2017 MLB Draft: Arkansas Pine Bluff vs. Missouri

In his latest scouting report, Jeff Ellis breaks down the matchup between the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff and Missouri that took 4/12/2017.

This was the first time I looked at my notes from a game and saw that I had nothing written down. The game, in general, felt long and had several defensive misplays that lead to long innings. It was a game that had two seven run innings and six errors.

The starting pitcher for Arkansas Pine Bluff, Sergio Esparza, was also their DH and cleanup hitter. He faced as many batters as he had plate appearances. He had what looked to me like a strikeout passedball, which lead to a runner reaching. It was recorded as a wild pitch. Esparza, in the end, failed to record a single out. He gave up one earned run on two hits, two walks, a wild pitch, and a balk.

Before the game, I was given a pair of seniors to check out by Justin Perline, @jperline, on twitter. I will be the first to admit my knowledge of Arkansas Pine Bluff baseball was not high going into the game. I was also interested in another player, due to the numbers he had produced this year.

Jaquese Moore is a senior centerfielder who is having an ok year. What got my attention most in the game was the number of pitches he saw per at bat. It felt like every at bat was at least five pitches for Moore. Moore has not struck out much, leads the team in doubles, and has double digit steals.

The other senior was CJ Lewington, a reliever for the Lions. He is listed at 6’2”, but looked smaller, to me, on the mound. My radar gun has been up and down this year. Missouri was a better park for it. I had Lewington up to 85 in the game. He was the best pitcher of the day for Arkansas Pine Bluff. He pitched 2.2 innings and allowed one hit and three walks. He was around the zone, pitching to contact, and was the first pitcher to find success for the Lions. He looked strong, but his age, class, and velocity will be limiting.

Jordan Knox is the top player, statistically, for Arkansas Pine Bluff this year. In spite of this, he was hitting 7th for them. He had the strongest day, by far, of any player from his school, going three for four with a home run.

On the year, Knox is tied for the team lead in home runs, with two. He is second in doubles, with five, and his five triples are nearly as much as the rest of his team combined. He has 12 extra base hits this year, which is 16% of his team’s total extra base hits. He also has double-digit steals which, combined with the triples, shows good speed for Knox.

He is a 5’10” left fielder who plays for a lesser program. I am not sure how much he has been cross checked this year, but the numbers are at least interesting enough for Knox to stand out.

I talked with a few people about the Missouri program, but the only draft names that came up were Tanner Houck and Bryce Montes De Oca. Since these are the Friday and Sunday starters, respectively, I knew I would not get a chance to see either. Instead, I went digging into the numbers to try and find some names to check for the Tigers.

There were three juniors, in particular, whose numbers stood out to me. They also had a pair of sophomores who at least made me do age checks to see if they would be eligible.

Missouri has a pair of catchers performing well in Brett Bond and Nelson Monpierre. Both are draft eligible, though Bond didn’t get much action. I saw one of his at-bats. I happened to leave before his home run in the 9th on Friday. Bond has seven home runs and is hitting over 300. Yet, he is striking out more than twice as much as he walks. He is striking out 24% of the time he comes to the plate.

There will be some interest in Bond. The fact that he is a switch-hitting catcher, who has hit seven home runs as a sophomore and should hit double digits as a junior, should get him drafted. He is a post 10th round selection, due to power production and position. I did not get to see him catch, so I have no way to evaluate his ability to stick at catcher.

Robbie Glendinning is an Australian who is in his first year at Missouri. The second baseman set several records at Northern Iowa Area CC, where he played his first two years. His brother also came to the states to play college baseball.

Glendinning and Northern Iowa made it to the NJCAA World Series both years he was there. Glendinning was so successful at NIACC that he become the first player in school history to play in the Cape. Last year, he hit 20 home runs, but this year he is down to four home runs.

Glendinning is a tall, lanky kid who has a good sense of humor. I base this solely on the fact that his walkup music is Men at Work’s “Land Down Under.” I got to see him run, but not take cover.

Glendinning’s defense numbers have not been strong this year at second. I am unsure if he has the arm for the outfield, but that might be where he ends up. He was a free swinger in the games I saw and the numbers back this up.

Now, there are still reasons to be intrigued by Glendinning. His ISO and BABIP are both strong. As a kid from Australia who has played just one year of division one baseball, he has done pretty well in the top conference in the country. There is certainly growth potential as well. I would not be surprised if he ends up back at Missouri next year, nor would I be surprised if a team took a chance on Glendinning.

I am going to save Trey Harris for the next piece. Harris had a big weekend, but I managed to miss most of his performance this weekend.


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