We continue the countdown today with number #56, Southern Illinois RHP Sam Coonrod. In his sophomore campaign with the Salukis, Coonrod showed dominance on the mound, proving that he had the stuff to be an elite starting pitcher in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). The 6’1” right-hander made 15 starts during the 2013 season and recorded 79.2 innings which was good for 10th in the MVC. Coonrod quickly filled a weekend starting spot and it was for good reason. The sophomore pitched to a 4.29 ERA and finished 8th in the conference with 68 strikeouts. Coonrod finished the Salukis 2013 season with a 3-6 record and also received the Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award for his hard work in the classroom.
The St. Louis, Missouri native attended Carrollton High School where he was a three sport All-Conference and All-Area athlete. As a senior, Coonrod was named Player of the Year by the State Journal-Register, the Alton Telegraph and the Jacksonville Journal after leading the Hawks to a 33-1 record and 2011 State Championship. In his final year with the hawks, the right-hander posted a .435 batting average and held a 12-0 record with a 1.34 ERA on the mound. His success led to all-conference honors all four years.
The rising junior started off his summer as a member of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the prestigious Cape Cod League. Before Coonrod was released on 7/30/2013 he made one start going 3 innings with 3 strikeouts giving up 1 ER.
Coonrod returns to Southern Illinois for his junior year and will be an impact player and a prospect to watch as the 2014 MLB Draft approaches.
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