Contributing: Jheremy Brown
2014 Perfect Game High School Preview index
Team Nos. 6-10
Team No. 5 - St. Francis Lancers (Mountain View, Calif.)
Team No. 4 - Harvard-Westlake Wolverines (Studio City, Calif.)
Team No. 3 - Venice Indians (Venice, Fla.)
Team No. 2 - Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
Team No. 1- Gainesville Red Elephants (Gainesville, Georgia)
The top spot this year goes to a team out of Georgia, wrestling away the top spot from the state of Florida after a three year run. Defending PG National Champion Harvard-Westlake returns to the top five, in spite of graduating their top power hitter in catcher Arden Pabst, thanks to the depth of last year's team and the return of two-way standout Jack Flaherty.
Owasso (Okla.) makes a return to the preseason top 10 for the first time since 2011, as they return a significant portion of the roster that produced a perfect 36-0 season and finished No. 3 in the nation. They are not the state of Oklahoma's lone representative, as they are joined by No. 32 Carl Albert, the preseason favorite and defending champion in Class 5A.
DeSoto Central (Miss.) opens at No. 18 in the country and as an overwhelming favorite in the state of Mississippi, thanks in part to the addition of senior outfielder Clay Casey who transferred in from Olive Branch (Tenn.). He and summer teammate Austin Riley form the core of a team that scouts will be following closely throughout the season as they look to build on last year's run to the semifinals.
IMG Academy opens the season ranked in the top 50 nationally, but it won't win a state championship. The academy's program is an independent member of the Florida High School Athletics Association and thus is not eligible for postseason play. But they feature a very strong roster chock full of college and professional baseball prospects and have a very aggressive schedule filled with many of the top programs in the Sunshine State.
2014 preseason top 50 teams coming off of 2013 championships:
No. 2 Archbishop McCarthy (FL), No. 3 Venice (FL), No. 4 Harvard-Westlake (CA), No. 5 St. Francis (CA), No. 6 Milton (GA), No. 7 Owasso (OK), No. 10 Lake Brantley (FL), No. 12 Rancho Bernardo (CA), No. 14 Fuquay-Varina (NC), No. 15 Serra (CA), No. 21 American Heritage (FL), No. 22 Flora (SC), No. 30 CC Moody (TX), No. 32 Carl Albert (OK), No. 38 The Woodlands (TX), No. 42 ThunderRidge (CO), No. 43 Blue Valley West (KS), No. 45 Buchanan (CA), No. 47 Puyallup (WA), No. 49 Moeller (OH), No. 50 Fayetville (AR).
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