2016 Team Preview: St. Thomas Aquinas Saints

Shon Plack
Kansas Scouting Director

As  we  prepare  for  the  upcoming  2016  high  school  season,  we  will  be  taking  a
preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: St. Thomas Aquinas HS
Nickname: Saints
Class: 5A
Conference: Eastern Kansas League
Head Coach: Lorne Parks
Twitter Handle: @STABaseball2016
Years as head coach at school: 17
2015 Overall Record:  19-3
2015 Conference Finish: 12-2 (1st Place)
2015 Post­ Season Finish: Lost in Regional Final

Number of Returning Starters/Pitchers: 4
Number of Returning Starters/Position Players: 8

Players with 2015 Post Season Honors
Riley Pint,
RHP, 2016, 1st Team All-EKL (Louisiana State)
Blake Lillis,
LHP, 2016, 1st Team All-EKL (Arkansas)
Dallas Mitchell,
C, 2016, 1st Team All-EKL
Nathan Mark,
3B, 2017, 1st Team All-EKL
James Cosentino,
1st Team All-EKL (Kansas)

Players to Watch
Parker Swanson,
P, 2016
Chase Cowley, 2016
Christian Chalabi,
1B, 2016 (William Jewell)
Bayler Hinz,
RHP, 2017
Camron McMillan,
SS, 2018 (Vanderbilt)  

Season Outlook
St. Thomas Aquinas is no secret around the area, or the nation, largely due to senior RHP Riley Pint.  Pint is projected to be a top pick in this year's MLB Draft, having a fastball clocked in the upper 90's.  The Saints will rely on his leadership and ability to set the tone for the season. Coach Parks will have roster full of talented pitchers at his disposal this spring. Senior LHP Blake Lillis, an Arkansas recruit, will be at the top of the rotation as well and provide a powerful one-two punch with Pint. Lillis was 6-0 last season with an 0.86 ERA.  Juniors Nathan Mark and Bayler Hinz will also see significant innings with senior P Parker Swanson being called on to pitch late innings in relief.  The Saints can also swing the bat.  Wiliam Jewell commit, Christian Chalabi hit .362 last season, while Nathan Mark hit at a 3.94 clip.  Senior C Dallas Mitchell hit .302 last year, earning 1st Team All-EKL and will return behind the plate to catch the talented pitching staff. St. Thomas Aquinas will also add senior SS James Cosentino, a Kansas commit, to the line up after missing games due to injury last year.  The Saints will also look to newcomer Chase Cowley, as senior transfer from Oklahoma, to play a role in the teams success this spring.  St. Thomas Aquinas will have a lot of attention coming their way this spring.  They are talent up and down the line up and are one of the deepest teams in Kansas.  They will be fun to watch as the make their run for the Class 5A state championship.

CLICK HERE, to see a complete list of 2016 Team Previews