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High School | General | 2/27/2019

Regional HS Preview: Great Plains

Brian Sakowski        
Photo: Riley Cornelio (Perfect Game)

For all of Perfect Game's regional previews as part of the 2019 high school baseball preview content, the Dream Team is available for free. The region top tools can be viewed with an Insider subscription. To learn more about Perfect Game's subscription packages and to sign up today please visit this link.


2019 Perfect Game High School Preview Index

Great Plains Region: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

Top 10 Great Plains Region High Schools

Rk. Nat'l School '18 Rec. '18 Finish
1 20 Christian Brothers (Mo.) 17-13-1 MSHSAA Class 4 Districts
2 34 Mountain Vista (Colo.) 26-1 CHSAA 5A State Champs
3 46 Stillwater (Minn.) 21-5-1 MSHSL 4A State Champs
4 NR Vianney (Mo.) 37-2 MSHSAA Class 5 State Champs
5 NR Aurora (Mo.) 31-1 MSHSAA Class 4 State Champs
6 NR Blue Valley (Kan.) 22-3 KHSAA 6A State Champs
7 NR Pine Creek (Colo.) 20-4 CHSAA 5A State 2nd Round
8 NR Legend (Colo.) 12-9 CHSAA 5A Region Finals
9 NR Cherry Creek (Colo.) 14-7 CHSAA 5A Region Finals
10 NR Century (N.D.) 20-1 NDHSAA Class A State Champs




Great Plains Region High School Dream Team

C - Kurtis Byrne, Sr., Christian Brothers College (Mo.)
One of the top prep follows this spring for scouts in the Midwest, Kurtis Byrne is ranked as the No. 50 player in the class of 2019 heading into the season. A physical righthanded hitting catcher, Byrne earns good grades from scouts for his offensive profile and his arm strength, in particular. He has excellent hitting tools to go along with substantial raw power from the right side, and his arm strength works from both behind the plate and both corner infield spots, giving him very good defensive versatility as well. Byrne is signed with TCU. 

1B - Jack Moss, Jr., Cherry Creek HS (Colo.) 
A big, projectable lefthanded hitter committed to Virginia, Moss is ranked No. 77 overall in the class of 2020. With excellent bat speed, very good natural loft to his swing and that projectable size, it's not hard to envision Moss having extremely prodigious power from the left side of the plate at maturity. As it sits the power is very good right now with plenty of jump and carry off the barrel that can make the ballpark look small pull-side already. He's also a good athlete who projects to be an excellent defender at first base. 

2B - Mac Horvath, Jr., Century HS (Minn.) 
An extremely talented two-way player, Horvath is committed to North Carolina both as a middle infielder and righthanded pitcher. A slender, projectable prospect, Horvath is a plus athlete who can certainly play the middle infield at a high level, projects well with the bat and runs well to boot. On the mound he's into the 90s with his fastball already with excellent extension and it surely wouldn't be surprising to see him take a jump this summer in terms of velocity given his advanced arm speed and projectable build. 

SS - Robert Moore, Jr., Shawnee Mission East HS (Kans.)
One of the most talented defenders in the class, Moore has been putting on defensive clinics in the middle infield at PG events for years now, and he's only a junior. With extremely high-end instincts, plus footwork and hands to go along with very good range and balance, Moore can make all the plays in the middle infield and make them look easy. Offensively, he brings a mature approach to the plate from both sides and has always shown excellent contact skills that have only improved as he's added strength to his frame. He's committed to Arkansas. 

3B - Justin Boyd, Sr., Legend HS (Colo.) 
Boyd has a very nice well-rounded game and looks to be a fit on the left side of the infield long term. He's signed with Oregon State and could be an immediate impact-type of player for the Beavers next year. Boyd is a good athlete who can handle the shortstop position as well as third base, where he's slotted for the purposes of this list. He has good twitch to him with range and hands, the arm strength is solid and he shows a very quality whole-field approach at the plate with good bat speed and projectable power. 

OF - Colby Shade, Jr., Fort Collins HS (Colo.) 
An extremely intriguing quick-twitch athlete who is committed to Virginia, Shade's athleticism is intriguing to say the least. A plus runner who can turn in sub 6.6-second 60-yard dash times, that speed plays well atop the lineup, on the basepaths and in the outfield. He has very quality arm strength that will play well from center field long term and there's a lot to like about the offensive upside as well, given his propensity to work to all fields with projectable strength. 

OF - Marcus Smith, Sr., Pembroke Hill HS (Kan.) 
A twitchy center field prospect, Marcus Smith is committed to Michigan to continue his baseball career. A lefthanded hitter with plus speed, Smith profiles extremely well at the top of the lineup where his advanced contact skills and approach at the plate allow for that speed to come into play frequently, as he does a very good job getting on base and then stealing bases. Defensively, he covers ground very well in center field and projects to stay there at the next level, giving him a very well-rounded and impactful profile. 

OF - John Kramer, So., Lafayette Sr. HS (Mo.) 
One of the more intriguing lefthanded bats in the class of 2021, Kramer is committed to Ole Miss to continue his playing career. A physical presence even as a sophomore, Kramer's strength, especially in his hands and forearms, gets put on display when he's hitting. He has good looseness to his overall swing mechanics, generates excellent bat speed and has an advanced understanding of elevating the baseball, showing off just how much raw power he has now and projects to have in the future. 

UT - Drew Gilbert, Sr., Stillwater HS (Minn.)
An intriguing two-way talent, Gilbert is signed with Oregon State to continue his playing career and has the potential to play both ways once on campus. He has good athleticism and fits the mold of a leadoff hitting center fielder with plenty of bat speed, contact ability and foot speed. On the mound, he gets his fastball into the 90s from the left side, creating good angle to the plate with his heater, and has a swing-and-miss breaking ball to go with it. 

P - Riley Cornelio, Sr., Pine Creek HS (Colo.)
A potential high-round draft choice this June, Cornelio capped off an outstanding summer with an appearance in the Perfect Game All-American Classic. A lean, projectable righthander, Cornelio's developmental trajectory has been pointed steeply upwards since we first laid eyes on him, and the TCU signee is still improving. He's now into the mid-90s with his fastball and continues to show improved feel for his breaking ball, a pitch that now shows above average with some consistency. He has excellent upside and could be a first round pick this June. 

P - Will Frisch, Sr., Stillwater HS (Minn.) 
Frisch has a very intriguing combination of stuff and command, giving him a really high ceiling as a pitcher. Signed with Oregon State, Frisch isn't as necessarily projectable as others in the class, but has that extremely enticing combination of present stuff and command. His command, in fact, is so impressive that over the course of his last six appearances in PG events, totaling 14 1/3 innings in short stints, Frisch has walked a total of one hitter. He's been up to 94 mph with his fastball and can miss bats with his off-speed stuff to go along with that tremendous strike-throwing ability. 

P - Maxwell Carlson, Jr., Burnsville HS (Minn.) 
The younger brother of 2017 second round pick Sam, Maxwell Carlson has lot of similar traits to his older brother, given the projection of his frame and his advanced arm speed at a young age. With a lean, projectable frame and the aforementioned arm speed, Carlson is already into the 90s with his fastball and projects for a great deal more. He also shows good feel to spin the baseball as well as turn over a changeup, and has shown the ability to throw all three pitches for strikes. He's committed to North Carolina. 

P - Christian Little, So., Christian Brothers College (Mo.) 
The No. 6-ranked player in the class of 2021 and a PG 14u Select Festival participant each of the last two summers, Little has sky-high upside and is one of the top overall players in the class. With an extremely projectable build, a loose arm, clean delivery and tons of arm speed, Little is already into the low-90s with his fastball and we're still over two years from his draft date, not to mention that he's on the younger side for his class, making his upside even more enticing. 

P - Mason Auer, Sr., Kickapoo HS (Mo.)
A newer addition to the national radar, Auer took a big step forward over the course of the winter and is now into the mid-90s with his fastball to go along with substantial peripheral tools, making him an extremely intriguing two-way prospect. He's shown a 98 mph arm from the outfield in addition to significant athleticism, above average speed and very good hitting tools. He worked in the 92-95 mph range on the mound at the MLK West Championship back in January along with an improved breaking ball. He's a very interesting draft follow this spring. 


Great Plains Region Top Tools


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