Preseason High School Preview: Raymore-Peculiar
March 7, 2023
The Missouri high school baseball season is set to kick off shortly, with ‘Opening Day’ set for March 17th. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2023 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications.
Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.
Our 2023 preseason coverage continues today.
2022 Record: 21-10
Conference: Greater Kansas City Suburban - Gold
Head Coach: John Lersch
Kaiden Wilson, LHP, 2023, Texas A&M commit:
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior is one of the top prospects in Missouri’s 2023 class, and his presence atop this rotation gives Raymore-Peculiar a true ace type talent atop their rotation. We’ve seen Wilson pitch in the upper-80s consistently, running his fastball into the low-90s as well, with a high spin, big arch curveball to pair off it. Aside from his talents on the mound, Wilson should also be a major contributor offensively, swinging a physical left-handed bat within the middle of this order as a real run producer.
4 - The number of left-handed Division I commits that the Panthers have within their rotation. Aside from Wilson and Carver, LHP Micah Henson (2024; Kansas State) and LHP Chase Olson (2024; Nebraska) return after productive sophomore campaigns, looking to build off that headed into their junior years. It’s a loaded group that’ll give Ray Pec a chance to win each game any of them toes the rubber.
NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Johnny Carver, LHP, 2026, Arkansas commit
As if the Panthers didn’t have enough talent on the mound, Carver joins this staff as another high-end arm, currently slotted at seventh overall on our 2026 rankings. He’s a talented strike-thrower with three pitches, including a real slider that’s grabbed swings-and-misses in the limited looks we’ve got on him at Creekside. We’ll likely see Carver start his career working out of the ‘pen, but his arrival deepens a group that’s already amongst Missouri’s best.
The Panthers are coming off a strong season, winning 21 games and capturing a District championship in the process. They’re under new leadership this spring, as this will be head coach John Lersch’s first year at the helm of this program. He’s inheriting a truly special pitching staff and a young, yet talented, bunch of position players surrounding his core of arms.
We touched on Wilson above as the ‘X-Factor’, but the productions that Ray-Pec gets from Henson and Olson this spring will be driving factors to their success. Henson pitched to a 5-1 record with a 1.65 ERA in 2022, punching out 56 batters over 34 innings while walking only 18. He’s another top-of-the-rotation type of talent that should also serve as an effective offensive performer within this lineup. Olson operated in a relief role as a sophomore, closing four games over 14 ⅔ innings with a 1.91 ERA. He’s going to elevate into more of a starter’s role this spring, something that we’re expecting one of the state’s top-ranked 2024 graduates to shine in.
Positionally, INF Diesel Purnell (2025) will headline this offense, returning from last year’s group. He started as the everyday shortstop as a freshman, batting .313 with five home runs over 117 plate appearances, drawing more walks than he struck out. A switch-hitter, pencil Purnell in as an all-conference type of producer and a leader for this team on both sides of the ball.
Two newcomers that'll play important roles for Ray-Pec this spring: C Logan Compton (2024) and OF Keeton Scrivener (2025). With the number of high-octane arms on their roster, Compton’s ability to captain this rotation is important, and internally this staff believes in him to succeed in that role He has arm strength behind the dish and has regularly impressed in the catch-and-throw department, bringing stability at arguably the most important position for this team. Scrivener is a potential top-of-the-order type bat for this team, and he’s an above-average runner that’s added strength over the winter, enhancing his abilities offensively as a result. He’ll likely roam the outfield as a sophomore, and the type of value he can provide in his first year at the varsity level will be important to Ray-Pec’s run production.
Pitching is unquestionably a strength for the Panthers, as they’ll begin the spring season with one of Missouri’s deepest and most talented staffs. Ray-Pec’s question marks lie offensively, where they’re young and inexperienced, but they do return an integral lineup piece in Purnell, as well as a few talented names they’ll need to step up this spring. With how talented their rotation is, Ray-Pec is going to have a chance to win a lot of games this spring in John Lersch’s first season as the head coach.
Follow along @PBRMissouri for complete coverage of the 2023 high school season.