Prep Baseball Report

OSSAA Power 25: Preseason Edition

Scott Hood
Oklahoma State Director

Opening day is here and with games getting underway we release our Preseason Power 25.  This preseason poll is comprised of programs from all across the state and multiple classifications listed.  As we get further along into the season, the Power 25 will take on a heavy emphasis based on results on the field with higher weighting given to District wins and wins against other Power 25 opponents.  Strength of schedule will also be factored in as one of the primary focus points in the rankings.  The Preseason Power 25 is put together by looking at returning talent as well as factoring in newcomers to each program in 2024.  Programs that have premium talent and a proven track record of putting together strong campaigns were the main factors in the poll.  While are releasing our Power 25 today, we also have a few programs that were given heavy consideration and can easily play their way into the poll.  Be sure to follow along through our social channels throughout the season as we will be out providing unparalled coverage of Oklahoma High School baseball.

You can click the link on each Power 25 program to take you to their 2024 Preview with season outlook as well as notes and videos on impact players and few more players to watch.

Preseason Power 25 

2023 Record
2023 Highlights
1 OWASSO RAMS 27-14 6A State Semi-Finals
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When it comes to contenders for state titles in Oklahoma, there hasn’t been a program that has shown the ability to reload year after year quite like the Rams under Larry Turner.  Last year the Rams ultimately fell in the semi finals to the eventual state champion Bixby, in what was largely a mixed season for Owasso.  One big hole to fill will be the void left by Branden Floyd who came up with a bunch of key hits in big situations over the past couple of seasons and the leader behind the plate in Baylor Corbin, but largely return a majority of the roster headed into 2024.  Their biggest strength is their ability to lockdown opposing offenses with some of the top left-handed arms in the state at the top of the rotation and working pretty depth down the roster with depth on the mound.  They also play strong defense especially up the middle with returners in key spots to make them awfully difficult to score on.  Offensively, they have a solid mix of older players with experience with a group of young and exciting talent that will look to make an impact early on their careers.  With this roster and tradition of building winning teams, the Rams have to be considered amongst the betting favorites to take the title in 2024.

2 BIXBY SPARTANS 32-8 6A State Champions
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The Spartans finished off their 2023 season with a State Championship in large part to one of the deepest rosters this state has seen in recent memory. Bixby didn’t do it the easy way either, running through some high level talent and winning their final 14 games to capture their first state championship since 2008. This team was led by a lot of senior talent in 2023 which would normally be hard to replace, but the Spartans have a list of returning starters and some young players that have been waiting for a chance to prove themselves on the higher stage to try and make it a repeat in 2024. Losing top contributors like Max Knight (Oklahoma State), Cooper Moore (Kansas), Owen Bailor (Oral Roberts), Nate Murphy (NEO), Jack Williams (Hillsborough), Jake Wolfinbarger (NOC Enid) and Carson Miller (Coffeyville) is a tough pill to swallow but with all good programs its needs to reload instead of rebuild.  Bixby has a plethora of talent to pick from and still sits towards the top when it comes to contenders at the 6A level. Expect top tier pitching early from the Spartans as the inexperienced bats will likely settle in as the season moves forward. Getting production from the middle to bottom parts of their lineup will be a major factor if Bixby wants to repeat as champions in 2024.

3 ENID PLAINSMEN 29-10 6A State Runner Up
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Enid is coming off an impressive 2023 season that saw them reach the 6A State Title game. They showed the ability to beat you in multiple ways stringing together good pitching performances and having games with massive scoring outputs. The  biggest question heading into this upcoming season is trying to replace the hole lost in top arm Jacob Kennedy (Oklahoma State). They return 6 starters in 2024, gain a few players back from injury, and will rely on some big development jumps from a few of their players to try and make another run in the always tough 6A division. The Plainsmen bring a unique balance of speed and power to mix and will rely on a stout defense with playmakers all over the field. With the high-end talent and a roster that largely contributed to their impressive run in 2023, look for the Plainsmen to make some noise again in this upcoming season.

4 CARL ALBERT TITANS 34-8 5A State Champions
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Coach Whiteley begins his third season with the Titans after leading them to a 5A State Championship in 2023.  The Titans put together one of the strongest resumes in the state thanks to a deep pitching staff and power bats littered up and down the lineup.  With a large portion of that championship roster returning in 2024, the Titans are primed as an early favorite to try and make it back to back titles.  The obvious strength with Carl Albert is in their front-line pitching with three legitimate impact arms to choose from to pitch in district matchups.  While being able to put up runs on the Titans is hard enough, keeping them off the scoreboard themselves can prove to be a challenge with talented bats that have proven production at the plate will return to the lineup.  With the type of firepower that the Titans have and experience in winning the state championship in 2023, we expect Carl Albert to be one of the toughest outs across all levels in the state and will be matchup problems all season for the 5A foes.

5 SAND SPRINGS SANDITES 29-9 Regional Finalist
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The Sandites out of Sand Springs are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory, and look to continue that success in the upcoming season. After falling in the regional final to Stillwater in one of the most hectic regionals to date, Sand Springs looks to finally break through and make it to the state tournament in 2024. The Sandites lost a few key contributors with the likes of Dominic Ornelas and Gabe Schlehuber, but bring back a mix of young and experienced producers that have played in big games over the last few years. Pitching will be a strong suit, with the Sandites having a plethora of guys that have pitched at the varsity level already. Offensively, much of the top of the order returns, with a few new names expected to break into the lineup towards the bottom.  Coach Brown has built a consistent winning program in Sand Springs and has been on the cusp of making it to the 6A State Tournament the last couple of seasons and will look to help guide them one step further in 2024.

6 EDMOND MEMORIAL BULLDOGS 21-17 Regional Finalist
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The Bulldogs start their 2024 campaign with one of the deepest rosters in the 6A division. They have a ton of top end speed that will help them both offensively and defensively. They have some firepower at the top of the order that have a chance to be one of the more dangerous offenses in the class. The Bulldogs did not graduate much of the offensive production but will feel the losses of much of their pitching production from a year ago. Memorial still brings back one of their top arms and will rely on some younger pitchers to give them some big innings in 2024. Edmond Memorial undoubtedly is one of the top teams on the west side and have a chance to make a serious run to a state tournament this spring. 

7 TUTTLE TIGERS 37-4 4A State Champions
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Coach Draper’s Tigers put together one of the best seasons in recent memory to capture the 4A State Championship in a thriller against Blanchard in 2023.  Along the way, the Tigers threw 17 shutouts while eclipsing double digit runs themselves a total of 13 times.  This type of balance and completeness speaks to the depth of the program as multiple players stepped up throughout the season.  As with every program, Tuttle has a few holes to replace from graduation with the loss of Ashton Bennight, Carson Moore, and Alex Conover who are all now at Cowley County.  Even with those players finishing their careers, the Tigers still have a loaded roster with impact players that have had a ton of experience already in their careers. They sport the ability to beat you in multiple different ways with strong pitching, excellent defense especially up the middle, and an offense that can get rolling in a hurry.  With all the depth and experience coming back, look for Tuttle to once again be amongst the betting favorites to capture the 4A State Title again in May.

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Stillwater is coming off an impressive year that saw them reach the state tournament after winning one of the most entertaining regional tournaments in the state’s history before finally seeing their run come to an end in the quarterfinals. After losing a few key players such as the powerful Gage Gundy and 1-2 punch on the mound with Anthony Smith and Barrett Morgan, the Pioneers have reloaded and look to make another run this season under first year head coach Marty Lees. This year’s team looks to beat you the same way they have the last few seasons, with power and athleticism. The Pioneers have game wreckers all over the field and if their pitching staff can hold up over the long season, they have an opportunity to be serious contenders in 2024.

9 ELK CITY ELKS 34-4 4A State Semi Finals
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The Elk City Elks come into the 2024 with as high of expectations as they have ever had after reaching the Class 4A semifinals in 2023. Elk City has the top end pitching to make another run, including one of the top pitching prospects nationally in the ‘24 class. The Elks have the arms but the question of the bats being able to provide enough support against some of the top teams in the class. If the bats come around and can be consistent by postseason play, don’t be surprised if the Elks are playing on Friday and Saturday during the State Tournament.

10 EDMOND NORTH HUSKIES 25-10 6A State Tournament
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The Edmond North Huskies come into 2024 with high expectations coming off a state tournament appearance a year ago. The Huskies will lean on one of the deeper pitching staffs in the state to try and get it done in the upcoming season. We know the Huskies will pitch it well, but it will come down to if the bats can step up if they want to make a serious run into the postseason this year. Matt Allen arrives in his first year as HC for the Huskies and Edmond North isn’t a team you want to match up with as the season moves along, as the Huskies will have a chance to take anyone down with the staff they have on the mound.

11 BLANCHARD LIONS 31-6 4A State Runner Ups
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Coach Raney’s Lions have built up quite the reputation over the past couple of seasons with a state title in 2022 and just missing out on a repeat in 2023 dropping a nail-biter in the championship game 4-3.  The good news for the Lions is that they return almost their entire roster off of last year’s squad and will look to build off that experience heading into 2024.  The one thing that comes to mind when you watch a Blanchard baseball game is how mentally tough they always are.  They come into each game battle tested and always seem to live up to the moment in big games.  The roster is full of strike throwers on the mound and a strong group of athletic position players that have proven themselves at the varsity level.  Look for Blanchard to once again be amongst the favorites in 4A again in 2024 as they have the type of roster that can compete with anyone in the state.

12 YUKON MILLERS 26-13 6A State Semifinals
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The Yukon Millers got red hot towards the end of the 2023 season which saw them reach the 6A State Semifinals. Coach Phillips’ is one of the more respected head coaches in the state and you can never count out one of his teams when you get to the postseason. The Millers bring back much of the production in 2024, including a mix of two-way prospects that are able to get it done both on the mound and at the plate. Yukon has a strong group of senior contributors that will hit at the top of the order that look to lead a high powered offense into 2024.

13 DEER CREEK ANTLERS 25-15 6A State Tournament
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Deer Creek lost a heartbreaker in the first round of the 6A State Tournament in 2023, but look to return with another solid roster in 2024. The Antlers lost a few key contributors like Brady Hamilton, Taylor Tomlin and Luke Schimmels. Despite those losses, the Antlers have reloaded and bring back a few starters that have been big producers for them over the past couple of seasons. The Antlers have a few experienced arms that have the opportunity to pitch in bigger games this season. Most of the projected top of the order for Deer Creek will include guys that have been in the lineup in the past, which will bode well for experience. The main focus for the Antlers this spring will be to get those arms some big game experience which will set them up for a potential postseason run.  Deer Creek has proven themselves to be a consistent winner in 6A and will look to take another step forward under their new head coach Andrew McGuire who brings strong experience to the program.

14 WESTMOORE JAGUARS 25-15 6A State Tournament
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The Westmoore Jaguars are coming off a 2023 year which saw them fall in the opening round of the 6A State Tournament after winning their regional. The Jaguars look to replace some key position players like Kaehler Stillings, Eli Hill and Jackson Black while under the direction of their new head coach Brian Hunnicutt. Despite the losses they had in the ‘23 class, they return a good amount of starters that will carry the heavy lifting at the top of the order. The question for the 2024 season is if the pitching staff will be able to hold their weight and give their offense a chance to win games. They will rely on some unproven arms with potential to give them some major innings in the upcoming spring. Westmoore will be an interesting follow due to them having a pair of highly ranked uncommitted seniors and a few younger prospects with high upside.

15 CHOCTAW YELLOWJACKETS 24-10 Regional Finalist
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Choctaw missed out on the 6A State Tournament by a single game losing in the regional final in 2023. The Yellowjackets were a senior heavy team a year ago, but host one of the deeper rosters in the state where some younger players will get a true shot to make an impact at the varsity level in 2024. They will have one of the better pitching staffs in the state regardless of class with a pair of arms that have already pitched in plenty of big games throughout their careers to this point. Choctaw has some major D1 prospects, but still have a group of other  talented players that help them both offensively and on the mound. The Yellowjackets have the pitching and the power bats to alter games and will be a tough out no matter who they match up with in the postseason.

16 OKTAHA TIGERS 26-6 2A State Tournament
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The Oktaha Tigers are as loaded as it comes when talking about talent in some of the smaller classes of Oklahoma High School Baseball. Coach Rodden’s teams have been talented in the past, but this spring might be his most talented team yet. They have a pair of newcomers that will make an instant impact for them, plus a few guys that have tons of experience over the past few seasons that had them go 26-6 in the spring and 31-2 this past fall. The Tigers have players all over the lineup and if the pitching can stay consistent, they are one of the favorites to win the 2A State Title when it’s all said and done.

17 UNION REDHAWKS 32-8 Regional Semifinals
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The Redhawks spent a good chunk of the 2023 season as our number one ranked team in the Power 25 with a loaded roster of athletes.  They have more holes to fill than some of their district counterparts with the graduation of Avery Ortiz, Brodie Briggs, Tatum Hayworth, TJ King, and Grayson Tempest.  Filling those gaps in 2024, the Redhawks will look for a couple returning starters and a strong group of younger newcomers to the Varsity squad to compete in one of the toughest districts in the state.  The one thing they have coming back and what has been a staple of the Union program is a ton of team speed and high end defenders all over the field.  They play very strong defense in both the infield and in the outfield while needing to fill the large void left with the graduation of Briggs.  The staff has plenty of strike throwers on the roster that will make you beat them which should be a strong recipe for how they like to play.

18 EDMOND SANTA FE WOLVES 17-19 Regional Finalist
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A new era of Santa Fe baseball begins in 2024 with Kris Webb taking over the reins to try and regain their place at the top of 6A in 2024.  While the 2023 season was met with multiple challenges, they return a core group of high end talent that gained a ton of experience a year ago.  Even with the talent returning, they will need to work on limiting the amount of runs scored that they did a year ago if they want a chance to compete for a state tournament berth.  They have the type of high-end talent on the mound that when right, can be out-right untouchable, just need those arms to step up in 2024.  Offensively, they have a strong mix of power and contact guys at the plate with strong defense up the middle.  Edmond Santa Fe is still considered one of the “blue blood” programs of Oklahoma 6A baseball and we expect them to have a better run in 2024.

19 BISHOP KELLEY COMETS 25-16 5A State Runner Up
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The Comets under Parker Frazier made a run to the 5A State Championship game after getting hot down the stretch in 2023.  2024 brings a new challenge for Bishop Kelley as they move up in class to 6A but has a chance to make some noise in the new classification.  They will have some holes to plug off of last year’s squad like Grayson Smith, Jackson Archambeau, and Kamden Thompson who are all now competing for Eastern Oklahoma state.  While losing those three players will be tough, the Comets bring back a strong core group of contributors and prospects with high upside talent.  Their strength is their depth on the mound with multiple arms to choose from to pitch throughout the week.  Getting these arms up and going will be crucial, especially early on as they get the bats up to speed.

20 WASHINGTON WARRIORS 32-5 3A State Champions
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The Washington Warriors are coming off a 2023 season that saw them capture their second consecutive 3A State Title. The Warriors lost some key names in the ‘23 class like Camden Bates and Kane Springer, but still looks to be one of the dominant teams in the 3A division. Washington has to be one of the favorites to win their third consecutive title the same way they did it in the past few years, with the bats. The Warriors have some high level prospects and have some multi-sport talent that contribute to that mix as well.  With the strong average run differential of 7.54 runs a game in 2023, they've proven themselves over the past couple of years to be one of the top programs in the state regardless of class and is the favorite in 3A heading into the 2024 campaign.

21 MUSTANG BRONCOS 25-10 Regional Finalist
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The Mustang Broncos 2023 campaign came to an end in a tightly fought battle with Yukon in the regional final and will look to rely on a group of a few upper-class returners as well as some young and unproven prospects. The Broncos have experience around the diamond, but after graduating at a few spots with impact players like Taber Stokes and Graham Hylton, they will need for a few players to step up and fill not only the holes left in the lineup offensively but at two key spots on the diamond. They return a handful of pitchers that have had success at the 6A level, but will also need to rely on some newcomers to give them strong innings if they want to have a successful 2024 spring.  One thing is always for certain with a Joe Patterson led club, they will always outplay their talent level and it would not be shocking to see Mustang be a sneaky pick for a run into the 6A State Tournament in May.

22 ELGIN OWLS 29-9 5A State Tournament
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The Owls arrived somewhat ahead of schedule in 2023 with a run to the 5A State Tournament with a roster full of young talent.  Coach Garrett’s squad will look to build off the experience gained in 2023 to take another step forward in 2024.  What stands out when looking at the Owls heading into the spring season is their ability to defend at a high level. They will need to replace the impact that Jake Thomas had on the mound in 2023 but return enough arms to try and piece those innings together.  While still standing with a younger roster, the experience these young players gained paired with their natural abilities makes for Elgin to be one of the more intriguing teams to follow in 2024.

23 RATTAN RAMS 26-6 Class A State Champions
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The Rattan Rams swept Class A in 2023, winning both the spring and fall state titles and carry the same expectations into the 2024 spring. The Rams make it hard to beat them by rarely making mental mistakes and playing great team baseball, moving runners whenever they can while still having some serious power at the top of the order. Their pitching staff has some workhorses at the top and have plenty of depth that come in and fill the zone effectively. The Rams beat some high class opponents in 2023 so keep close tabs on them in the upcoming season. 

24 SAPULPA CHIEFTAINS 29-10 5A State Semifinals
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Coach Irvine’s Sapulpa squad comes in with high expectations in 2024 following a 5A state tournament semi-final appearance in the 2023 season. The Chieftains have experience in their lineup with some top end pitching that look to have an impactful spring. If some of the pitching depth can step up and gain experience in the early part of the season, expect Sapulpa to be hanging around when it comes to contenders in the 5A State Title race.  One thing that has become an annual tradition, no matter what players make up the roster from a Coach Irvine squad, they always play with a high level of toughness and savvy giving them a puncher's chance against anyone in the state.

25 DUNCAN DEMONS 23-13 Regional Finalist
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The Duncan Demons come into the 2024 season looking to make some noise in the 5A division. The Demons have an explosive top part of the order to go along with some power pitching. Offensively, they have a pair of some of the most impactful bats in the state with some young guys ready to make an impact. If Duncan wants to make a run this spring, it will be because the bottom part of the order will be able to produce and the pitching staff will be able to hold up over the season.