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Arkansas' best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top shortstops

Some of the top shortstops in Arkansas prep baseball

By Kevin Bohannon | Photo by Karen Schwartz 

With high school baseball season in full swing, SBLive is looking at the best players in Arkansas. Today, we feature the top shortstops across all classifications. 

This position is usually reserved for some of the best and most athletic players, and this year is no different. 

Players who play multiple positions might be featured on other lists throughout the season. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are hundreds of great shortstops statewide. 

Easton Swofford | Bee Branch | SR

Swofford has been on a tear as of late going 18-for-22 over his past six games with 7 doubles, 2 triple and 3 home runs. The University of Arkansas signee played for a state title last season and is likely one of the best pure position players in the state. He also pitches for the Hornets and hasn’t allowed a hit in his last 11 innings.

Cason Campbell | McCrory | SR

Coaches’ kids tend to be students of the game and Campbell is no different. He was the quarterback of the Jaguars state championship team in the fall and is attempting to add another ring to the trophy case this spring. Campbell will play collegiately at Arkansas State.

Peyton Nelson | Robinson | SR

Nelson is as smooth as they come with footwork and hand-eye coordination. He is a thief on the base paths as well. In a key doubleheader early I the season, Nelson went 4-for-66 with 3 RBI and 3 stolen bases.

Jett Frazier | FS Northside | SR

Frazier has been a jack of all trades for the Grizzlies. He is a bulldog on the mound and can swing the bat. Frazier has signed with Arkansas Tech and will have a chance to play early.

Kent Carlisle | FS Southside | SR

He may grow out of the position since he is listed at 6-foot-4 but for now he is hitting sixth for the Mavericks. He hit 2 home runs in a spring break game against a team from Alabama and along with David Sorg and Zeb Allen give the Mavericks a chance to make some noise in the playoffs.

William Hutson | Lonoke | SR

Hutson battled back from injury and has settled in for the No. 2 Jackrabbits. He was the staff ace last season but with an influx of young talent, he has been able to take his game to a higher level as a defender. Through 19 games, Hutson leads Lonoke with a .410 batting average and has 5 doubles and 13 RBI.

Cale Edmonds | Woodlawn | SR

Edmonds is currently on the injured list, but he is one of the best middle infielders in the state. He led the Bears to the state championship last season and may be back for a repeat run this season.

Tate Jones | Perryville | SR

Tate Jones is the epitome of a dirtbag. He does everything he can to help the Mustangs win ballgames. He is versatile enough to play outfield and is effective on the mound. He is also committed to Arkansas Tech.

Devin Gattis | Van Buren | SR

Gattis is another athletic, big arm middle guy that doubles as a pitcher. This year, he is carrying more of the load on the mound but will project as a shortstop in college. He hit over .300 last year and is well over that mark this year. Gattis has signed with National Park Community College.

Ben Baker | Shiloh Christian | SR

Known for his outstanding rushing totals on the gridiron, Baker is a key part of the Saints lineup. He always come through in the clutch as evident by his 2-RBI performance in last year’s state tournament win over Nashville.

Brett Justice | Vilonia | SR

Justice has consistently been mentioned among the top shortstops by coaches in the state. Last season he had 5 homeruns by April 4th. He has good size at 6’1 and is very athletic.

Lawson Wilkins | Danville | SR

Wilkins may have made a name for himself as the Little Johns’ quarterback in the fall, but he is giving them a chance to repeat as regional champions on the diamond with his solid glove and power bat.

Tyas Rush | Batesville | SR

Rush took advantage of the offseason workout program and got stronger to handle every throw a shortstop can make. It not only helped his defense but helped him at the plate as he turned singles into doubles and doubles into home runs. Through the first two weeks of the season, he hit .714. Rush will play collegiately at University of the Ozarks.

Hayden Prewitt | Cabot | SR

The Panthers have a lot of young talent and Prewitt has provided valuable leadership in the middle of the lineup. Coach Rusty Passini said Prewitt is having a really good year. Prewitt is a big reason why the Panthers are 6-1 through the first half of 6A Central play and tied with Conway for first place.

Logan Stewart | Pea Ridge | SR

Every team needs a guy that can set the tone from the leadoff position, play solid defense, and throw a few shutout innings when called upon. That is exactly what Logan Stewart did against Greenland this season reaching base four times and throwing four shutout innings. His biggest play was the 1-2-3 double play he started after the Pirates loaded the bases in the fourth inning.

Trevor Flake | North Little Rock | SR

Flake made 6A-Central all-conference for the Wildcats in 2021 and has been one their most reliable defenders the last two seasons. He hit over .300 last year and is bettering that this season sitting at .333.

Caleb Rodgers | Pulaski Academy | SR

Rodgers can play almost any infield position sans first base. That versatility got him a scholarship to Southeast Missouri State next year. He was All Conference in 2021 and has the Bruins in position to contend in a tough 4A.

Kaleb Kellar | Springdale Har-Ber | JR

Kellar has been Mr. Clutch for the Wildcats this season. He had the eventual game-winning hit to give the Wildcats a 3-1 win over Bentonville West this past week. Har-Ber has been winning games with pitching and defense and could lead the Wildcats back to the 6A state title game in May.

Matthew Guffey | Salem | JR

A shortstop with size and power. Guffey is cut from the molds of long and lean shortstops of the 80s and 90s. He has four home runs on the year including a grand slam against Tuckerman a couple weeks ago.

Jack Runsick | Greenbrier | JR

Runsick caught the eye of former Panther coach Chad Cope as a freshman and has taken his game to the next level.

Evan Booe | LR Catholic | JR

Booe is the quiet, silent assassin type on the diamond. He makes the fundamental plays and never gets too high or too low during the game. Assistant Coach Dylan Owen mentioned in the preseason that Booe “gives great effort and solid defense every time out.”

Kyler Hoover | Harding Academy | SO

Hoover went viral on social media after the 2021 Class 3A State Championship game with his “no look” tag on a Walnut Ridge runner. Hoover has also stepped up this season and become a valuable starter on the mound for the Wildcats. He recently had a complete game shutout against Newport.

Alan Timmons | Maumelle | SO

Timmons is a big part of the youth movement for the Hornets. He can also be relied upon to give quality innings on the mound and is the prototypical top of the order hitter.

Carter Nye | Bentonville | SO

In the conference opener against Springdale Har-Ber, Nye found himself in a key situation that could give the Tigers a lead over the top-ranked wildcats. He came through with a sac fly that gave the Tigers the win in 12 innings. He has been producing all year and has a big future.

Landon Schaefer | Fayetteville | FR

The only freshman on the list is a big-time playmaker for the Purple Dogs. He recently had three doubles in Fayetteville’s conference win over Southside. Schaefer is already committed to the Univerity of Arkansas and will be a nightmare for other 6A-West opponents the next four years.