Prep Baseball Report

Commitment Q&A with Jacksonville State Commit Diesel Purnell

By: PBR Missouri Staff

MIF Diesel Purnell (Raymore-Peculiar) is a smooth up-the-middle athlete from the Kansas City area that's currently a top-50 prospect in Missouri's 2025 class. Purnell, a switch-hitter, offers value on both sides of the ball, with a potential top-of-the-order offensive profile and sure-handed actions on the infield. He's started at shortsop everyday at Ray-Pec since he made it to high school, hitting .313 with five home runs as a freshman and leading the team in plate appearances last spring.

In September, Purnell announced his commitment to Jacksonville State. We spoke with the Gamecocks commit on why he chose Jacksonville State, his outlook on the recruiting process as a whole, and more.


PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Purnell: When looking for colleges, I was looking to make a direct impact. I wanted to be able to walk onto campus and be able to compete for a spot. I also was looking for a coaching staff that could contribute to making me a better baseball player and person.

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

Purnell: I believe location played a fairly big role in committing to Jacksonville State. With it being located in the south, I knew that that meant good weather all year round, which also meant baseball through all months of the year.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Where did the school you committed to first see you play?

Purnell: The recruiting process really started to heat up for me the summer going into my sophomore season. I had just came off a good freshman year, which caught some eyes of some schools going into summer.

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

Purnell: At Jacksonville State I liked the camaraderie of the coaches, which made it feel more like home. They also had big time facilities and an awesome field. 

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state? What about them makes for a tough opponent?

Purnell: My freshman year I faced Karson Milbrandt (Liberty, 2022; Miami Marlins draft pick). He for sure has been the hardest player I have ever faced. He ran his fastball up into the mid and high 90s and had a great slider.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college-caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Purnell: As long as I can, remember, my dream was to play baseball. Whether that was college, or potentially at the next level. My eighth grade year is when I believe we truly realize that it was a possibility. I had just started to get very physical, and my attributes were starting to stick out.

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

Purnell: Embrace the failure. I don’t believe you can truly achieve success without failure.

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

Purnell: Today, my most memorable moment in baseball was against Liberty North in the state quarterfinal game. We were facing Tate McGuire (Liberty North, 2023; Arkansas signee) and I led the game off with a double off the wall. I had later also hit a homer in that game. Even though we ended up losing that game I feel like that was one of the biggest moments in my baseball career. 

PBR: Preview your high school team's season for us. How do you feel your team will be?

Purnell: I feel like Ray-Pec has great potential leading into the 2024 high school baseball season. We have multiple very high caliber pitchers and some offense to complement that.