Prep Baseball Report

Q&A with Drury Commit OF Ryan Kayhill (Lee's Summit West, 2015)

Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

OF Ryan Kayhill (Lee's Summit West, 2015) has recently verbally committed to play college baseball at Drury University.  Kayhill is a 5-foot-10 179-pound OF.  At a Royals Elite Scout team workout in September, Kayhill ran a 6.6 60 and had a velo of 83 mph from the outfield. Defensively, he has good actions to the baseball with a clean exchange while keeping his momentum toward his target and playing through the ball. At the plate, Kayhill showed good rhythm and a good approach with a short compact swing that stayed level through the zone. He showed the ability to spray the ball to all fields.

Kayhill is preparing for his final season at Lee's Summit West before he becomes a Panther.  In the interview below, Kayhill talks about how he chose Drury, the recruiting process and many other things leading up to his commitment. 

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Kayhill: I knew from the start that this would be a difficult, yet exciting experience. At times it was more nerve racking than I expected, having opportunities presented in front of me with decisions that would affect the next four most important years of my life.

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

Kayhill: Location did not play as much of a factor as distance from home. I love being with and around my family, so choosing a school that wasn’t too far away was a must. I feel as though Drury is the perfect distance, far enough to where I get the experience of being on my own but at the same time close enough where I can come home to visit often.

PBR:  Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Kayhill: I had first heard of Drury because one of my summer teammates Dylan Bradshaw, is a year older than I am and is attending Drury now, and Coach Peterson was at a game we played in Manhattan, KS this summer. From there, I got to know the coaches better and set up a visit shortly after. 

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?  What was it like playing with Monte Harrison and Alex Lange last spring. 

Kayhill: There were many players that have exceptional talent, but the best player from our state that I have faced was probably Nic Perkins from Francis Howell High School. As a catcher, he was in my opinion the best we saw. With an arm that will turn heads and a bat that will do the same, along with the sportsmanship that is second to none, he is an all-around player. Playing with Monte and Alex was one of the greatest experiences of my baseball career so far. Watching them and learning from them every day at practice helped me and a lot of the other guys on our high school team as a whole get better. We saw how they carried themselves and picked up on the little things they did as leaders, and implemented them into how we did things. Playing with guys with the amount of talent they have was incredible. And nothing beat spending the time on and off the field with those guys. They were always humble, and were both all-around quality people as well as exceptional athletes.

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

Kayhill: The best advice I can give, is not only to never quit and not give up, but to never sell yourself short. If you have a goal, strive to make it a reality. And if people tell you that you can’t achieve that goal you set, make it a personal mission to prove them wrong. Show them that they were wrong, and that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Shoot for the stars.

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

Kayhill: In the ‘offseason’ if you can all it that, I play fall baseball until the first of November and when that is over, our high school team has a weight program after school until about a couple weeks before tryouts. I also go to Boost twice a week to work on speed and agility.  I keep up with batting techniques working with Les Norman, who has helped  me since I was 12 years old.

PBR: You are playing for the Kansas City Royals Elite Scout Team, describe the experience so far.  What steps did you take to make the team. 

Kayhill: In the two fall seasons that I have played with the Scout Team, it has been an incredible experience. Playing with some of the best from the Kansas City area has been a learning experience as well as a great opportunity to improve personally. We push each other to perform to the best of our abilities and sort of teach each other small tips here and there that will help us get better. I heard about the tryout through my summer coach, Rod Myers and attended, participated in a pro style tryout with the others, constantly working to give myself a better opportunity to be a part of the Scout Team. 

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

Kayhill: What I like most about Drury is not only do they have a tight knit program that has the goal to make their players into better ball players, but also strive to make them better individuals. I also like the fact that the school has smaller numbers than a lot of universities, which leads to smaller classes and more one on one attention with professors, and allows a chance for me to get the best education I can. 

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

Kayhill: A few other schools that were on my list of potential schools were Kansas, Creighton, Missouri Western, Western Illinois, and Wichita State

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?

Kayhill: The recruiting process really sped up around  late July and into early August. I feel like an event that really turned the corner for me was the Perfect Game showcase in Cedar Rapids, that was where I feel like I got the most exposure.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel Lee's Summit West will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Kayhill: I am looking forward to another great season with Coach Meyer. I feel as though we will be strong again and able to mesh well and come together as a team to win games. We lost quite a few seniors last year, but there is no doubt in my mind that there are guys this year that will step up and fill the holes where we lost some of the older guys. A goal we set at the beginning of every year is to not lose the last game of the season. And I am hopeful that this will be the year.

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

Kayhill: I play for the KC Elite coached by Rod Myers in the summer, and there are so many memories with this group of guys, but I would have to say that my most memorable experience with them was traveling to Decatur Illinois. This was the furthest that we have traveled and getting to spend four or five days playing baseball with 11 others that are like  brothers to me will be an experience I will never forget.

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