With one week left before the signing deadline Zac Elgie and Lee Ridenhour remain headed towards Kansas. Elgie and Ridenhour were both taken in the June MLB amatur draft after committing to play baseball at KU. If they do not sign professional contracts in the next week they will arrive on campus as two of the most highly regarded recruits in recent KU baseball history.
Zac Elgie is coming out of Minot, North Dakota. He was taken in the 12th round by the Oakland A's. Baseball America had this to say about him in thier 2008 draft preview:
Elgie is a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder with impressive bat speed. It has been hard for scouts to see him against good competition, but he did help his cause by slugging 34 homers during American Legion play last summer. Though he has played mostly first base, he has enough athleticism and arm strength to move to an outfield corner or possibly behind the plate. Also a pitcher as well as an all-state performer in football and basketball, Elgie has committed to Kansas. He's believed to be unsignable past the second or third round, and he won't go that high in the draft.
BA did a feature story on Elgie June 2nd (Subscription required). Here are a few quotes from that article:
While Elgie earned some national honors as a high school player in 2006 and 2007, it was playing American Legion ball in the summer of 2007 that gave him momentum as a draft prospect. During that season, he hit 34 home runs with 114 RBIs in 222 at-bats, accumulating a hefty 1.594 OPS as a member of the Minot Vistas.
One National League scout who has seen Elgie in action multiple times said it's his power potential that makes him a tantalizing prospect. Elgie's main position is first base, but he has also seen time behind the plate and at the corner outfield spots.
"Not many kids anywhere in one season have hit over 30 home runs, especially in high school," the scout said. "He is a big, strong, athletic-type kid. This year, there are not a lot of power-hitting kids to see.
After committing to Kansas over the winter, Elgie said he will take a wait-and-see approach to the draft.
"I'm excited about it. Like (Vistas coach Todd Larson) said, I've got a win-win situation," Elgie said. "If I don't go where I want (in the draft), I'll be at Kansas. If I get drafted and things fall my way, then I'll have the opportunity to play pro baseball.
Lee Ridenhour pitched at Shawnee Mission West High School and was taken in the 31st round by the Twins. Baseball America ranked Lee the second best high school prospect in Kansas this year. Here is part of their draft preview write-up on him:
Lee Ridenhour had his share of spectacular outings this spring. In a head-to-head matchup with the state's top pitching prospect, Jordan Cooper, Ridenhour threw a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. He also fanned 17 in a no-hitter earlier in the year. Using an over-the-top delivery, he throws a high-80s fastball and a slider with good bite. Six-foot-3 and 190 pounds, he's one of several projectable righthanders committed to Kansas, a group that also includes Thomas Taylor and Eudora High's Kelson Boyer.
Tall angular build. Loose arm, stays tall in delivery, throws downhill. Upper 80's FB is straight, SL has good depth, 2 plane break. Athletic pitcher, fields his position, can swing the bat, sub 7.00 runner. Projects well. Very good student.
I have gathered a bit more information on a few other players heading for Lawrence this fall. I'll try to get the information sorted out and confirmed in the coming weeks. Hopefully I will be able to post a full list of the incoming players before too much longer. I know all KU baseball fans will have their fingers crossed this week hoping that Elgie and Ridenhour choose KU over the pros. Regardless as to what final decision each of these players makes their commitment to KU speaks well of Ritch Price's recruiting abilities and the overall direction of the program.
[Update - I just checked in again and according to Baseball America both Elgie and Ridenhour remain headed toward KU as of Wednesday.]