Ryan Powers: College or Pro?

Mississippi State shortstop signee Ryan Powers, one of the most highly recruited players in the northeast, is rated the 10th best shortstop in the nation by ProspectsPlus in their most recent top 400 ranking. Having already made his college choice, he now may have to make the decision on whether to go to college or go pro straight out of high school.

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His dad, Tom Powers, talked with me about where Ryan stands as far as the Major League Baseball Draft is concerned.

"We don't know where he will be drafted. To be honest with you we never (even) know when a scout is there. But I have talked to a few," said Tom. "As a matter of fact, there was one there today, the Milwaukee Brewers' scout. I thought there was going to be a lot more action due to all the college action that we had. But as far as them coming up to me and introducing themselves, we haven't had too much of that."

The scouts that have talked to Tom have given some indication as to where Ryan might be drafted, but none have given an actual round.

"One said that where (they) might want to draft Ryan, he would (rather) go to Mississippi State," explained Tom. "He said sometimes that scares off a few scouts because Ryan is not going to give up going to Mississippi State if he's drafted in a real low round."

There's no doubt that the scouts have liked what they have seen, though.

"The ones that have talked to us tell us he has Major League talent," noted Tom. "The California Angels (scout) think that he needs a little bit more muscle."

Considering all the above, it appears the 6-2, 185-pounder will be in Maroon and White next season. And if his mom has her druthers, there's no doubt that he will.

"If my wife has any say about it, he's going to college no matter what (laugh). She really wants him to go to college and get an education and experience the whole thing," said Tom. "So do I, but we have to look out for our son's best interest, too."

And even Ryan, who knocked in 49 runs this year in 24 games (a new school record), seems to realize that MSU may be the best place for him over the course of the next few years.

"Ryan has been very mature about this whole process," said Tom. "We haven't talked to him about it a lot, but we have had some conversations and he has been very mature about it and has said that some day he might be a college coach. And he wants to play for (MSU head) Coach (Ron) Polk. I think he feels that by going (to MSU) and playing for the coaching staff at State he will put himself in a better (draft) position after three years. He will improve and hone his skills to be an even higher draft pick than he would be now."

And with the graduation of senior shortstop Thomas Berkery, Ryan will very likely begin honing those skills his freshman season at Mississippi State.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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