Top Stories Of 2014: Shockers Early Signing Class Includes Four Kansas High School Standouts

As we look back at the top stories from the last year on the PBR Kansas site, we re-post this story from December 10, 2014.

By Sean McCann
Prep Baseball Report Kansas

This fall Wichita State welcomed to campus the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation per Collegiate Baseball newspaper. The influx of talent into the Shockers program continues as they inked another strong early signing class in mid-November.

Four Kansas high school class of 2015 standouts highlight the group in C Noah Croft (Olathe South HS), RHP/1B Greyson Jenista (DeSoto HS), LHP Keylan Killgore (Wichita Heights HS) and RHP Connor Lungwitz (Maize HS).

We had a chance to visit with Shocker head coach Todd Butler regarding these four:

“I know it’s supposed to take a little bit of time for freshman to make an impact in your program but all of these kids seem to be players that don’t look like seniors in high school, they look a little bit older in terms of physical maturity and are closer to helping,” Butler said.  “All four of these players participated in the state high school baseball tournament in 2014 and they all play for fantastic high school coaches who are preparing them for the next level.”

Croft is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-hand hitting catcher that was named to the All-Eastern Kansas League team last spring.

“Noah is 6-foot-3, physical presence behind the plate with a strong, accurate arm. He’s a very good hitter that has had a tremendous amount of experience in high school at the highest level and in summer baseball playing on the travel circuit,” Butler said. “Noah is such a good athlete, a 6.7, 6.8 type of runner and he’s a versatile player that can catch, could probably play third, first and play in the outfield. He has a chance to be an impact physical type of hitter. Each year he has continued to improve and he’s becoming a complete player.”

Jenista is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound left-hand hitting infielder and right-handed pitcher that racked up All-Frontier League honors for 4A-I state champion DeSoto last spring.

“Greyson is a two-way player, left-handed hitter, right-handed pitcher, first baseman, 6-foot-4, physical presence. For a big man he has a very good contact ratio in terms of consistently putting the barrel on the ball,” Butler said. “I think his power will steadily start to rise as he begins to understand his swing and hit with leverage. He’s also a very good runner, 6.9 possibly 6.8 at times. He will be a pitcher for us too, possibly a late inning guy, he’s been up to 88-90 mph. Very tough-minded player, definitely an impact player as a freshman.  Greyson has also played at the highest level in high school and summer travel baseball. ”

Killgore is a 6-foot-3, 160-pound left-handed pitcher that helped lead Heights to the 5A state tournament in Manhattan and earned KABC All-State honors in the process.

“Keylan is a 6-foot-3 left-hander, tall and lean, his velocity is steadily starting to rise - I think he’s been up to 90 mph at times. He’s been working on his breaking ball, there’s improvement there. His change-up is coming along,” Butler said. “Just watching him pitch as soon as the ball comes out of his hand it catchers your eye. You can see the clean arm action, the way his arm works, very smooth and fluid. I think as he gains size and strength his velocity will continue to improve. He had a very good spring season last year, threw well at the state tournament. I think he will continue to blossom next spring and into next summer, could possibly be a draft pick being a left-hander.”

Lungwitz is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-hander for tradition-rich Maize that helped lead the Eagles to a runner-up finish at the 6A state tournament in Lawrence in 2014.

“Connor is a 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher - as far as his physical size he is what you are looking for in college, and the next level, the professional level. I really think he will have a great shot at being drafted in next June’s MLB draft.” Butler said. “He’s also a talented quarterback for Maize and he had a tough decision to make: football versus baseball. Connor’s decision came down to the wire in November before the early signing period. Coach Kemnitz really thinks his velocity will continue to improve. He’s a relentless worker. He has very good arm action. I think the sky is the limit as he continues to progress.”