Prep baseball in Kansas City may never again see a year quite like 2016.
Riley Pint became the highest-ever player from the metro area taken in the Major League Baseball Draft, when the Colorado Rockies selected him fourth overall in June.
“It means everything,” Pint said on draft night when told he was the city’s highest MLB draft pick. “I’ve been working so hard over the past few years, and now that it’s finally here, it’s just pure joy.”
On the same night, the Atlanta took Braves took Shawnee Mission East’s Joey Wentz off the board at No 40.
By the time the Angels selected Turner High School’s Nolan “Nonie” Williams 96th overall, three Kansas City-area players were among the top 100 picks. Never had the city seen such draft talent all in the same class, making it the top high school sports story of the year.
Pint and Wentz remain one of the best high school pitching duos in Kansas City history. Wentz finished his season with Kansas 6A state champs SM East without allowing a single run. He threw the first 26 innings of the season without allowing a hit, and gave up seven hits all year.
Pint struck out 87 in 49 innings and allowed three earned runs for St. Thomas Aquinas. He has hurled his fastball at 100-plus miles an hour, and helped lead the Saints to a 5A state title.
Williams, who primarily played shortstop, batted .533 with five homeruns, only four strikeouts and 26 stolen bases.