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Missouri's best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top outfielders

Some of the top outfielders in Missouri prep baseball
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By Cody Thorn

Feature photo of Rockhurst's Colton Wemhoff by Cody Thorn 

Our look at top baseball players in the state of Missouri continues with the final installment — outfielders.

The players are listed in alphabetical order. 

There are hundreds of outstanding players in the Show-Me State, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive. Tag us on Twitter @SBLiveMiz and let us know about other athletes worthy of fans’ attention.

The lists have been compiled from all-state lists, conversations with fellow sports journalists, recruiting/college commitments or signings and help from a college recruiting coordinator.

Jordan Austin, Sr., Blue Springs South

A highly-touted recruit, he has helped guide his Jaguars to the final four in Class 6. The left-handed hitter has signed with Missouri and will bring a mix of power at the plate and speed on the base paths. He had two hits and scored two runs - the only runs scored - to give the Jaguars a win in a showdown against fellow Class 6 power Columbia Rock Bridge in the district title game. He took part in the Perfect Game Underclass All-American Game in 2020 and is ranked in the Top 500 in the Perfect Game national rankings.

Kade Bieller, Sr., Willard

Helped the Tigers win the Class 5 title last year as the No. 4 hitter in the lineup. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and scored the winning run on his way to earning all-state honors. This year, he helped the Tigers to a No. 1 ranking throughout the year and a return trip to the final four. Recently, he committed to Division II Drury, staying near home for college.

Caden Bogenpohl, Jr., Jackson

An all-state pick for the Indians last year, he hit .405 at the plate with a 1.332 on-base plus slugging. The Missouri State signee added seven home runs, drove in 29 runs and scored 28 runs. Missouri Prep Baseball Report likes his "plus-power potential," and noted he may have one of the top bats in the state among juniors.

Tyger Cobb, Sr., Hallsville

He’s a two-sport athlete that will see his future in college be on the gridiron, as the quarterback signed with Wisconsin-LaCrosse after an all-state season in the fall of 2021. On the diamond, he was an all-state pick last year and earned all-conference honors this spring. He helped the Indians reach the Class 4 playoffs.

Nick Dunn, Sr., Rockhurst

The University of San Francisco signee sported a .351 batting average, with a .974 on-base plus slugging percentage for the Hawklets. The right-handed hitter, who plays summer baseball for Building Champions, led Rockhurst with three home runs, while also leading the team in runs scored (26) and RBIs (24)

Ryker Edwards, Jr., Smithville

A rare sophomore on the Class 5 all-state team last year, Edwards backed up a solid 2021 with an even better 2022. The center fielder had a .423 batting average and an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.146. Edwards had 41 total hits, including 12 doubles, and the right-handed hitter drove in a team-high 38 runs. He was an all-state basketball pick in Class 5 this winter.

Trey Gardner, Jr., Kennett

Gardner has helped the Indians reach the final four again after winning the Class 4 title last year. Gardner, a left-handed hitter, drove in three runs in the Indians’ 12-2 win against Affton in the quarterfinals. He committed to Arkansas-Little Rock in 2020. Gardner is a two-time Rawlings/Perfect Game Underclass All-American pick.

Aiden Heberlie, Sr., Valle Catholic

The right-handed hitting Heberlie possesses a lot of skills that test well and garnered attention from multiple Division I schools. He has a 6.61 time in the 60-yard dash, an exit velocity at the plate at 96 miles per hour and throws the ball 92 miles per hour from the outfield. He is the top ranked outfielder in the Missouri Class of 2022, according to Perfect Game. The Missouri signee has been all-state in football, basketball and baseball.

Leo Humbert, Fr., Francis Howell

One of the youngest players on the list, Humbert is the No. 4 ranked freshman in the state of Missouri by Missouri Prep Baseball Report and No. 202 in the nation. He has helped the Vikings reach the Class 6 final four. Entering the final four, Humbert had a .393 batting average with 48 hits, eight of them for extra base hits. He is third on his team in RBIs (27) behind two Division I signees.

Jackson Kline, Sr., Park Hill

With his high school season over, Kline is still playing ball - in Vermont. He is a member of the Vermont Lake Monsters of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in Burlington. The left-handed hitting Kline has signed to play with Kansas - where he committed in the summer of 2020. His dad, Jason, is the men’s basketball coach at NAIA school Park University.

Jon Ludwig, Jr., Staley

Ludwig played center field for the Falcons and earned first-team all-conference honors this spring, though he is listed as an infielder for his summer team, Mac-n-Seitz. The left-handed hitting outfielder has speed to run down balls in the gap with a 6.69 time in the 60-yard dash.

Jake McGhee, So., CBC

McGhee hit .333, had a .429 on-base percentage and scored 20 runs in his first season on varsity. He also has a selective eye, striking out only six times in 85 plate appearances. The left-handed hitting McGhee has committed to Missouri and is ranked No. 251 in the nation in his class according to Perfect Game.

Payton Messer, Sr., Columbia Rock Bridge

An all-state pick last year for the Bruins, the left-handed hitting Messer had a .360 average with 11 doubles, two triples, 21 RBIs and 42 stolen bases. He is also an on-base machine thanks to getting hit 11 times and drawing 27 walks, having a .521 on-base percentage. He has signed with Division II power Central Missouri.

Brooks Nigut, Jr., Kennett

A Class 4 All-State pick last year, Nigut helped lead the Indians to the state championship. In the title game, which Kennett won by a mercy-rule, he went 3-for-4, scored three runs and drove in two runs. Nigut made the SEMO Conference first-team this year after hitting .344 with a .446 on-base percentage with 10 doubles, one home run and 19 RBIs. He plays baseball in the summer with the Arkansas Sticks.

Brady O’Brien, Sr., Fort Zumwalt South

O’Brien was a first-team all-conference pick for the Bulldogs this spring and the team went 20-9 before falling to Class 6 semifinalist Francis Howell in districts. A Class 6 Academic all-state selection as well, O’Brien hit .372 this spring with 35 hits, drove in 15 runs and was second on his team with 18 stolen bases.

Kaden Peer, Jr., CBC

Peer posted a solid junior year with a .720 slugging percentage, a .491 on-base percentage and also had a .376 batting average. Of his 35 hits, 18 of them were for extra bases with nine doubles, four triples and five home runs, while leading the Cadets with 38 RBIs. The left-handed batting outfielder has committed to Missouri.

Eric Podgorny, Jr., MICDS

Led the Rams in on-base percentage (.479), slugging (.475), doubles (six) and RBIs (17), while hitting .377 - second on the team. The pitcher/outfielder was also 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. He’s been ranked as high as No. 2 on Prep Baseball Report's top prospects in the Class of 2023 in Missouri. He’s been on the Rawlings/Perfect Game Underclassmen All-American Central Region team the past two years.

Blake Russell, Jr., Hollister

Russell was an all-state player last year for the Tigers, helping the team reach the final four in Class 4. He hit .360 and led the team with 19 stolen bases last spring. This year, he hit .380 and has earned first-team all-district and first-team All Big 8 Conference for a team that went 20-7, but lost to final four qualifier Logan-Rogersville in districts.

Jeremy Sheffield, Sr., Westminster Christian Academy

The 6-foot-4 outfielder/infielder is headed to Georgetown next year. This year for the Wildcats, he led the team in batting average (.373), slugging (.587), runs (31), hits (28), home runs (3) and RBIs (24), and also tied for the lead in doubles (7) and was second with a .489 on-base percentage. He has been on the Rawlings/Perfect Game All-American team the past two years.

Austin Stewart, Sr., Columbia Rock Bridge

Stewart hit just south of .500 this year for the Bruins with a .467 average, while sporting a .571 on-base percentage. He had a school-record 57 hits, while scoring 45 - second all-time in school history. He added 28 RBIs and had 19 stolen bases, fifth best all-time.

Kenton Unruh, So., Staley

He earned all-conference honors this year for the Falcons. He is called one of the best pure hitters in the Class of 2024 by Missouri Prep Baseball Report and had 6.8 speed in the 60-yard dash. He is ranked the No. 9 recruit in Missouri in his class.

Devin Wassman, So., Platte County

The left-handed hitting Wassman has been a star before even playing a game for Platte County, a Class 5 final four team this year. He was committed to Missouri before his freshman year and is now a two-year starter for the Pirates. The now Wichita State pledge has a .298 average with a .421 on-base percentage and his power has resulted in 14 extra base hits: 8 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs. He has also drawn 16 walks and has swiped 17 bases.

Colton Wemhoff, Jr., Rockhurst

Wemhoff was an all-state pick last year for the Hawklets and put up numbers this year that could make him a repeat selection. The future Kansas Jayhawks outfielder hit .301 with a .444 on-base percentage. He was second on the team in RBIs with 17, while his 19 runs scored were third on the team.

Tyler ‘Ty’ Wood, Fr., Lee’s Summit West

He mostly pitched for the Titans, but the ninth-grader is already well regarded in the recruiting circles already. He is a 6.7 runner in the 60-yard dash with an exit velocity of 93 miles per hour. He is committed to Missouri and is ranked by Perfect Game as No. 86 in the country in the Class of 2025 and is the No. 3 player in the state rankings.