Feb. 20, 2008


Shockers show the way in Missouri Valley Conference


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2008 college baseball season by sharing their insights on the teams and players to watch in their conferences. CBI compiled their answers to provide a sneak peek for the season ahead. click here for CBI Conference Previews


Today, we take a look at the Missouri Valley Conference (seven out of nine coaches participated).


The team to beat is: Wichita State


The three top starting pitchers are: Aaron Shafer (Wichita State)*, Cody Adams (Southern Illinois), Ben Mancuso (Creighton)


The top closer is: Pat Venditte (Creighton) (pictured right)


The one pitcher you don’t want to face is: Pat Venditte (Creighton)


The most underrated pitcher is: Nick Kirk (Northern Iowa)


The best defensive catcher is: Tyler Weber (Wichita State)


The best three pure hitters are: Darin Ruf (Creighton)* (pictured right), Conor Gillaspie (Wichita State), Mark Kelly (Southern Illinois)


The biggest three power threats are: Dan Brewer (Bradley), Brett Featherston (Northern Iowa), Darin Ruf (Creighton)


The hitter you least want to face is: Conor Gillaspie (Wichita State)


The most underrated hitter is: Deric Manrique (Northern Iowa)


Your favorite road stadium to visit is: Missouri State/Southern Illinois


*unanimous selection