The weather may not yet be truly spring-like in the Great Plains, but the official start of spring on Thursday brought with it the start of baseball season for high schools in Nebraska and Missouri. The region isn't typically a hotbed for Draft prospects, but with two players ranked in MLB.com's Top 50 Draft Prospects list, crosscheckers and executives are sure to make a trip to the heartland this season.
Norris (Neb.) catcher Jakson Reetz made a name for himself last summer, winning MVP honors at the Perfect Game All-American Classic. He then helped lead the U.S. national team to a gold medal at the 18-and-under World Cup in Taiwan.
Strong and athletic, there are no concerns about Reetz's ability to stay behind the plate at the next level. His defensive ability, combined with his solid bat, has him ranked No. 47 among Draft prospects.
Reetz hit two home runs in Norris' season-opening 11-0 victory against Lincoln (Neb.) on Thursday. The Titans will play three more games this weekend, giving scouts ample opportunity to see Reetz and Byron Hood, his teammate and fellow Nebraska commit. Hood, a projectable right-hander, is scheduled to start Saturday against South Sioux City, coach Jason Cullison said.
Further south, in Missouri, another exciting Nebraska recruit is scheduled to begin his season this weekend. But scouts may have to wait a few days to see Lee's Summit West outfielder Monte Harrison, one of the best athletes in the Draft class.
Harrison, ranked No. 32, is committed to play football and baseball at Nebraska. He also plays basketball for Lee's Summit West and helped the Titans make a deep run in the Missouri Class 5 state tournament. After a loss in the state semifinals Thursday night, Harrison's basketball career will come to a close with a third-place game Friday morning.
The Titans open their baseball season later in the day. Coach Jay Meyer said Harrison will try to make the two-hour trip back to the Kansas City suburbs from Columbia, Mo. -- where the state basketball finals are played -- in time for Opening Day. Regardless, Meyer said Harrison is sure to be with the baseball team Monday when Lee's Summit West begins play in the Metro Lead-Off Tournament.
Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.