Over the course of his sophomore season, former Crowder pitcher Aaron Ashby improved his stock for the 2018 MLB Draft.
MLB.com now rates Ashby its 112th overall draft prospect.
Ashby’s evaluation: “Andy Ashby pitched at Park Hill High (Kansas City, Missouri) and Crowder (Missouri) JC before embarking on a 14-year big league career. His nephew Aaron is following the same path and is one of the top junior college pitching prospects this spring. After turning down the Rangers as a 25th-rounder last summer, he returned to the Roughriders and led all Division I juco pitchers in strikeouts (156) and strikeout rate (18.8 per nine innings).
“Ashby’s money pitch is a plus curveball that he can manipulate into a harder, shorter slider at times. He opened his sophomore season throwing in the upper 80s but ended the year working at 91-94 mph while reaching double-digit strikeouts in his last five starts, including 17 in his final outing. He also has a changeup that he doesn’t use very often.
“Ashby is athletic but has a funky delivery that hampers his ability to throw strikes. Some scouts worry that most of his swings and misses come out of the zone, either on curveballs down or fastballs up, and wonder how his stuff will play against more advanced hitters. He’ll play next season at Tennessee if he doesn’t turn pro.”
The three-day draft starts Monday and wraps up Wednesday.
During his sophomore season at Crowder, Ashby compiled a 11-2 overall record with one save and a 2.29 ERA, plus 156 strikeouts and 43 walks over 74 2/3 innings. Ashby pitched three no-hitters and six complete games in 13 starts.
Ashby helped Crowder to a 46-15 record and a No. 19 ranking in NJCAA Division I in the poll released May 15.