Jayhawks Make Big Splash on Final Day of Signing Period



By Sean McCann
Prep Baseball Report - Kansas 

Last Thursday when we published our Kansas Class of 2014 Player Rankings three out of the top ten players were uncommitted.  Now there are zero.  Earlier today Blue Valley West HS RHP/3B  Ryan Ralston, the #3 ranked player in Kansas class of 2014, announced his commitment to the University of Kansas. 

Ralston was the third Kansan in the 2014 class to commit to a major college baseball program in four days joining #10-ranked Brett Andersen (IF, Olathe East HS) who signed with Arkansas State on Sunday and #7-ranked Tanner Gragg (C, Blue Valley West HS) who committed to Kansas yesterday. 

Regarded as the top 3-sport athlete in Kansas, Ralston had received numerous offers from football and baseball programs across the country, but in the end he chose the baseball Jayhawks.

No stranger to the pressure involved in the last few minutes of a high stakes athletics contest, Ralston made his decision on the final day of the NCAA Division I Early Signing Period.  Meanwhile area college baseball coaches were no doubt sweating bullets awaiting the decision of the 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect as the clock clicked down. 

Ralston has been on the radar of college coaches and MLB scouts for some time, however his performance at the Get Hits 4 Education All-Star Game earlier this fall put him on the map for good.  Despite being in the middle of his football season, Ralston dialed his fastball up to 92 mph in his one inning of work that night.  Prep Baseball Report’s national writer Nathan Rode followed up Ralston’s noteworthy outing with a PBR Plus feature story.

Ralston impressed, once again, at the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Florida in late October - an outing that caused new found interest from several out-of-state Division I programs.  In the end, playing close to home trumped all of the extra interest.

In addition to his promising future on the mound, Ralston was also named to the KABC 6A All-State First Team as a third baseman after a highly productive junior campaign lending us to believe that if the Jayhawks need a right-handed power bat in their line-up Ralston could emerge as an option.

Blue Valley West HS now has four major college baseball commitments on its roster with Ralston, Gragg, Nebraska-signee RHP Zack Engelken and Vanderbilt-commit shortstop Connor Kaiser (class of 2015) - all of whom are MLB prospects as well. 

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