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Kansas City-area players selected in the MLB draft

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This is a baseball town.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 Major League draft has concluded, and as expected it was a banner year for Kansas City-area high school kids. Only five Kansas City-area high school players have ever been selected in the first round of the MLB draft:

  • Rick Sutcliffe, Van Horn (Independence, MO), 21st overall, 1974 (Dodgers)
  • Lee Stevens, Lawrence (Lawrence, KS), 22nd overall, 1986 (Angels)
  • Damian Rolls, Schlagle (Kansas City, KS), 23rd overall, 1996 (Dodgers)
  • John Mayberry Jr., Rockhurst (Kansas City, MO), 28th overall, 2002 (Mariners)
  • Bubba Starling, Gardner-Edgerton (Gardner, KS), 5th overall, 2011 (Royals)

This year, St. Thomas Aquinas pitcher Riley Pint added to that list after being selected fourth overall by the Colorado Rockies. The Lenexa native with a fastball that hits triple digits, becomes the highest selection ever from the area, as well as the highest selection ever from the state of Kansas. According to some reports, Pint may already be in agreement with the Rockies on a contract with a bonus just under $5 million.

But it was not just Pint that made this Kansas City-area high school class special. Left-handed pitcher Joey Wentz of Shawnee Mission East in Prairie Village, Kansas was selected in the supplementary round, 30th overall, by the Atlanta Braves. Wentz, who has committed to the University of Virginia, did not allow an earned run all year, and did not give up a hit over his first 23 innings to start the season. A pair of local high schoolers will be headed to the Angels organization - shortstop Nonie Williams of Kansas City, Kansas, and pitcher Cole Duesning of Blue Valley Northwest in Overland Park, Kansas.

Dayton Moore has shown a preference in grabbing local kids later in the draft, and he continued that tradition this season. In the 13th round, the Royals selected Leawood, Kansas native Logan Gray, out of Austin Peay University. The second baseman graduated from Rockhurst High School and showed good power for his position in college and may well be a steal at his round. The Royals also grabbed Junction City, Kansas native Nick Heath in the 16th round. Heath’s mother is a former track star at Kansas State, and he appears to have inherited some of her speed as a centerfielder for Northwestern State University.

The Royals looked to the Missouri side late in the draft, picking University of Central Missouri reliever Gavin Grant in the 29th round, a Parkville native that graduated from St. Pius X. They also grabbed outfielder Kameron Misner out of Poplar Bluff, in the 33rd round. In the very next round they selected Lee’s Summit North grad Nathan Webb, a right-handed pitcher.

Below is a list of players selected that attended Kansas City-area high schools or local colleges.

Player Round Team High School College
RHP Riley Pint 1 Rockies St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Overland Park, KS) None
LHP Joey Wentz 1L Braves Shawnee Mission East HS (Prairie Village, KS) None
SS Nonie Williams 3 Angels Turner HS (Kansas City, KS) None
RHP Sam Perez 5 Marlins Branson HS (Branson, MO) Missouri State
SS Ryan Howard 5 Giants Francis Howell Central (St. Charles, MO) Missouri
RHP Cole Duensing 6 Angels Blue Valley Northwest HS (Overland Park, KS) None
C Michael Tinsley 7 Indians Junipero Serra HS (San Mateo, CA) Kansas
RHP Sam Tewes 8 Cardinals Waverly HS (Waverly, NE) Wichita State
RHP Lucas Benenati 10 Reds Santa Barbara HS (Santa Barbara, CA) Kansas State
RHP Tyler Benninghoff 11 Twins Rockhurst HS (Kansas City, MO) None
2B Logan Gray 13 Royals Rockhurst HS (Kansas City, MO) Austin Peay
RHP Reggie McClain 13 Mariners Northview HS (Johns Creek, GA) Missouri
LHP Dalton Moats 15 Rays Park Hill HS (Kansas City, MO) Delta State
SS Keith Grieshaber 16 Angels Marquette HS (Chesterfield, MO) Jefferson College
LF Spencer Johnson 16 Astros Springfield Parkview HS (Springfield, MO) Missouri State
LHP Ben Krauth 16 Indians Northgate HS (Walnut Creek, CA) Kansas
RHP Scott Engler 16 Rangers Bishop Carroll HS (Wichita, KS) Cowley County CC
CF Nick Heath 16 Royals Junction City HS (Junction City, KS) Northwestern State
C David Gauntt 18 Marlins Shawnee Heights (Topeka, KS) Washburn
RHP Sam Gilbert 19 Athletics St. Mary's-Colgan (Pittsburg, KS) Kansas
RHP Matt Eckelman 21 Pirates St. James Academy (Lenexa, KS) St. Louis
LHP Zach Matson 24 Orioles Sherwood HS (Garden City, MO) Crowder College
LHP Blake Lillis 25 Brewers St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Overland Park, KS) None
RHP John Hayes 25 Tigers Pottsboro HS (Pottsboro, TX) Wichita State
2B Colby Wright 25 Reds Castro Valley HS (Castro Valley, CA) Kansas
OF Aaron Schnurbusch 28 White Sox Eureka HS (Eureka, MO) JCCC/U. of Pittsburgh
RHP Gavin Grant 29 Royals St. Pius X HS (Parkville, MO) Central Missouri
2B Jonathan Murders 31 Cardinals Bolivar HS (Bolivar, MO) None
OF Jake Ring 31 Orioles Grant HS (Fox Lake, IL) Missouri
OF Kameron Misner 33 Royals Poplar Bluff HS (Poplar Bluff, MO) None
SS Ryan Wetzel 33 Nationals Heritage Christian Academy (Overland Park, KS) None
RHP Anthony Herron 34 Mets Affton HS (St. Louis, MO) Jefferson College
RHP Nathan Webb 34 Royals Lee's Summit North HS (Lee's Summit, MO) None
2B Tanner Kirk 35 Orioles Lincoln Southeast HS (Lincoln, NE) Wichita State
RHP Chase Williams 35 Brewers Broken Arrow HS (Broken Arrow, OK) Wichita State
LHP Austin Tribby 36 Twins Springfield Catholic HS (Springfield, MO) Missouri
RHP Ryan Zeferjahn 37 Rays Topeka Seaman HS (Topeka, KS) None
RHP Robert Calvano 38 Cardinals Bishop Miege HS (Roeland Park, KS) JCCC/U. Neb.-Omaha
SS Tyler Wolfe 39 Astros Delano HS (Delano, MN) Kansas State
CF Pedro Alfonseca 39 Indians North Kansas City HS (North Kansas City, MO) None
RHP Lucas Williams 40 Astros Grain Valley HS (Grain Valley, MO) Central Missouri