Nick Kurtz, Ryan Prager Highlight NCAA Week 9 Standouts (Hot Sheet)

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Image credit: Ryan Prager (Photo by Eddie Kelly / ProLook Photos)

The College Hot Sheet has returned for the 2024 season. Like our pro Hot Sheet that runs during the minor league season, we’re recognizing some of the top performers from around the country in college baseball after each weekend of play. Carlos Collazo and Peter Flaherty contributed to the College Hot Sheet this week. Players are listed in alphabetical order.

You can find our updated 2024 draft rankings here. All of our college coverage each week during the season can be found here.

Zane Adams, LHP, Alabama

Class: 2025

What He Did: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K

Adams bounced back from a rough outing last weekend with a spectacular start in Alabama’s series-clinching win over top-ranked Arkansas. Adams fired eight shutout innings in which he allowed just four hits—of which three were singles—struck out five and walked only one. The 6-foot-4 lefthander boasts a three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, a high-70s curveball that at times will flash big depth and a low-80s changeup that occasionally shows some fade to the arm side. Neither the stuff nor the velocity is particularly overwhelming, but Adams is a solid strike-thrower and consistently stays off the barrel of opposing hitters. He has a somewhat up-tempo delivery and attacks from a near over-the-top slot. Adams has pitched his way to a 3.87 ERA with 25 strikeouts to 12 walks across 34 innings. He is an intriguing sophomore-eligible prospect in 2025. -PF 

TJ Clarkson, OF, Utah

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7-for-16 (.438), 4 R, 8 RBI, 4 HR, 3 BB, 0 K

After a slow start to the season, Clarkson has really upped his production in the last month. Against Arizona State this weekend, the veteran outfielder notched multiple hits and crushed at least one home run in each of his three games. Clarkson started his weekend with a bang, going 2-for-5 with a two-run home run before putting the cherry on top with a 3-for-4, two home run performance in Sunday’s series-clinching win. The 6-foot-4 outfielder this spring has demonstrated advanced contact ability—especially against fastballs—while flashing some impact to the pull side. Clarkson has had at least one knock in 16 of his last 20 games and is now hitting .254/.375/.485 with a team-leading seven home runs and 33 RBIs. -PF

Ian Cooke, RHP, Connecticut

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 14 K

Cooke followed up a shutout performance last weekend against Xavier with the best outing of his college career. He came on in relief after the starter lasted just 1.1 innings and fired 7.2 shutout innings in which he collected a career-high 14 strikeouts. After allowing a double to the first hitter he faced, Cooke retired the next 10 hitters in a row before surrendering a walk and then proceeded to set down the last eight hitters of the game in order. The sturdy righthander collected an impressive 23 whiffs, with 12 coming against his low-to-mid 80s slider. Cooke’s slider—which this season has a 58% miss rate—will flash tight two-plane break with some teeth and is by far his best offering. His fastball has been up to 95, and Cooke rounds out his arsenal with a low-90s cutter and a low-80s curveball. Cooke has now thrown 15.2 consecutive scoreless innings and has shrunk his ERA by over four runs in the process. -PF

Hunter Dobbins, C, Ball State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-11 (.727), 6 R, 10 RBI, 4 HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, 0 K

Dobbins enjoyed what was by far his most productive weekend of the season, notching multiple hits and RBIs in each game. After going 2-for-3 with a home run in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, Dobbins went 6-for-6 to close out the weekend with three home runs, a pair of doubles and eight RBIs. At 6-foot-1 and 204-pounds, Dobbins has a prototypical catcher’s build with a strong swing and some power with the ability to drive the baseball with authority to all fields. Dobbins this year is hitting .292 with 10 doubles, 12 home runs and 33 RBIs. -PF

Keith Jones II, OF, New Mexico State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 11-for-20 (.550), 7 R, 13 RBI, 3 HR, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 K

Jones II continued what has been an excellent season to this point, upping his hitting streak to eight games while closing in on the Conference USA RBI lead. After blasting a three-run home run in Tuesday’s win over New Mexico, Jones II went 5-for-7 on Friday with a double and three RBIs. He closed out the weekend by going 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs. Jones II this season has demonstrated a professional approach while flashing an advanced feel for the barrel and borderline plus power to the pull side. He is now hitting .407/.512/.763 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 46 RBIs. -PF

Aidan Knaak, RHP, Clemson

Class: 2026

What He Did: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Knaak this weekend continued to prove why he is one of the premier freshman arms in the country, striking out 10 across eight shutout innings—both of which are career-highs—while allowing only two singles and one walk. Knaak has an advanced feel for his three-pitch arsenal that includes a riding fastball that has been up to 95, a plus changeup that not only gets fantastic separation off his heater, but also flashes big-time tumble and fade and a high-spin curveball with serious depth and downard bite. Knaak moves well on the mound and is a highly advanced strike-thrower. He looks the part of a slam dunk starter professionally and could be one of the first college arms off the board in 2026. -PF

Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-15 (.533), 8 R, 12 RBI, 5 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 5 BB, 1 K

Kurtz continued his video game-like stretch with a pair of multi-home run performances this week. On Tuesday against Coastal Carolina, the towering first baseman went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. He followed up by going 2-for-5 with a home run and a double in Friday’s win over Boston College before going 2-for-3 with two more home runs in Sunday’s series-clinching victory over the Eagles. Similar to potential No. 1 overall pick Charlie Condon, Kurtz has a uniquely compact and explosive operation for someone his size. He rotates extremely well in his swing and his barrel explodes through the hitting zone. Kurtz possesses a tantalizing hit-power combination and is also an impact defender at first base. He has a remarkable 13 home runs in his last nine games and is now hitting .333 with 16 home runs, 38 RBIs and 39 walks to 19 strikeouts. -PF

Seth Logue, RHP, Cincinnati

Class: 2024

What He Did: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K

Logue turned in his third-straight strong outing to the tune of six shutout, hitless innings in which he notched a season-high nine strikeouts. He inherited a bases-loaded jam after entering the game in the second inning, but he proceeded to retire 13 hitters in a row. Logue’s low-90s fastball—which flashes a bit of carry through the zone—generated seven whiffs, while both his slider and cutter also proved to be effective. It has been a rough season so far for Logue, but he has allowed just four earned runs with 24 strikeouts across his last 16.2 innings. -PF

Aidan Meola, 3B, Oklahoma State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 6-for-18 (.333), 4 R, 11 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K

Meola continued what has been a career year with a productive week in which he drove in at least one run in each of his four games. On Saturday, Meola crushed a grand slam to kickstart Oklahoma State’s offense before polishing off his weekend with another home run, an RBI double and a two-run single. Meola has some present bat speed, and this year is getting the ball up in the air more while generating quality impact on a more consistent basis. He has already set new career-highs in almost every statistical category and is hitting .339/.403/.541 with seven doubles, five home runs and 33 RBIs. -PF

Chase Morgan, LHP, Louisiana

Class: 2026

What He Did: 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K

The freshman southpaw was virtually untouchable in his start on Saturday, firing eight innings of one-run baseball in which he struck out a career-best 11 and walked three. Morgan surrendered a one-out double in the top of the first, but then finished his outing with 7.2 no-hit innings. He garnered 19 whiffs between his high-70s curveball and mid-80s changeup, and both have the potential to be future above-average or better offerings. Morgan’s fastball has been up to 93 with some run, but it sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s and doesn’t miss a ton of bats just yet. However, it consistently generates soft contact and opposing hitters are slashing just .169/.298/.282 against it. Morgan has a long, loose arm action with arm speed and has some projection remaining in his 6-foot-3 frame. He has a 1.90 ERA this season with 39 strikeouts to 12 walks across 42.2 innings. Still just 18-years-old, Morgan is a mighty intriguing freshman arm on which to keep close tabs. -PF

Adam Pottinger, OF, Indiana State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9-for-16 (.563), 7 R, 12 RBI, 3 HR, 3 BB, 2 K

Pottinger put together multi-hit games in all four games last week, headlined by a 3-for-5 game in the weekend series opener against Bradley and capped by a two-homer effort in the finale. Pottinger’s eighth-inning grand slam in that game helped Indiana State score 10 runs in the inning. Pottinger is a short and lean 6-foot center fielder with a short and compact lefthanded swing that isn’t geared for huge power but he can yank a ball down to the pull side if he gets a good pitch to hit. He’s hitting .301/.430/.496 with six home runs, six doubles, a 17.2% strikeout rate and a 13.9% walk rate. –CC

Ryan Prager, LHP, Texas A&M

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K

Texas A&M ascended to the top spot in our Top 25 this week for the first time since 2016 and Prager’s pitching on Friday nights has been a key reason for the team’s success in 2024. He threw his fourth double-digit strikeout game and fifth shutout outing of the season when he struck out 10 in seven innings against Vanderbilt last weekend. Prager’s fastball is light at just 88-90 and touching 92, but he has excellent command of the pitch and threw all three of his pitches for strikes at a 75% clip or better in this outing. His low-80s slider and 80-mph changeup are his primary miss offerings—he finished seven of his strikeouts on the changeup and three on the slider—but Prager’s unique look on the mound and feel to mix and match at a high level is a separator for him. He has posted a 1.98 ERA through nine starts and 50 innings with a 38.4% strikeout rate and microscopic 2.6% walk rate. That’s good for a 35.8 K-BB% that is fourth-best in the country. Prager is sneaking up into the top-three round range despite his limited velocity. –CC

Sammy Sass, C/OF Wright State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 11-for-18 (.611), 7 R, 14 RBI, 5 HR, 3 2B, 2 BB, 2 K

Sass has been a contact-oriented hitter for most of the season but you would not have thought that if you watched his midweek matchup against Miami (Ohio). In that game Sass was thrown a number of upper-80s fastballs and he turned on four of them and hit them out of the park. In total he went to the plate six times in this game, homered in four of those trips to the plate, walked in one and struck out in another. That four-homer game puts Sass with Georgia Tech freshman Drew Burress as the only two D-I hitters this season with four homer games. On the year Sass is slashing .402/.453/.742 with nine home runs, a 7.2% strikeout rate and a 7.9% walk rate. –CC

Mitchell Sanford, OF, New Orleans

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9-for-14 (.643), 8 R, 10 RBI, 4 HR, 1 3B, 2 2B, 2 BB, 1 K

Sanford spent a few seasons with LSU and UT Arlington before settling into a consistent role with New Orleans in 2023. Now a redshirt junior outfield, Sanford is hitting nearly .400 after 35 games and went 9-for-14 last week with four homers and 10 RBIs. He’s now leading the team or tied for the team lead with a .786 slugging percentage, 47 RBIs, 11 home runs, 15 doubles and 110 stolen bases. His season line is .397/.456/.780 with a 15.2% strikeout rate and 8.9% walk rate. Strikeouts have always held Sanford back in the past, but his 15% clip this spring is the best he’s managed in his college career. –CC

Jacob Schroeder, C, Illinois

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-15 (), 11 RBI, 8 R, 4 HR, 2 BB, 1 K

Schroeder is a 6-foot-2 catcher and redshirt senior who is having a career season with Illinois after hitting 14 home runs for the team in 2023. Schroeder has an unusual bat path and swing from the righthanded batter’s box, but it’s worked for him this season and he homered four times last week including a three-homer game in Sunday’s finale against Northern Illinois. He’s improved across the board in all slash categories to what he did in 2023 and is now hitting .372/.484/.808 with a 21.1% strikeout rate and 12.6% walk rate. –CC

Kodey Shojinaga, 2B, Kansas

Class: 2024

What He Did: 12-for-21 (.571), 6 R, 10 RBI, 1 HR, 3 2B, 0 BB, 1 K

Shojinaga had multi-hit efforts during each game of a three-game series against Pacific last weekend, headlined by a four-hit, two-double game in Friday’s opener. A 5-foot-10 infielder, Shojinaga isn’t a big power hitter, but he did add his fifth homer of the season in the weekend finale. He’s a righthanded hitter with a crouched setup at the plate who succeeds by making a lot of contact and minimizing his strikeouts. Shojinaga currently has a 15% miss rate in 2024, including a 9% in-zone miss rate, though he does expand the zone a bit too frequently and only walks about 7-8% of the time because of that. On the season, Shojinaga is hitting .351/.415/.547 with five home runs, 14 doubles, a 7.3% strikeout rate and a 7.9% walk rate. –CC

Landon Smiddy, RHP, Tennessee Tech

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 10 K

Smiddy had an effectively wild outing last weekend against Lindenwood when he struck out 10 batters—his second double-digit strikeout game of the season—and walked a season-high five batters in nine shutout innings. Smiddy hasn’t been a strikeout artist throughout his career, but as a fifth-year senior in 2024 he has posted a 23% strikeout rate, which would be the best mark of his career in a single season. He throws a fastball around 90 mph that will get up to 94 and uses a 78-82 mph slider about a third of the time and has a slow, mid-70s changeup that he goes to frequently against lefthanded hitters as well. Against Lindenwood Smiddy threw the slider as often as his heater but used the fastball as his best in-zone offering and got whiffs with all three pitches. –CC

Khal Stephen, RHP, Mississippi State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K

Outside of a tough five-run outing against LSU to open SEC play, Stephen has been lights out in conference. He turned in the best SEC start of his career last weekend when he shutout Ole Miss over eight innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. He averaged 92-93 mph with his fastball and touched 95, plus got whiffs on a mid-80s slider and a mid-80s changeup. Stephen now has a 2.84 ERA in nine starts and 50.2 innings with a career-high 27.9% strikeout rate and career-low 6% walk rate. He should be a safe top-five round pick in the draft in July. –CC

Bryson Van Sickle, LHP, Utah

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K

Van Sickle was named the Pac-12 pitcher of the week after he threw a complete game shutout against Arizona State on just 82 pitches. After starting his Utah career as a reliever in 2022, then pitching in a split role in 2023, Van Sickle has been a full-time starter this spring in his redshirt senior season and has posted a 2.44 ERA in nine starts and 51.2 innings. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 28 batters he faced. Van Sickle throws an 88-90 mph fastball that gets up to 92 and mixes in a loopy breaking ball in the mid 70s as well as a low-80s changeup. –CC

Trey Yesavage, RHP, ECU

Class: 2024

What He Did: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 12 K

A leadoff walk in Yesavage’s most recent start against Charlotte might have indicated a first speed bump in his 2024 season, but he instead tossed six no-hit, shutout innings and struck out 12 batters to continue chugging along. He did walk a season-high three batters in this game, but set a season high with 12 punchouts and lowered an already excellent 1.86 ERA to 1.66. Yesavage has pitched like the No. 3 pitcher in the 2024 draft class and is fifth in the country with 86 strikeouts and ninth among qualified pitchers with a 1.66 ERA. As usual, Yesavage got whiffs  with a variety of pitches in this outing including seven on his fastball, nine on his slider and four on his changeup. –CC

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