Prep Baseball Report

Kansas Signing Day: Big 12 Outlook

By: Diego Solares
Area Scout, Illinois & Missouri

On Wednesday, November 8th, thousands of high school baseball players across the country signed their National Letters of Intent to successfully fulfill their dedication to playing baseball at the collegiate level, with a multitude of players from Kansas alone going through this process. 

Over the next few weeks, our staff will spend some time highlighting those names that signed their NLI to play baseball at the Division I level. We’ll do so by breaking these names up by conference, and we started with the SEC last week, which you can find HERE.

Keep reading below to learn more about the names from Kansas that are headed to various different Big 12 programs next fall.


The top prospect on our 2024 rankings headed to the Big 12 is OF Blake O’Brien (St. Thomas Aquinas), who signed with the in-state Jayhawks last week. A member of Team Select at the Future Games twice, the 6-foot, 185-pound O’Brien offers a blend of gap-to-gap strength and present feel to hit from an easy, balanced, and polished right-handed swing. He’s a proven in-game performer, earning the KHSBCA 5A Player of the Year award last season after batting .382 with 17 extra-base hits and an OPS of 1.113 en route to leading Aquinas to back-to-back 5A state tournament appearances. 

Blake O'Brien


Joining the Big 12 for the first time this upcoming season, the Bearcats picked up OF/CIF Quinton Coats (Olathe South) from the Sunflower State in this 2024 recruiting class. There is no shortage of physicality in his stature, and with that comes noticeable bat strength - Coats has posted triple-digit exit velocities at our events with high-end bat speed as well. Long known as a sheer masher, Coats started to polish up his swing in our game looks this spring to drive the baseball gap-to-gap more consistently. There’s middle-of-the-order upside at the next level with the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Kansas City native. 

Quinton Coats


Kansas State signed two talented right-handers from the Sunflower State in their recruiting class, with RHP Hudson Byrd (Blue Valley, 2024) and Blake Neis (Mill Valley, 2024) are headed to Manhattan next fall: 

+ Byrd offers plenty of projection on a long-limbed 6-foot-6, 195-pound frame. He’s a free, simple mover downhill that controls his levers well throughout with a loose and easy arm to pair. Byrd’s fastball plays heavy with natural run at times, touching 91 mph, while playing in the upper-80s, and there’s presumably more to come as he gets older, too. Byrd turned over a fading changeup to left-handed hitters consistently at the Future Games and he’s able to land a breaking ball with depth for strikes. 

Hudson Byrd

+ Neis is more of a power arm, toeing the rubber at 6-foot-2, 215-pounds with broad shoulders and strength scattered throughout his frame. Neis was a winner from the 17U National Championships, showing a lively low-90s fastball with jump out the hand and life/run up in the zone. Off that, Neis throws a firm changeup with hard run and he’s able to land a mid-to-high-70s curveball with depth for strikes as well. 

Blake Neis