As if we weren’t already very excited for the start of the 2022 campaign, here’s even more reason to get you fired up for action on the baseball diamond. Last season saw quite the rise in numbers across all classes throughout the state of Iowa and Class 2A was definitely within that mix, posting the second-most overall doubles among all four classes with 3,408. What has set he 2A world apart is the jump made over the last three seasons. Class 2A teams provided the biggest jump out of any class in the state from the pre-pandemic 2019 campaign to last year’s 2021 season. In fact, Class 2A was the only class that saw an increase in doubles from 2019 to 2021 while the rest of the three classes regressed in their totals. The 2A scene produced nearly double the amount of doubles produced last season, reaching nearly 1,800 more in fact. Overall, extra bases has seemed to be a strong point for Class 2A for quite some time, becoming one of the only classes to hit a five-year high in extra-base hits in 2021. Class 2A sporting nearly 500 more extra-base hits than the next-highest mark.
From that, the Class 2A ranks look to keep that streak going into the 2022 ranks and based on what’s returning, that thought is very much alive. In fact, Class 2A ties with Class 3A in returning top-5 doubles leaders from last season, bringing back three of their top five. Every season brings new twists and turns but one things for sure in 2022, there’s going to be plenty of extra-base hits to go around, including doubles. Overall, the class returns four of it’s top-10 doubles leaders from last season which also means returning four of the top total base earners from the 2021 campaign.
That’s just part of the overall picture that was Class 2A baseball last season. Now, lets take a look at what the whole picture might look like in 2022 with our annual Preseason All-State Individual Rankings, presented by Victory Mounds.
1 Eli Lehrman (Anamosa): (.468 OBP, 63 total bases, 46 runs)
2 Cale Neuendorf, SR, Denver (.435 OBP, 48 total bases, 40 RBI)
3 Cael Myrtue, JR, Ridge View (.485 OBP, 41 total bases, 25 RBI)
4 Lucas Pierce , SR, West Branch (.453 OBP, .382 AVG, 41 total bases)
5 Isaac Early, SR, Spirit Lake (.443 OBP, .362 AVG, 33 total bases)
The first two are basically 1A and 1B, boasting nearly identical production from a power, speed, and consistency. Lehrmann may have crossed homeplate 46 times as a junior, but Neuendorf knocked in 40 RBIs to counter that.
1 Mike Delzell, SR, Camanche (.549 OBP, 83 total bases, 48 RBI)
3 Caleb Wulf, SR, West Liberty (.596 OBP, 62 total bases, 24 steals)
2 Tucker Dickherber, SR, Camanche (.488 OBP, 53 total bases, 46 runs)
4 Tyler Oberfoell, SR, Osage (.500 OBP, 44 total bases, 11 steals)
5 Jacob Van Donge, JR, Unity Christian (.429 OBP, 47 total bases, 13 steals)
Determiend to get on base with his bat, Delzell clocks in with a scary .495 batting average but held just a .549 on-base percentage. Both those trail Wulf’s .520/.596 marks, but Camanche’s stud gets the nod for his power and overall consistency with the barrel. His five homers and 50 hits lead all returning 2B.
1 Sam Wilt, SR, Anamosa (.629 OBP, 107 total bases, 11 HR)
2 Carter Gallagher, SR, Columbus Catholic (.624 OBP, 90 total bases, 27 steals)
3 Matthew Boothe, SR, Central Decatur (.619 OBP, 38 runs, 47 steals)
4 Gus Varney, JR, Dike-New Hartford (.549 OBP, 78 total bases, 7 HR)
5 Jack Pettit, SR, Van Meter (.482 OBP, 37 runs, 17 steals)
Wilt is flat-out dominant. His .629 OBP trailed only Jaxon Schumacher last season among all Class 2A non-seniors in 2021, and with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs, was one of the most consistent run creators all season. He roughly created 64 totals runs for Anamosa last year. A clear choice for #1 here.
1 Ben Orr, SR, Durant (.596 OBP, .500 AVG, 56 total bases)
2 Kinnick Christensen, SR, West Marshall (.458 OBP, .342 AVG, 43 runs)
3 Jaxon Brooks, SR, Mediapolis (.543 OBP, .427 AVG, 26 runs)
4 Tycin Barkema, SR, South Hamilton (.453 OBP, 51 total bases, 4 HR)
5 Bennett Spronk, SR, Pella Christian (.391 OBP, 55 total bases, 5 HR)
A lot of the best overall players in 2A are on the hot corner, all offering great blends of talent. Orr tops the list largely for his consistency, having only struck out seven times in 2021 while managing to lead all returning 3B in RBI and a .500 batting average. Christensen sits high as well coming in with some wheels with 11 steals and being thrown out just once.
1 Reese Moore, SR, Forest City (.600 OBP, 20 hits, 46 runs)
2 Jaxon Schumacher, JR, Treynor (.646 OBP, .548 AVG, 7 HR)
3 Gibson Olson, SR, Sioux Central (.526 OBP, 52 total bases, 15 steals)
4 Tyhler Kolpin, SR, Ridge View (.417 OBP, 55 total bases, 16 steals)
5 Owen Huehnergarth, SR, Beckman Catholic (.436 OBP, 56 total bases, 46 RBI)
One of the most difficult decisions. Moore may look like a lesser contributor considering he only logged 20 hits, but it’s hard to make contact when opponents walk you 45 times. Even crazier, he had only three singles compared to five home runs, and 12 more extra base hits. Schumacher may enter that territory now with a target on his back, knocking out seven homers while boasting a crazy .548 batting average.
1 Ganon Archer, SR, Van Meter (.476 OBP, 65 total bases, 21 steals)
2 Owen Siegert, SO, West Marshall (.420 OBP, 65 total bases, 43 runs)
3 Mason Boothby, SO, Underwood (.478 OBP, 25 steals, 43 runs)
4 Owen Pueggel, JR, Garner Hayfield Ventura (.538 OBP, 48 total bases, 34 RBI)
5 Cade Ward, SR, Interstate 35 (.505 OBP, 34 runs, 21 RBI)
6 Kyler Kirkpatrick, SR, Interstate 35 (.517 OBP, 50 total bases, 31 RBI)
7 Jack Menster, JR, Cascade (.434 OBP, 59 total bases, 30 runs)
8 Lincoln Snitker, SR, Waukon (.436 OBP, 50 total bases, 3 HR)
9 Cole Bracewell, SR, Colfax-Mingo (.524 OBP, .418 AVG, 38 total bases)
10 Nolan DeLong, JR, Durant (.385 OBP, .425 AVG, 46 total bases)
There’s something to be said about being one of the best hitters, fielders, and baserunners. Ganon Archer fits the bill, boasting a line of 65 totals bases, an OBP of .476, and 21 steals without being caught once. Keep an eye on rising sophomore Mason Boothby who boasted similar numbers as a freshman at Underwood last year.
1 Nate Cagley, SR, Jesup (.542 OBP, 60 total bases, 37 RBI)
2 Kolson Kruse, SR, Southeast Valley (.541 OBP, 64 total bases, 34 RBI)
3 Jake Cornwall, JR, Spirit Lake (.593 OBP, 52 total bases, 21 steals)
4 Chase Stansberry, SR, Pekin (.568 OBP, 49 total bases, 34 RBI)
5 Peyton Hart, JR, West Marshall (.402 OBP, 58 total bases, 5 HR)
The most recent data for some players did not separate some players’ into single positions, but it’s worth keeping an eye on moving forward considering these five were among the most accomplished overall last year. Cagley cruised to 48 hits last year to just two K’s, pitchers would rather walk Cornwall and Wemark than give them a chance to hit a home run like Hart did five times as a sophomore, and Dukes stole 30 bases on top of a crazy nine triples.
1 Ganon Archer, SR, Van Meter (8-1 record, 102 K, 1.11 ERA)
2 Jaxon Brooks, SR, Mediapolis (5-0 record, 61 K, .95 ERA)
2 Alex Berends, SR, Roland-Story (6-1 record, 78 K, .99 WHIP)
3 Reece Vander Zee, SO. Central Lyon (5-1 record, 63 K)
4 Jaxon Schumacher, JR, Treynor (4-2 record, 44 K, 1.23 WHIP )
5 Sam Wilt, SR, Anamosa (2-2 record, 61 K, 1.07 WHIP)
6 Caleb Wulf, SR, West Liberty (3-2 record, 73 K, .99 WHIP)
7 Lucas Pierce , SR, West Branch (2-1 record, 54 K, .85 WHIP)
8 Thomas Matthes, SR, Roland-Story (6-1 record, 51 K, 1.49 ERA)
9 Gavin Nelson, SR, Hinton (7-1 record, 75 K, 1.59 ERA)
10 Jacob Hargens,JR, Sioux Central (4-3 record, 54 K, 2.51 ERA)
Archer gets the nod her as one of the most efficient hurlers last year, taking under nine pitches on average to get a strikeout. That naturally led to a tremendously low WHIP of .76, leading him to an 8-1 record. In slot #2, Brooks was nearly as dominant and held a .95 ERA to rank among the top pitchers in the state. A higher K count might be able to move him up to the top if he can improve on his 5-0 record.