According to Prep Baseball Report, Louisville has commitments from six of the top ten players from the state of Kentucky in 2021, led by Mr. Baseball Daylen Lile. All six were named First Team All-State.
In part one of this years recruiting overview, Lile, Will Koger, and Kade Grundy were featured, but there is plenty to be excited about with the other three commits.
During Coach McDonnell’s end of the year press conference, he noted that the influx of arms in this class could have a huge opportunity to step up next season. Of the six commitments from Kentucky, three of them are pitchers.
High School: Danville
Senior Stats: .512 BA, 1.00 slugging, 56 RBI, 18 doubles, 17 home runs, 25 stolen bases Pitching Stats: 8-1, 1.56 ERA (stats were prior to State Tournament)
PBR Rankings (State/Nation: 6/364
If I had to pick one word to sum up Wood, it would be confident. Every time he takes the field, he expects to win and perform at the highest level. I asked him about the possibility of being a two-way player at Louisville, his response was simple, “I can definitely swing the bat at the next level.” Not only can he swing it, his fastball tops out at 94 MPH.
When Wood was offered by Coach McDonnell, it was a no brainer. He has always been a Louisville fan and when the offer came in, he accepted.
“High energy, clutch, and fun!” is how he plays the game of baseball. I had a chance to watch him in the State Tournament and he’s not wrong. He plays the game with a lot of passion and will have an opportunity to make an impact from day one.
In the quarterfinals of the KHSAA State Tournament, Wood tossed a complete game shutout as Danville defeated Lafayette 3-0. He finished with eight strikeouts and allowed just three hits.
Fans should be excited about this incoming class, but put a star by his name. He has a ton of upside and the swagger to match it. We are going to see a lot of Ethan Wood over the next few years.
High School: Lexington Christian Academy
Senior Stats: .256 BA, 21 RBI, 2 doubles, one home run, 11 stolen bases
Pitching Stats: 5-1, 1.98 ERA, 91 strikeouts, 27 walks, 47 innings
PBR Rankings (State): 8
Davis was highly sought after as a recruit, hearing from schools like Vanderbilt, Clemson, Mississippi State, Duke, and Kentucky, among others. He ultimately chose the Cardinals, noting, “the coaching staff at Louisville, they are great, and being able to compete for a national championship every year is huge.”
Like Ethan Wood, Davis comes to Louisville as a two-way player but just wants to be on the field in any capacity. After watching the Cardinals miss the NCAA Tournament this year, he is ready for the freshman class to get on campus to start competing.
Davis knows the stakes are high at Louisville but he is not backing down from the challenge. “We have a great group of freshman coming in and we are all ready to do whatever it takes to help win games.”
My favorite thing about Davis is that he wants to model his game after Mike Trout. Personally, I would thoroughly enjoy a Trout-like player roaming around center field at Jim Patterson for the next few years.
Like the Whiting family in the past, we could have one of the Davis brothers around the program for years to come. Jaxson’s younger brother, Brady, is a member of the 2024 class and is committed to Louisville. Brady is the top ranked player in Kentucky and ranked 146th nationally.
High School: Madison Central
Senior Stats: .401 BA, 37 RBI, 12 doubles, 6 home runs, 25 BB’s, 14 HBP’s
PBR Ranking (State): 9
Anderson chose Louisville over his hometown school, EKU, due to the coaching staff and their commitment to developing talent for the next level. He also noted that he will not only develop as a player, but a man as well.
“Coach McDonnell and the whole coaching staff do an excellent job at creating an environment for growth as a family.” When I talk to recruits about the coaching staff, the culture of the program is mentioned nearly 100% of the time and it was no different with Anderson.
Another thing this incoming class frequently talks about is the ultimate goal: Omaha. They are also aware of the climate of the program after a disappointing season with many key players moving on to their professional careers.
“I think a big goal is to make it to Omaha,” Anderson added. “I think we will be a young and electric team to watch. With so many guys leaving for professional ball and a talented incoming class, we have a lot to prove, but I couldn’t be more excited.”
Like most of the class, Anderson will be moving to Louisville in early July to start training and to begin summer classes.
Up next: The tour of Illinois begins with Noah Smith, Kyle Water, and Eddie King Jr. as three of the five members of this class from Illinois. Recruiting Coordinator, Eric Snider, came to Louisville from the Illini and has made his old stomping grounds a battleground state to find future Cards.
We have seen players like Corey Ray, Kyle Funkhouser, Nick and Zack Burdi, Reid Detmers, and Nick Solak come to Louisville from Illinois. Yes, please.