed pitcher for the LSU Tigers. He was the ace of the LSU staff, and has “the best college curveball in this Draft” according to MLB.com Draft expert Jim Callis. The Lee Summit, Missouri-native was the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014, and an All-American as a senior.
Brendan Murphy, No. 114 overall by the Milwaukee Brewers:
Murphy is a left-handed pitcher at Mundelein High School, a suburb of Chicago. His fallback is a scholarship to Arizona State. His fastball tops out in the low 90s, but is expected to improve as he grows, according to MLB.com his curveball is not a great option, and he may be better off throwing a slider instead to better complement the fastball.
Josh Fleming, No. 139 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays:
Fleming is a left-handed pitcher from Columbia High School, in Illinois. He played at Webster University, a D III college in St. Louis and is the first player ever drafted from the school. He was the ABCA/Rawlings 2017 Central Region “Pitcher of the Year” in 2017.
Jake Latz, No. 164 overall by the Texas Rangers:
Latz is a sophomore left-handed pitcher at Kent State University. He was also drafted out of high school in 2013 in the 11th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the Illinois Player of the Year in 2014 while setting records in ERA, wins, career strikeouts and career wins at Lemont Township High School, near Chicago.
Chad Spanberger, No. 176 overall by the Colorado Rockies:
Arkansas first baseman, out of Granite City High School, in Granite City, Illinois.
Mason McCoy, No. 188 overall by the Baltimore Orioles:
Iowa shortstop, out of Washington, Illinois.
Evan Skoug, No. 207 overall by the Chicago White Sox:
TCU catcher, out of Liberty, Illinois.
Brad Bass, No. 215 overall by the Detroit Tigers:
Notre Dame right-handed pitcher, out of New Lenox, Illinois.
Tyler Esplin, No. 221 overall by the Boston Red Sox:
High school outfielder, out of IMG Academy, and native of Lake Bluff, Illinois.
Connor Ryan, No. 227 overall by the Cincinnati Reds:
University of Illinois at Chicago Right-handed pitcher, out of Homer Glen, Illinois.
Brian Howard, No. 231 overall by the Oakland Athletics:
TCU pitcher, out of Saint Louis University High School.