We continue the countdown today at number 78 with Illinois State’s Kenny Long. He is 6’0 and only 150 pounds from Fox Grove, Illinois and attended Dundee Crown High School. As a senior, he posted an 11-2 record with a 1.62 ERA. He finished the season with 121 strikeouts and walked only 22 batters in 85.6 innings of work.
Kenny would take a redshirt season in 2008. During the 2009 season, he made 13 appearances (1 start) with a 1-1 record and a 7.71 ERA for a total of 28 innings. He struggled with his control as he walked 12 batters while striking out 16. He spent the summer of 2009 in the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League with the Greeley Grays.
Long would have a breakout sophomore season as Illinois State pitching coach Billy Mohl made an adjustment to his delivery. He made Long into a sidearm lefty which had immediate benefits last season as he went 4-4 including nine saves with a 1.38 ERA in 31 relief appearances. His control would get better as he pitched 65.1 innings while striking out 74 batters while walking only 22 batters. He would hold opponents to a .183 average while having a WHIP of 1.01. He spent the summer of 2010 in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Orleans Cardinals. He spent the summer working out of the bullpen where he made 21 appearances in the regular season going 4-3 including one save with a 1.13 ERA. He struck out 36 batters while walking 10 batters in 32 innings of work.
We have included video of Kenny pitching below and you can check out the rest of our Top 100 by clicking here.