Team Nos. 6-10
Team No. 5 - Elk Grove Thundering Herd (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Team No. 4 - Tampa Jesuit Tigers (Tampa, Fla.)
Team No. 3 - Mater Dei Monarchs (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Team No. 2 - Cathedral Catholic Dons (San Diego, Calif.)
Team No. 1- American Heritage Patriots (Plantation, Fla.)
The 2013 preseason top 50 rankings feature a bit less firepower at the top than the 2012 edition. However, the depth at the bottom was actually stronger, with several very good teams missing the cut.
There was some debate about the top spot, as Cathedral Catholic's five man pitching rotation is the clear cut best staff in the nation, at least on paper. However, defending 5A champions and 2012 PG National Champion American Heritage gets the nod for the top spot thanks to their balance of a solid pitching staff, a potent lineup and plenty of returning experience.
As per usual, the top 10 is dominated by teams from the hotbed states of Florida, California and Georgia. However, in a surprising development, not a single team hailing from the Lone Star State makes an appearance, with No. 13 Dulles holding the title of top ranked team from Texas. It appears to be wide open year in Texas, with several strong teams, but none being an overwhelming favorite on paper, though the depth is apparent as eight squads represent the state in the preseason top 50.
Gardena Serra (CA) just missed giving California a fifth team in the top 10, landing at No. 11 thanks to several key transfers. Serra is led by 2013 1B/LHP Dominic Smith, one of the premier players in the nation, and picked up three key players from the 2014 class to bolster their lineup and add much needed pitching depth.
Nevada's lone representative No. 31 Bishop Gorman finds itself ranked much lower than they have been in past seasons. The Gaels ran their streak of state championships to a nation's best eight last year, but were hit hard by graduation, as last year's captain Joey Gallo is now in the Texas Rangers organization. They're still the favorite in Nevada and still boast a lot of talent, but they will have some big shoes to fill.
The state of Colorado looks to be unusually strong this year, with a pair of teams placing in the top 50 in the nation, led by No. 16 Cherry Creek. Creek is joined by No. 29 Regis Jesuit, who they knocked off in the 5A state semifinals on their way to claming the 2012 state crown. Regis was the 2011 5A state champion, and under the tutelage of newly hired Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss, reached the state semifinals during a rebuilding year in 2012.
2013 preseason top 50 teams coming off of 2012 championships:
No. 1 American Heritage (FL), No. 2 Cathedral Catholic (CA), No. 6 Venice (FL), No. 8 Parkview (GA), No. 9 Loganville (GA), No. 12 Spruce Creek (FL), No. 16 Cherry Creek (CO), No. 20 Campolindo (CA), No. 25 Rancho Bernardo (CA), No. 26 Archbishop McCarthy (FL), No. 31 Bishop Gorman (NV), No. 32 Barbe (LA), No. 33 Kentwood (WA), No. 35 Moeller (OH), No. 39 Cypress Ranch (TX) and No. 42 Gloucester Catholic (NJ).
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