Wil Libbert was nearly unhittable during his final season at Blair Oaks (Mo.) High School. After having a strong and consistent summer on the showcase circuit last year, the left-handed pitcher showed increased fastball velocity and overall growth on the mound.
With his senior season complete, Libbert will focus on refining his skill set and preparing for the next step in his baseball career. Libbert is a Missouri commit and a potential early-round pick in July’s MLB draft. Both opportunities present advantages, with the pro route becoming a legitimate option over the last year.
“It’s definitely a very cool opportunity,” Libbert said. “To have scouts in the stands when I’m pitching is really cool, but I try to move that to the back of my mind and do what I do. When I’m at school, I just go about my normal life. Sometimes people say stuff, but I try to live like a normal high schooler.”
Libbert is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound left-hander who throws a fastball, curveball and changeup from an over-the-top arm slot and deceptive delivery.
Libbert’s fastball is his top pitch. It flashes above-average potential with natural movement. He has increased its velocity over the last year. It sat 92-94 mph and touched 97 mph this spring after sitting 90-91 mph last year.
His 12-to-6 curveball is a quality-breaking pitch he uses regularly to generate swings and misses. His changeup flashes the potential to be an effective pitch, but he needs to develop more consistency and feel for the offer.
Libbert has the potential to have an effective three-pitch mix in the future. Despite some effort in his delivery, Libbert does a nice job throwing strikes.
“My biggest strengths are my competitiveness and ability to work ahead in counts,” Libbert said. “No matter who I’m playing or how I’m doing, I always think I can do good and get that next out to keep my team in the game. My ability to work ahead in counts is huge for me. It allows me to set up all my pitches. I also get quick outs and am efficient.”
In the offseason, Libbert hopes to refine his pitches and improve his control and command.
“I want to continue to make my pitches sharper, improve my accuracy and build off the things I’m doing well right now will be huge for me moving forward,” Libbert said. “No matter where I go, I know I’m going to develop well.”
Libbert’s skill set and potential will be displayed at the next level, whether he signs a pro contract out of high school or honors his college commitment to Missouri. The university is 45 minutes from home, allowing his family to attend games.
The lefty committed to Missouri over interest from various Power Five programs, including Tennessee and Arkansas. His relationship with Missouri’s coaching staff and its track record for developing talent for pro ball factored into his decision.
“Fall of my junior year, I narrowed it down to a couple of options and chose Missouri because I really like the coaches and the atmosphere,” Libbert said. “The way they prepare their pitchers for the next level was huge and was a selling point for me. That is why I chose Mizzou too.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.