TOPEKA, Kan. (BVM) – Kansas may never be a high school baseball talent hotbed the way that warm-weather states like Florida and Texas are considered to be on a yearly basis, but there are still plenty of players from The Sunflower State worth watching as they prepare to take their talents to the college game and potentially raise their MLB Draft stock.
These are the top 10 players in the Class of 2022.
10. Andrew Evans, RHP, Olathe West
The unbeaten Olathe West Owls are ranked No. 1 in the state and their star righthanded ace is one of the main reasons why. After helping the Owls reach the state quarterfinals as a junior, Evans will look to lead his team even further in his final high school season before taking his solid four-pitch mix to Kansas State. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound righty features a curveball, slider, changeup, and a fastball that already hits 90 mph on the radar gun.
9. Jesus Rodriguez, OF, Life Prep Academy
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Rodriguez not only displays elite bat speed and eye-popping exit velocity – over 98 mph – from the right side of the plate, but he can also run, as evidenced by his 6.94 60-yard dash time. Life Academy’s leading hitter with a .545 average and five extra-base hits through the team’s first seven games, Rodriguez has the potential to draw even more attention from scouts and shoot up the prospect ranks this spring before he moves to play for Johnson County Community College.
8. Edwin White, RHP/1B, Bishop Miege
At 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, White still has room to add size and strength, but he’s already got a leg up on many other pitchers with his ability to pound the strike zone and that’s one thing scouts are sure to like about the Bishop Miege ace. With an accurate fastball that sits between 88-90 mph and sharp action on his breaking pitches, White will have a chance to get a lot of outs when at the college level for Southeast Missouri State, and his resume could become significantly more impressive within a few short years.
7. Hamin Feliz, OF, Life Prep Academy
Rodriguez won’t be the only Life Prep star roaming the outfield for Johnson County Community College. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Feliz will join him to give the Cavaliers a formidable power-hitting duo. Feliz has impressed scouts with his 97.7 max exit velocity and 93.3 average exit velo, which will likely increase with time. This left-handed-hitting outfielder with definite pro potential is worth keeping an eye on.
6. Mikey Pauley, C, Blue Valley Northwest
Not only is Mikey Pauley considered to be the No. 1 catching prospect in the state for the 2022 class, but he’s also a three-star dual-threat quarterback who led the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies to their first-ever state title last fall. Arguably the most impressive dual-sport senior athlete in the state, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Pauley was originally committed to the University of Nebraska’s baseball program, but he will attempt to play both sports for the Huskers beginning in the fall.
2022 Nebraska catcher commit Mikey Pauley (@skiesbaseball & @Husker_Baseball) continues to hit for @BCbaseballtoday. Flips the bat here after going big fly. @PBRKansas #Super17 pic.twitter.com/iuM7ClxwGV
— Andy Urban PBR (@PbrUrban) June 25, 2021
5. Jackson Lovich, SS, Blue Valley West
Missouri probably feels good about its decision to include Lovich in its 2022 recruiting class when considering the Blue Valley West senior’s early spring performance. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound righthanded shortstop slugged five homers in the BVW’s first seven games of the season and he’s on his way to a spectacular final season in Overland Park, Kansas before he takes his immense potential to Columbia, Missouri in the fall.
— Perfect Game Iowa (@IowaPG) July 24, 2021
4. Cooper Kelly, SS, Blue Valley Southwest
The first of two players on this list who helped the Blue Valley Southwest Timberwolves capture the Class 5A state title a year ago, Kelly is a star switch-hitting shortstop who will bring explosive bat speed, quick hands, good speed and solid overall defense to Lawrence, Kansas when he suits up for his home state Kansas Jayhawks. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Kelly projects to be a strong middle infielder at the college level and will likely end up on the radar of more pro scouts over the next couple of seasons.
— PBR Kansas (@PBRKansas) February 9, 2022
3. Dylan Dreiling, OF/LHP, Hays
Dreiling starred for Hays at the plate and on the mound in the Class 5A state tournament last spring and he’s likely just getting started. The 6-foot, 185-pound lefty is considered one of the best all-around players in the state with his fluid defense, good speed, strong bat-to-ball skills and his ability to hit with power to all fields. If Dreiling doesn’t take his talents to the pros first, they will be on display for the rest of the SEC beginning next spring. Dreiling is committed to the University of Tennessee.
2. Caden Marcum, RHP/OF, Paola
Another player who will soon be wearing orange and white in Knoxville, Tennessee if he doesn’t turn pro this summer, Marcum has been considered one of the best prospects in Kansas since early in his high school career. The lanky, 6-foot-5, 165-pound righty pairs a lively fastball that touches 94 mph with an above-average curveball and scouts believe he has a good amount of room to add more velocity. This coveted prospect has a high ceiling that could lead him to the majors either before or after he plays for the Volunteers.
1. Ben Bybee, RHP, Blue Valley Southwest
He’s made a huge impact for the defending Class 5A state champion Timberwolves as both a hitter and a pitcher, but the future for this physically impressive righthander is on the mound. Bybee, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 225 pounds, is a three-time Perfect Game Preseason Underclass All-American who features an effective slider and changeup which he’s shown to have a good feel for, along with a fastball that sits in the low-90s now and scouts expect more velocity is one way the big righty. Listed No. 242 among the top 400 players ranked by Prospects Live, the University of Arkansas recruit may be hearing from a few interested major-league teams by the end of July’s MLB Draft.
RHP Ben Bybee (KS)@RazorbackBSB recruit
6’6” 225 lbs.
— Shooter Hunt (@ShooterHunt) February 6, 2022