College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2011 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
We continue the countdown today at number 68 with Illinois State redshirt junior Second Baseman Kevin Tokarski. The Downers Grove, Illinois, native had himself an impressive senior season hitting .441 with 8 triples and 20 stolen bases, being named to the All-State team by the Chicago Tribune. He helped his team to a regional title during his senior season. Tokarski is the son of Gary Tokarski, who played football for the Miami Hurricanes.
Tokarski showed he was a good contact hitter during his freshman season, going .302 with 16 RBI’s and a Illinois State record 32 steals, which was good enough to earn him Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Honors. Even with the accolades, Tokarski had pain in his left wrist caused by a football injury from his youth. After multiple consultations, Tokarski was forced to have reconstructive wrist surgery, putting his baseball career in jeopardy. He was put on the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List for 2009, yet missed all but four games before being shelved and was granted a medical hardship.
Three surgeries later, Tokarski came into the 2010 season ready to prove something, and came out of the gate firing and never looked back. The speedster added power and patience to his game, increasing his walks from 29 in 2008 to 53 in 2010, while hitting 8 homeruns after not hitting even one long ball in 2008. His OPS jumped from .753 to 1.217, while hitting for a .412 batting average and 53 RBI. He even broke his own steals record with 33 in 2010. If the 2010 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year can put on an encore performance in 2011, he could be a high draft pick like Kolbrin Vitek was this past June.
You can check out the rest of our Top 100 by clicking here.