Prep Baseball Report

JUCO Wire: How the D1 Top-25 Has Fared (Update)

Josh Fields

With the Junior College season in full swing, we look at how the Prep Baseball JUCO Wire Top-25 teams have fared this season. All rankings reflect Prep Baseball JUCO Wire's preseason Top-25 rankings and cover all games through Feb. 21. 


No. 1 Central Florida (10-4)

After a rough opening weekend to kick off their season, Central Florida won their next eight games and now sit at 10-4. Offensively, Kareh Valentin and Edwin Toribo have led the way for the Patriots and have stepped up as run producers in this lineup. Sebastian Perez has been a steady presence on the mound across five starts, pitching to a 2.41 ERA thus far.

No. 2 Blinn (5-6)

The Buccaneers have had an up-and-down start to their 2024 season, sitting at 5-6 across 11 games. Offensively, Tanner Reaves has been a standout throughout, slashing .429/.528/.714 so far on the year and looks the part as one of the top bats in the nation. Starting pitchers Kaden Dydalewicz and Brendan Sweeney have provided quality outings for the Buccaneers on the mound.

No. 3 Wabash Valley (8-6)

The Warriors currently sit at 8-6 after winning their first five games of the year. The offense has been hot to start the year, with six key contributors hitting over .300 and ranking 12th as a team in home runs. Keaton Mahan and Jon Legrande have been especially notable, as both are reaching base over half the time while slugging over .700.

No. 4 McLennan (5-6)

The Highlanders have competed against some of the better teams in the nation to start the season. Sitting at 5-6 through the first 11 games and getting some quality performances from both sides of the ball, Mac Rose has been a standout offensively, hitting .375 to start the year. Stefan Stahl has been a steady presence on the mound across three starts.

No. 5 Johnson County (8-4)

The Cavaliers are riding a five-game winning streak and sit at 8-4 on the year. Offensively, Jack Mosh, Dagen Brewer, Jordan Black, Maddux Fleck and Kyle Hepburn have been major contributors to the lineup. On the mound, the Cavaliers have gotten quality outings from their top-3 inning getters, Brandon Stone, John Chambers and Maddox Burkitt.

No. 6 Weatherford (9-4)

The Coyotes have gotten off to a strong start, currently at 9-4. Offensively, Trace Mazon and Kasen Wells have been the big run producers in the Coyote lineup. On the mound, the Coyotes have had strong performances from five arms: Robert Fortenberry, Evan Brandt, Braylen Timmins, Tanner Wiggins and Charlie Giese.

No. 7 Crowder (7-5)

The Roughriders started their 2024 campaign with a 7-5 while playing some of the top competition in the Midwest. Joey Morton and Ethan Fender are leading the way offensively, both hitting over .400 for the year. To open the season, Kolton Reynolds and Easton Swofford have also gotten off to hot starts offensively.

No. 8 Salt Lake (6-2)

Salt Lake has gotten off to a 6-2 start and is currently riding a three-game winning streak. The Bruins, as a team, are pitching to a 2.25 ERA and have gotten multiple quality outings out of their top-5 arms on the year. Most notably, Shay Timmer has allowed one run across 9.1 innings pitched. A pair of right-handers, Austin Taylor and Kyle Keyes, have not allowed a run to start the season in 7.1 and 7 innings pitched, respectively.

No. 9 Walters State (9-6)

Walters State has gotten off to a 9-6 start on the season. The Senators have generated a lot of pop in the early going, ranking sixth in the nation in home runs with 19. Karson Bonaparte has established himself as the ace of the staff. Across four starts, Bonaparte has pitched to a 0.53 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.

No. 10 Northwest Florida State (9-5)

The Raiders are winners of six of their last eight contests and stand at 9-5. Offensively, Northwest Florida has gotten contributions from multiple players in the lineup, most notably Cayden Gaskin and Jaquae Stewart, who lead the way for the Raiders on offense. On the mound, the Raiders have a stable of notable arms, including Brock Tapper, Mack Estrada, Alex Walsh and Colin Linder, who have pitched well to start the year.

No. 11 New Mexico (8-6)

After a 3-0 start on opening weekend, New Mexico had a rough stretch, which included a four-game losing streak. But they are winners of five of the last six games after getting the bats going and are now sitting at 8-6 on the year. At the plate, Erick Ballenilla and Brent Iredale have taken over as the run producers in the lineup.

No. 12 Central Arizona (11-5)

The Vaqueros have gotten off to a hot start, sitting at 11-5 and a 3-1 conference record. Offensively, Matt Quintanar has been the standout, hitting .386 on the year in nearly 60 ABs to start. On the mound, the Vaqueros' three top inning getters (Felix Schlede, Toby Haarer, Luke Meyers) have a sub-1 ERA with over 10 K/9.

No. 13 Iowa Western (6-2)

The Reivers got off to a strong 6-2 start against some of the top competition in the country. Offensively, AJ Singer and Evan Saunders have taken over as run producers early in the season, with both players driving in eight runs during the year. On the mound, Noah Scott has been a notable arm early out of the ‘pen for the Reivers, striking out 15 batters in nine innings and not allowing a run.

No. 14 Cowley (3-3)

Cowley has played to a .500 record in a small six-game sample size thus far. Alex Conover has been a standout on offense, slashing .409/.519/.909 through the first six games this season. On the mound, Cowley has received notable performances from Iziah Salinas and Cade Perkins.

No. 15 San Jacinto (6-5)

The Ravens have gotten off to a 6-5 start to the season and are currently riding a four-game winning streak. Offensively, Landon Hunt and Byron Robinson are notable performers in the early going, both hitting above the .400 mark. Zach Mack and Maddux Stivey have provided quality outings on the mound so far this season.

No. 16 Florida SouthWestern (11-5)

Perhaps the hottest team on the JUCO Wire, Florida SouthWestern, is riding an eight-game winning streak and currently sits at 11-5. Offensively, the Buccaneers have seven hitters presently hitting over .300 with at least 30 ABs on the season. On the mound, the Buccaneers have gotten strong performances from Jordan Huskey, Landen Burch, Brandon Gonsalves and Ryan Grzesiak.

No. 17 John A. Logan (8-2)

The Volunteers have started their season strong with an 8-2 record. Offensively, the Vols have had a host of contributors early on in the season – most notably Jack Porter, Trey Swiderski, Cameron Hill and Gage Griggs. On the mound, Trevor Jackson and Eli Pillsbury have put in notable performances for John A. Logan early on this season. 

No. 18 College of Southern Nevada (9-7)

Southern Nevada is currently riding a six-game win streak and sits at 9-7 across the first 16 games of the season. Offensively, Michael Cruz has been a big run-producer for Southern Nevada. On the mound, the Coyotes have pitched to a 3.44 ERA as a team. Naun Haro leads the staff in innings pitched at 21.2 and holds a 2.08 ERA on the season. Other notable Coyote pitchers are Lucas Boesen, Tyler Ray, Dylan Venturini, Hunter Alberini, Aaron Rubio, Logan Smith and Kody Bialas

No. 19 Gaston (14-2)

Another hot team on the JUCO Wire, Gaston, has started their season off with a 14-2 record while riding a five-game winning streak. Offensively, Ben Karpowicz, Seth Christmas and Brandon Crabtree have been big run producers in the lineup, each driving in over 15 runs thus far. On the mound, starting pitchers Mason Smith and Evan Vandenbosch have been putting in quality outings for the Rhinos.

No. 20 Chipola (10-7)

The Indians opened their season at 2-2 and have since gone 8-5, bringing them to 10-7 through 17 games this season. The middle of the lineup of Brantley Willis, Sam Parker, Knox Bennett and JC Vanek have been the leading run producers so far and are all hitting over .350 on the season. On the mound, Lucas Elissalt has separated himself early this season as an ace for the Indians. Across five starts, he has pitched to a 3-0 record with 29 strikeouts in 19 innings with a 0.95 ERA.

No. 21 South Mountain (9-8)

After a tough matchup opening weekend that saw South Mountain go 1-3, the Cougars rallied and now sit at 9-8 with a three-game win streak. Nick Rosell and Dominic Chacon have been steady presences in the lineup for the Cougars to start the season. On the mound, left-handers Nikolas Miller and Stephen Hernandez have provided quality outings as starters early on, and right-handers David Galindo and Alex Urias-Calvillo have been steady presences out of the ‘pen thus far.

No. 22 Florence Darlington Tech (8-4)

The Stingers have played a competitive schedule to open the season and currently sit at 8-4 with a three-game winning streak. At the plate, Rom Kellis has emerged as the top bat for the Stingers, driving in 18 runs thus far and slugging over .700. The Stingers have also gotten notable performances from Josh Campos and Tyler Kamerer at the plate. On the mound, Starters Michael Gibson and Marcus Locklear have both pitched to a sub-2 ERA to start the year, collecting multiple wins between them.

No. 23 State College of Florida (10-5)

The Manatees got off to a strong start this year and currently sit at 10-5. They were on a six-game win streak earlier in the month, including a win against Florence Darlington. At the plate, the Manatees have a strong lineup that includes Allan Gil-Fernandez, Jalen Hairston and Hayden Gustavson, who have all gotten off to strong starts. On the mound, Ed Wagner and Bryan Gomez have both pitched well with ERAs in the 3s, while left-hander Brandon Clarke has put up a 14 K/9 across 15.1 innings pitched.

No. 24 Kansas City Kansas (4-2)

Kansas City Kansas has gotten off to a 4-2 start across six games to start the season. Offensively, Jackson Mervosh and Peyton Basler have separated themselves as contributors in the lineup thus far. Starting pitcher Maclane Finley has not allowed a run across his three starts, going 2-1 on the year.

No. 25 Shelton State (2-6)

After only eight games this year, Shelton State finds themselves at 2-6. Wesley Helms has been a standout on offense, batting over .400. On the mound, four freshmen right-handers have pitched well to start the year: Bryant Akridge, Jeremy Jones, Mason Steele and Caleb Pittman.