Feb. 11, 2009

click here for MVC feature on Missouri State

click here for MVC Preseason Poll


Missouri State is Master of Missouri Valley Conference


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2009 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 (six out of nine coaches participated).


The team to beat is: Missouri State


The top three starting pitchers are: Tim Clubb, Missouri State*; Nick Kirk, Northern Iowa; Ryan Copeland, Illinois State; Jeremy Hauer, Creighton


The top closer is: Bryant George, Southern Illinois (pictured right)


The one pitcher you don’t want to face is: Tim Clubb, Missouri State*


The most underrated pitcher is: Ryan Copeland, Illinois State


The best defensive catcher is: Mark Kelly, Southern Illinois


The best catcher arm is: Mark Kelly, Southern Illinois


The best defensive infielder is: Elliot Soto, Creighton


The best defensive outfielder is: Ryan Jones, Wichita State; and Colby Luttrell, Bradley


The three best pure hitters are: Ben Carlson, Missouri State*; Darin Ruf, Creighton (pictured left); Colby Luttrell, Bradley


The three biggest power threats are: Ben Carlson, Missouri State*; Brady Shoemaker, Indiana State; Clinton McKeever, Wichita State


The hitter you least want to face is: Ben Carlson, Missouri State


The most underrated hitter is: Brayden Drake, Missouri State; and Colby Luttrell, Bradley


The best base-runner is: Kevin Tokarski, Illinois State


Your favorite road stadium to visit is: Hammons Field, Missouri State; and Eck Stadium, Wichita State


The best game coach is: Gene Stephenson, Wichita State


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job is: Ken Henderson, Southern Illinois


* - unanimous selection

(photos courtesy of Southern Illinois and Creighton Media Relations Office)