This is the last of a seven part series unveiling the 2012 Perfect Game High School National Top 50 Rankings.
Preseason High School coverage overview
February 12: Teams 6-10
February 14: Team No. 5 - Mater Dei
February 15: Team No. 4 - Gulliver Prep
February 16: Team No. 3 - Bishop Gorman
February 17: Team No. 2 - Harvard-Westlake
February 20: Team No. 1 - Tampa Jesuit, entire National Top 50
Three teams from Florida and two from California highlight the top ten of the Perfect Game Preseason Top 50 National High School Rankings. Tampa Jesuit holds the top spot after finishing runner up in 4A a year ago, returning a ton of talent led by Perfect Game All-American RHP Lance McCullers. Harvard-Westlake and their top ranked duo of RHP Lucas Giolito and LHP Max Fried come in No. 2 with fellow Californian Mater Dei at No. 5.
Gulliver Prep (FL) and American Heritage(FL) sit at No. 4 and No. 9 respectively with 2011 PG National Champion Archbishop McCarthy (FL) coming in at No. 11. Other Sunshine state teams in the top 50 are No. 18 Olympia, No. 31 IMG Academies, Christopher Columbus, Park Vista, and Pace.
In what looks to be a strong year in the state of Texas, a pair of 4A teams open the season ranked in the top 20. No. 12 Calallen reached the state title game in 2011 and features one of the top high school catching prospects in the 2012 draft, Wyatt Mathisen, who will primarily serve as the team’s ace RHP and starting shortstop. No. 16 Rockwall-Heath features a pair of high level two-way prospects in RHP/1B Jake Thompson, a TCU commit armed with a 93 mph fastball and a power bat as well as strong armed C/RHP Jovan Hernandez who owns a share of the state’s longest hitting streak.
Tomball (TX) makes a big jump to No. 23 with new head coach Doug Rush after a disappointing showing in 2011, thanks in large part to the emergence of LHP Rex Hill who has reportedly bumped his fastball up into the low 90s this spring.
No. 15 Lakewood (CA) is a team on the rise. After knocking off then last year’s No. 1 Edison in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, RHP Shane Watson (USC commit) has made tremendous strides during the past year. The Lancers’ ace has added five mph to his fastball since last season and has topped out at 96 earlier this spring. 2013 SS JP Crawford is another exciting prospect to watch as well.
Two teams each from Louisiana and Alabama made the cut as Barbe (LA) and SS Gavin Cecchini at No. 19 and Parkview Baptist (LA) at No. 44, and Alabama schools Oxford and Russell County come in at Nos. 17 and 24.
Lee’s Summit West (MO) finds itself in the top 50 for the first time on the strength of C Matt Fultz (Kansas State signee) and a deep pitching staff. 2014 RHP Alex Lange is perhaps the most exciting prospect, already working well into the upper 80s (up to 89 at PG Pitcher/Catcher Indoor Showcase) with plenty of projection.
2012 preseason top 50 teams coming off of 2011 championships:
No. 3 Bishop Gorman (NV), No. 7 Spanish Fork (UT), No. 8 Parkview (GA), No. 10 George Washington (NY), No. 11 Archbishop McCarthy (FL), No. 13 Columbus (GA), No. 20 Bishop Amat (CA), No. 25 Cathedral Catholic (CA), No. 27 Westview (OR), No. 28 Farragut (TN), No. 33 Buchanan (CA), No. 37 Gloucester Catholic (NJ), No. 40 Rancho Bernardo (CA), and No. 41 Poly Prep County Day (NY).
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