Prep Baseball Report

Q&A with Kansas Commit RHP Thane McDaniel (Junction City, 2019)

Shon Plack
Kansas Scouting Director

Thane McDaniel (Junction City, 2019) recently committed to Kansas.  McDaniel had an outstanding performance at the Future Games, striking out five out of six hitters he faced.  He as equally as impressive at the Kansas Underclass Games in June.  Here is a look inside the recruiting process for Thane McDaniel.


Thane McDaniel

Class of 2019 / RHP

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2019
  • Primary Position: RHP
    Secondary Position: 3B
  • High School: Junction City
    State: KS
  • Summer Team: Next Level
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R


Max FB
83 - 86
71 - 73
PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

McDaniel: My expectations for the recruiting process was that it was going to be much harder than it was. I was not expecting to be contacted by colleges that early on. Next Level played a huge role in getting me seen and recruited.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

McDaniel: Yes, location did play a factor. I was willing to go out of state within a reasonable distance. Family means a lot to me, so them being able to watch me play meant a lot.

PBR: Where did Kansas first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?


Kansas first saw me at a summer showcase that I attended in Lawrence. I started talking to the Kansas coaching staff after one of those KU showcases.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

McDaniel: The best player I faced in my state would have to be Jackson Cobb. He has an extremely good eye and will fight off pitches until he can get one to hit. He takes the ball to all fields so it makes it very difficult to pitch to him.

PBR: Describe your experience at the PBR Future Games. 

My experience at the PBR Futures Games was amazing. The amount of scouts that showed up was eye opening. It truly gave me all of the opportunities to get recruited!

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?


You should take your strength and conditioning seriously. The work you put in off the field truly shows whenever you are playing. You should compete at all times because you never know who is watching you. 

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

McDaniel: To keep myself in shape during the offseason I continue my strength program. I train in the offseason at Next Level’s Big Springs academy. I run as much as possible.   

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?


I started our states first round playoff game as a freshman against Blue Valley. I faced Will Brennan and Gunner Halter. It was an amazing experience!

PBR: What do you like most about Kansas and what were the key factors in making your decision?


I love the atmosphere that comes along with Lawrence. Some of the key factors that made me commit to KU were that I enjoy the coaching staff, great facilities, and it’s close to home.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

McDaniel: I really enjoyed my visit to SEMO. The baseball atmosphere in Cape Girardeau seemed like a very cool experience. 

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

McDaniel: My recruiting process really started to heat up after I pitched in Houston this summer. The PBR Futures Games added on to the process of me getting recruited after I threw to Team Arkansas/Louisiana.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

McDaniel: This high school season I would really like to compete with the other teams in the Centennial League. We have young talent that will contribute to our team’s success. I expect myself to be our team’s ace and to compete for all state. 

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

McDaniel: I play for Next Level Baseball Academy during the summer. My most memorable experience with them would have to be throwing a complete game 1 hitter in Houston.

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