2015 Team Preview: Liberty Blue Jays



Shon Plack and Jeff Viles
Prep Baseball Report-Missouri

As we prepare for the upcoming 2015 high school season, we will be taking a preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: Liberty
Nickname: Blue Jays
Class: 5A
League: Suburban Red
Head Coach: Kirk Bragg
Twitter Handle:  @Jays_Baseball
2014 Overall Record: 28-8
2014 League Record:8-2, 1st
2014 Post-Season Finish: Lost in state sections to Staley

Number of Position Players Lost: 4
Number of Pitchers Lost: 4
Number of Returning Starters/Position Players: 4
Number of Returning Starters/Pitchers: 2

TOP RETURNERS (Commit)
Aaron Easley, C, 2016
Ethan Griswold, RHP, 2015 (Jefferson College)
Joe Kinder, SS, 2016
Connor Marchand, OF/RHP, 2016
Craig Straws, OF, 2016
Colton VanVleck, RHP, 2016
Justin Vochatzer, 2B, 2016
Jason Volkmann, OF/C, 2015

OUTLOOK
Last season, the Liberty Blue Jays were on the brink of an appearance in the Final Four, a place not uncommon to the Blue Jays.  They have made two trips to T.R. Hughes since 2011, and has won three district championships in the last four years.  The baseball tradition is deep and expectations are always high in Liberty.  On the mound, the Blue Jays will count on a proven big arm in senior Ethan Griswold.  Griswold, a Jeff Co commit, will be one of the top RHPs in the state, with a fastball in the high 80's last fall. Senior C/OF Jason Volkmann will be the other senior starter, coming off his junior season where he batted. .378.  In 2014, Volkmann ranked seventh all-time in Blue Jay history for hits in a season with 45.  Liberty will rely on a pair of talented juniors that played significant roles last year.  Joe Kinder is a 6-foot-3 168-pound SS with an 80 mph velo across the diamond and a sub-7 60 time.  Craig Straws is a an athletic OF at 5-foot-11 170-pounds.  Straws has an exit velo of 89 mph and runs a 6.91 60.  He represented Team Missouri in PBR's Future Games last July.  Liberty will have several other juniors that will emerge in the spring.  Look for 2B Justin Vochatzer, C Aaron Easley, RHP Colton VanVleck, and OF Connor Marchand all to have increased role.  The Blue Jays will playing their first season in the Suburban Red Conference and will start the season just out of the top ten in the MHSBCA rankings.  They open at the Metro Leadoff Tournament in Lee's Summit and will compete well with any team that stands in the way of getting back to the Final Four. 
 
 

CLICK HERE, to see the MHSBCA Rankings
CLICK HERE, to see the entire list of 2015 Missouri Team Previews

Coaches Preseason Questionnaire

We appreciate all of the help provided by high school coaches across the state assisting with our preseason coverage. If you have not already done so you can fill out our coaches' preseason questionnaire online by CLICKING HERE.

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