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Missouri's best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top third basemen

Some of the top third basemen in Missouri prep baseball
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By Cody Thorn 

Feature photo of Putnam County's Gage Pearson by Austin Miller, Kirksville Daily Express 

Our look at top baseball players in Missouri continues in the infield, this time looking at third base, our penultimate list, with outfield the last remaining one we will publish.

The players are listed in alphabetical order.

There are hundreds of outstanding players in the Show-Me State, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive. Tag us on Twitter @SBLiveMiz and let us know about other athletes worthy of fans’ attention. 

Ryker Benz, Fr., Vianney

One of the youngest players on the list is ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2025 in Missouri according to Prep Baseball Report. He had nearly 100 at-bats this year for the Golden Griffins. Benz had an on-base percentage of .365, while hitting three doubles and a home run. He has committed to Oklahoma.

Chase Brock, Sr., Whitfield

A multi-sport athlete, he is going to play baseball at the next level despite being accomplished on the wrestling mat. He is a four-time state finalist and one-time champion for the Warriors. But on the diamond, Brock hit .535 this spring with 13 doubles, two home runs and 20 RBIs, while sporting a 1.023 on-base plus slugging percentage. The Lindenwood signee only struck out one time this season.

Tanner Duncan, Sr., Kennett

He is ranked the fifth best third baseman in the Class of 2022 and is the No. 31 overall prospect in the state overall this year. He is a left-handed hitting third baseman with an exit velocity of more than 100 miles per hour. His future, though, will be behind the plate as he has signed with Arkansas State, which lists him as a catcher.

Jack Gardner, Sr., Liberty North

The starting third baseman on the top-ranked team in Class 6, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder showcases one of the best bat speed not only among third basemen but in all of the hitters ranked so far. Trackman shows he has a max exit velocity of 102 and an average exit velocity of 94.5 – faster than some players’ max. He has signed with Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.

Braden Hemmer, Jr., Columbia Hickman

Prep Baseball Report tabbed Hemmer as the No. 8 prospect in the state in the Class of 2023. He was also a preseason All-American selection by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association. The Kewpies' standout at infield and pitcher hit .474 with a .726 slugging percentage. The Missouri pledge hit 13 doubles, one triple and three home runs, while driving in 38 runs.

Grant Hollister, Jr., Blue Springs South

The 2024 product has been on the radar of baseball coaches for a while. He is the top-ranked player at his position in his graduating class in Missouri according to Prep Baseball Report, and is No. 9 overall in his class. He was named the Louisville Slugger Newcomer of the Year last year by the Missouri Baseball Coaches Association.

Nick Hooper, Sr., Grain Valley

He helped the Eagles win 27 games this year, one season after Grain Valley was in the state title game, when he started in that final game. The right-handed hitter has a max exit velocity of 90.3 miles per hour. He has committed to junior college power Iowa Western Community College.

Cooper Howell, Sr., DeSmet Jesuit

Was among the Spartans’ leaders in runs (17), hits (22), doubles (6) and RBIs – the top three in each and first in doubles. He finished with a .341 on-base percentage. He has signed to play baseball at nearby Lindenwood, which is making the transition to a Division I program.

Trey Jozwiakowski, Fr., Vianney

Another freshman for the Golden Griffins that's experienced at playing the corner infield spot. He is currently ranked No. 173 in the country out of freshmen by Perfect Game and was on the Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason Underclassmen All-American Central Region team. He sported a .403 on-base percentage with the Griffins and has committed to Missouri.

Noah Leingang, Sr., Westminster Christian Academy

Sported a .318 batting average and had an on-base percentage of .388 for the Wildcats. He was a two-way player and also a pitcher with a fastball in the upper 80s. He has signed to play baseball at Division II Maryville in St. Louis.

Charlie Miller, Jr., Russellville

A talented shortstop and pitcher, Miller checks a few boxes. The right-handed hitter has an exit velocity at nearly 90 miles per hour and his throws from shortstop to first base have been clocked at 93 miles per hour. At the Prep Baseball Report Fall Showcase in September, Miller had the fastest 60-yard and infield velocity and second fastest fastball of the mound at 89 miles per hour. He is a Missouri commit.

Trey Mulholland, Sr., Aurora

This is his second time on the list as he is as adept at pitching as he is hitting. The right-handed hitter for Aurora, a Class 4 playoff qualifier, has prodigious power that looks to be untapped even more at NJCAA World Series qualifier Crowder College. Mulholland has a .407 batting average with five home runs, 29 RBIs and a .619 slugging percentage. He also has been intentionally walked five times and is a perfect 16-for-16 in stolen bases.

Sebastian Norman, Fr., Glendale

The ninth grader is already 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, and has moved into the starting lineup for a team that was ranked No. 2 in Class 5 in the most recent poll. However, the Falcons were in the same district as No. 1-ranked Willard. The 14-year-old made headlines last summer being named to the all-tournament team at the WWBA Freshman World Championships. He is the No. 7-ranked freshman in Missouri according to Prep Baseball Report.

Gage Pearson, Sr., Putnam County

A first-team all-state player last year, he is like many players on this list: A starting infielder and standout pitcher as well. Pearson has helped guide the Midgets to the Class 2 quarterfinals after a 7-2 win against Louisiana on May 23. He was a Rawlings/Perfect Game Central Region honorable mention Preseason All-American pick. Pearson has signed with Southeastern (Iowa) Community College.

Reese Robinett, Sr., Kennett

A Collegiate Baseball Newspaper High School All-American, Robinett is headed to Arkansas to play baseball. The standout from the Bootheel is a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder with a left-handed swing that is full of power. He hit 10 home runs last year and had a two-homer game against Dexter in April. A first-team All-State pick in Class 4 last year, Robinett has an exit velocity of 101.6 miles per hour.

Gannon Snyder, Jr., Parkway West

Snyder posted a .355 batting average and got on base more than 45 percent of his at-bats. He had 11 extra-base hits and drove in 27 runs for the Longhorns, who were 22-7 this year. Snyder was 10-for-10 stealing bases and had more walks (16) than strikeouts (13). He has signed with Wichita State, playing for coach Eric Wedge.

Zack Stewart, Sr., Lebanon

A two-way standout on the mound and at the hot corner, his batting average was over .400 last year with seven home runs and 20 RBIs for the Yellowjackets. Grades out as a perfect 10 on Perfect Game rankings scale. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder runs a 6.97 60-yard dash and has "elite level raw power," according to one Perfect Game.

Curry Sutherland, Jr., Logan-Rogersville

Was a sophomore all-state pick last year for the Wildcats and has been a future Division I baseball player before he even played a high school game. He pledged to Missouri State following what would’ve been his freshman year of high school had COVID-19 not canceled that season. The right-handed hitting infielder blasted a grand slam recently in the Wildcats' district semifinal win.

Nazzan Zantello, Jr., CBC

By this time next year, Zantello could be in the discussion for being a first-round draft pick. He is ranked about everywhere you look. He is the No. 2 junior in the state according to Prep Baseball Report and No. 1 by Perfect Game. Baseball America tabs him as the No. 42 ranked high school prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft. Zantello recently tweeted he is one of 96 players selected to take part in USA Baseball’s Player Development Program League this summer. Perfect Game ranks him the No. 35 player in the country. He hit .363 with a .508 on-base percentage, thanks to drawing a team-high 23 walks.