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2/17/2011 2:14:25 PM
Topic:
High School Baseball Dynasties

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Our story on High School Baseball Dynasties is now online:

http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=5257

Who are some other HS programs that would be considered dynasties?
2/25/2011 10:43:18 AM
Topic:
Top 50 Rankings

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
We have unveiled our Top 10 teams and the Top 50 is going up online as we speak.

Which teams are too high or low?

Who are some teams that deserve to be on the list?
2/26/2011 4:46:17 PM
Topic:
3 Up/3 Down

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Each weekend the coordinators of our High School coverage will sit down and go in-depth on 3 topics here on the HS Forum. Feel free to join the discussion below.

Leading off:
The PG National Top 50 rankings were unveiled yesterday. Obviously, every team that made the list is very talented, but what about the teams that just missed? Which one was the most difficult to leave off?

Todd Gold: Narrowing the list to 50 teams was tough, picking just one that was the hardest to leave off isn't any easier. There were several teams that I think we are going to look back on at the end of the year and wonder how we didn't find a way to get them into the top 50 to start the season.

The one that I'm most interested in is Westview (OR). On paper, they look to be the top team in their state. It’s difficult to know at this point how they would fare against some of the teams at the top of the rankings, like St. Francis (Mt. View, CA) a few hundred miles down the coast. But they are certainly a very talented team and have several guys who I am sure that MLB organizations will be watching very closely between now and June. 3B/RHP Carson Kelly is not only the best player in Oregon, but one of the top players in the class of 2012. He's got some talented teammates as well.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wildcats play their way into the National Rankings at some point this season and they should be even better next year. I am interested to see how they fare against some quality competition from Arizona and Colorado at the Coach Bob National Invitational tournament in March.



Ben Collman: The team that I really had a tough time leaving off was Parkview Baptist (LA). The state is always loaded with talented and underrated players. Parkview has three pitchers that can match up with just anyone in the country in Russell Reynolds, Colin Rodgers, and William Bacon. Reynolds and Rogers are both juniors, and have committed to LSU and Auburn respectively. Reynolds has reportedly been up to 94 this spring, and Rogers is a lefty with great pitchability and offspeed stuff to go along with a 90 mph FB. Bacon is committed to LSU-Eunice and is another very good arm with his FB up to 87.
This is a program that is used to winning, with seven titles since 2002. Another one could be on the way in 2011. Baton Rouge Catholic is our top ranked team in the state but I could see Parkview moving up the rankings as well. How good the offense is will likely determine how far they go, a big early season test will be their game tonight vs. perennial title contender Barbe.


2-hole:
With two weeks of the season in the books (in warm weather states at least), what has been the biggest surprise to you thus far?
BC: My biggest surprise happened this weekend in Sumrall, MS. After going undefeated in 2009 and losing only one game in 2010 the Bobcats lost their season opener Friday when they were beaten by 5-2 by Forest Country Day School in a game that saw Sumrall commit five errors and allow only two hits, both home runs. Saturday, against rival Petal (the defending 6A champion) it looked like Sumrall might lose its second straight game, something that has never happened under head coach Larry Knight, especially after Petal SP Cody Conkle hit a three run home run in the 5th inning to give Petal a 6-4 lead.

But Sumrall came back with three runs in the bottom of the 7th, including a walk-off two-run single by Luke Lowery.

The Bobcats should be commended for an unbelievable stretch of baseball that is envied by every other school in the nation. When it is a surprise that a team loses one game in a season, it truly is a remarkable accomplishment. Saturday, Sumrall showed why they will again be the team to beat in the state, coming back to win a game against one of the top teams in the state against a pitcher that looked like he was in a groove. The outcome of Saturday’s game should make the rematch March 26th even more exciting.


TG: Well, I think the most pleasant surprise to this point has been the caliber of talent I've found out about in Arizona thus far. Coming into the year I was well aware of Hamilton and Horizon and have had a chance to watch some supremely talented players from AZ in Michael Howard (Prescott) and Scott Hoffman (Desert Ridge) at PG tournaments in the past.

As I began talking with coaches and scouts in the area I began to hear about some very good players and teams that I didn't know much about. This is my favorite part of covering high school ball for PG. finding out about prospects that I would've otherwise missed. While I knew that Mountain Pointe had a big time slugger in C/3B Kevin Cron, I didn't realize how good the rest of that team is. This is another team that I had a difficult time leaving off of the top 50. Mountain Pointe has a great website run by their booster club, and they stream their games live on it so I got a chance to catch their 10-5 victory over Boulder Creek yesterday (don’t you just love living in the future?). I came away impressed with the depth of their lineup. They have good hitters throughout the lineup with Jordan Kipper, Anthony Valderama and sophomore Brantley Bell (son of former MLB Gold Glove SS and current assistant coach Jay) to name a few. The Pride have gotten off to a 3-0 start and will have a chance to prove they are for real with road games against a pair of nationally ranked opponents Gilbert (today) and Hamilton on Friday.
I’m not surprised that Mountain Pointe is good, but I’m surprised by how good they are. I expected they would be the fourth best team in Arizona before the season. That may have been giving them too little credit.


Clutch time:
California and Florida were well represented in the pre-season top 50, with 8 and 7 teams making the list respectively. Which of these powerhouse states has better overall talent, in your opinion?

BC: While I will contend that it is very close, Florida looks to have more talent in 2011. The state has the nation’s top ranked team, Gulliver Prep, with seven Miami commits and a loaded roster. Florida also has 13 teams that I looked at closely when compiling my Top 50. American Heritage (which beat Gulliver on Thursday), has an AFLAC All-American in Brandon Sedell, a stud pitcher in Jimmy Nesselt, along with Brandon Lopez, Esteban Puerta, and Brandon Diaz. The Patriots certainly belong in the discussion for Top 5 in the state. Teams like Pace and Flanagan, who won the 5A and 6A titles last year and each return a lot of talent, both get overlooked because the state is so loaded. Every area of the state has a team that would the best team in a lot of states.
Having a top prospect in many states also means you are one of the state’s top teams, not so in Florida. Jose Fernandez, Francisco Lindor, and Javier Baez all look like first round draft picks, but none of their teams are in the state’s top 20. From Miami to Fort Myers to Palm Beach County to Orlando, Tampa, Gainseville, and Jacksonville the state has the top teams and players in the nation.

TG: I can't believe that I'm going to argue AGAINST the talent in Florida, but I simply can't overlook just how extremely good the high school ball in California is. If we were talking SoCal against Florida then I could side with the sunshine state, but when you look all of the great talent in the rest of the state as well, it has to be the top state. We included eight California teams in the National Top 50 rankings, but there are at least 20 exceptionally talented squads that I have my eye on. One team that I am very interested in seeing is El Dorado. This team has two elite prospects on it in Jr LHP Kyle Twomey and sophomore RHP/SS Chris Rivera (#1 ranked player in class of 2013). It will be interesting to see how far a team with such young talent can go. If they don’t make a deep run this year, they will be in prime position to do so next year. A great example of how deep California is would be the pitching staff of Mission Viejo. Kieran Lovegrove (62nd ranked player in class of 2012) didn’t even pitch for the varsity team as a sophomore last year, in most states he could have been the varsity ace as a freshman. This is a state where coaches leave college jobs to coach high school programs and future big leaguers actually see time on JV rosters.
2/28/2011 8:42:46 AM
Topic:
3 Up/3 Down

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Thanks for the kind words theskipper.

Seton Hall looks to be one of the top teams in New Jersey this year led by Vandy commit OF John Norwood. Seton Hall has a very good baseball tradition with alumni Joe Martinez and Rick Porcello in the bigs.

Do you think they will be able to compete against Don Bosco Prep, our top ranked team in the Northeast? Who are some other teams in NJ that you have your eye on?
2/28/2011 8:50:34 AM
Topic:
3 Up/3 Down

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
gsabers, the state of Texas looks to be loaded once again. It placed 13 teams in the final 2010 poll, and had 5 in our first 2011 poll. Calallen, Klein, Bellaire, and Moody were some other schools we looked at. Two individual players to watch are 2011 Dallas Jesuit OF Joshua Bell and 2012 Galveston Ball OF Nick Williams two of the top outfielders in the nation.
2/28/2011 9:29:58 AM
Topic:
Top Pitching Combos in the Country

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Here are some more combos that come to mind:
Louisville St. Xavier- Matt Spalding, Ryan Loehnert, Ian Thompkins, Zach Clooney may give them the best 4-man rotation in the nation
Southlake Carroll, TX-John Curtiss-up to 93 in Round Rock last weekend and LHP Kyle Bailey
Spain Park, AL- Chris Ellis and Colton Freeman-showed some of the best raw arm strength at this year National Underclass Showcase
Downers Grove South, IL-Nick Burdi and Matt Wivinis
Cathedral Catholic, CA- Daniel Camerena and Stephen Gonsalves, one of the top 2013 pitchers in the country
3/1/2011 9:40:06 AM
Topic:
3 Up/3 Down

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Georgia looks to be very strong again with a Top 10 team in Columbus, a Top 25 team in Parkview, and a couple of possible top 50 teams in Harrison and Marist. The Atlanta metro area is very deep, and the rest of the state always produces good teams with Cartersville and Calhoun being two recent examples.

Another state that looks to be very strong is Arizona. The state had 3 teams in the Top 50 and another half dozen were talked about. The state always seems to be underrated but is again loaded with d1 and draft prospects.
3/2/2011 7:49:18 AM
Topic:
3 Up/3 Down

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
bbguy13, I would say North Carolina on both questions but it is very close. South Carolina looks to have a lot of parity as far as teams, with very little separating the top 5-6 teams. I have Byrnes as the top team but it could be White Knoll, Wando, St. James, Blythewood or a number of others. North Carolina has a legit top five team in Forsyth Country Day (featured in our Game of the Week vs. Pinecrest, another top team in the state) as well as our current #26 team in Ardrey Kell. They have depth as well with Cuthbertson and their great pitching staff, and Providence, Roberson, and East Rowan.

2011 Prospects, I would lean toward North Carolina's depth (especially in RHPs and SS) over South Carolina. SC has a couple of top prospects in Taylor Guerreri, Shon Carson and Hunter Cole. The 2012 NC class looks to be very strong led by SS Corey Seager and RHP Curt Britt, while SC class looks very average, although it is very early.
3/2/2011 8:29:57 AM
Topic:
Top 50 Rankings

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
TravelBall Kentucky,

We are very aware of Lexington Catholic, and have them ranked #2 in the state. If our list would have went to 60 or 75 they would have made the cut. St. Xavier was ranked very highly on the strength of their pitching staff, which could be one of the best in the nation, but I agree there are questions about how many runs they will score.

Catholic also has questions about the youth of their position players, and replacing ace RHP Patrick Maronde (as you mentioned there are a number of candidates).

Whichever team answers these questions will position itself to be ranked very highly in the Top 50. We should learn a lot in their 3/31 head to head matchup.
3/2/2011 8:58:52 AM
Topic:
Top 50 Rankings

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
LuvHSBB77,

Redmond (WA) came it as #36 and is our top ranked team in the NW. Westview (OR) led by pitchers Sam Johnson and Carson Kelly, were another school that got a lot of consideration. Some other NW schools that have a chance to get into the rankings are Shorewood (WA), Newport (WA), and Beaverton (OR).

As far the Upper Midwest, both Louisville St. Xavier and Cincinnati Moeller made the rankings, although that isn't really Upper MW. Indianapolis Cathedral checked in at #34, and Lawrence Central is another team in that state expected to have a big year. The Chicago-land area has a lot of talented teams this year with St.Rita, Stevenson, Naperville Central getting consideration. Cleveland has a couple of teams that might be considered Ohio's best in St Edward (Lakewood) and Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls). Brother Rice, Ann Arbor Pioneer, and Divine Child look to be the top teams in Michigan.
3/3/2011 9:07:04 AM
Topic:
Florida Dream Team

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
In our Regional Dream Teams, we specified infield by 1B, 2B, 3B, SS rather than pick 4 infielders. While Baez may be a 3B in the future he is currently ACD's SS. Baez is a great player but most agree he is a tick below Montverde SS Francisco Lindor. If we would have picked four IFs, Baez would have made the team.

Which other players should have made the team?

Which players other players have some of the top tools in the region?
3/3/2011 2:36:26 PM
Topic:
Florida Dream Team

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Bichette plays SS for Orangewood Christian alongside 2B Vicente Conde, one of the best double play combos in the state.

Baez played 3B all summer for the East Cobb Braves and during the AFLAC game, before playing with FTB Mizuno/Cardinals scout team in Jupiter. Both players project to be drafted as 3B, and there has been talk of Baez getting a look at catcher as well.
3/3/2011 3:05:16 PM
Topic:
Florida Best Tools

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
The list was a lot of fun to do. Here are some of the toughest decisions:

Best Hitter For Average: Fransisco Lindor or Addison Russell

Best Hitter For Power: Daniel Vogelbach or Dante Bichette

Best Defensive Outfielder: Omar Garcia or Devante Taylor

Best Infield Arm: Sean Trent or Lance McCullers

Best Outfield Arm: Dereck Rodriguez or Auston Bousfield

Best Offspeed Stuff: Jose Fernandez or Hudson Boyd

Best Pitchability: Michael Kelly or Kyle Smith
3/7/2011 7:46:26 AM
Topic:
Florida Best Tools

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
There were tons of tough decisions all around. Sedell and Thompson were a couple of the last few considered for Best Hitter For Average along with Bolles School IF Austin Slater.

Sedell and Thompson are both great hitters, no doubt. I went with Lindor for Best Hitter For Average because I thought his swing actions from both sides were quickest and cleanest, and he makes the most contact and gets a bonus for his ability to switch hit and speed to get infield and bunt hits.

Sedell has more of a power approach, hitting the ball out front with good loft and a high finish, he was one of the only players I considered for both hitting categories, an indication of his hitting tools.

Thompson had a huge year, without a doubt one of the best hitters in the state, he has shown great bat speed and power every time on the field. Being a year behind hitters like Vogelbach, Bichette, and Sedell I don't think he has the current strength to match their raw power, but his tremendous bat speed and athleticism are top notch. If I did an underclassmen top tools, Thompson vs. Addison Russell would be a great debate.
3/7/2011 7:59:53 AM
Topic:
Tennessee Draft Prospects

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Over the last few years, Tennessee has had an average of 5-10 HS players picked in the draft. This could be a strong year for the state, LHP Daniel Norris is ranked #1 in the class by PG and could be a first rounder. Farragut's Nick Delmonico has also gotten early round buzz, especially if he is drafted as a catcher. His teammate LHP Phillip Pfeifer is likely a high draft as well.

Other players include OF Mookie Betts, SS Jake Overbey (his brother Preston, now at Ole Miss, was a 42nd rounder by the Rays last year), OF Will Cooper, and RHP David Hess.
3/9/2011 7:04:51 AM
Topic:
March 8 Top 50 Rankings

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
New rankings have been released: http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=5340

Who is too high?

Who is too low?

Which teams deserve to make the list?
3/11/2011 7:58:34 AM
Topic:
Southeast Best Tools

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Here were some of the toughest decisions:

Best Hitter for Power: Dwight Smith or Larry Greene

Best Baserunner: Michael Hodorowski or Skye Bolt

Best Defensive Outfielder: Senquez Golson or Jamal Golden

Best Outfield Arm: Trevor Haggard or Mason Robbins

Best Fastball: Daniel Norris or Dillon Howard
3/12/2011 4:57:56 PM
Topic:
3 Up/3 Down (March 12)

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
Leading Off: Which team that looked to be down after being hit hard by graduation has been a pleasant surprise by finding a way to maintain their level of play?

Todd Gold: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) lost C Konnor Armijo (Santa Anna), RHP Mickey Dunleavy (Irvine Valley) and CIF Southern Section Player of the Year OF/LHP Cory Hahn from their 2010 CIF Southern Section championship squad that allowed just 5 total runs in the playoffs. I had expected that their inexperience would cause them to struggle a bit this year as they play in one of the best leagues in California, if not the nation. But a 6-2-2 start thus far leads me to believe that they have a chance to compete with Trinity League powers JSerra, Orange Lutheran and Servite for a league championship. They did drop their first game against Orange Lutheran, but impressive wins over Mission Viejo and San Clemente suggest Mater Dei could be a darkhorse contender to repeat as Trinity League Champions.
C Ryan Teel, OF/RHP Ty Moore, MIF/RHP Blake Thomsen and sophomore SS/RHP Davis Tominaga have really stepped up for the Monarchs thus far. Moore has been on fire at the plate and was hitting .692 through his first four games (9-for-13) and delivered a big performance on the mound in the win against Mission Viejo. Moore combined with Hahn on the first ever perfect game in a CIF Championship game against Dana Hills last year. Head Coach Burt Call is in his 17th season at Mater Dei and clearly he knows how to develop ballplayers, and has done a great job with this current group.


Ben Collman: Barbe (LA) lost as much talented as anyone in the country last year. Garin Cecchini, Hommy Rosado, and Kevin Berard were selected in the MLB draft, while Brandon Broussard and Paul White are now playing at LSU-Eunice and Ouachita Baptist Christian.
Barbe has come back strong in 2011 with their only losses coming 3-2 against #14 Catholic, and 7-4 against Parkview Baptist and Auburn commit Colin Rodgers. The key has been SSGavin Cecchini who took a big part of the offensive load last year when older brother Garin was sidelined with a knee injury. Cecchini has been on fire this year and is helped by arguably the best freshman class in the nation led by Kennon Fontenot and Trey Quinn. Coach Glenn Cecchini can also count on the arms of Taylor Butler, Sam Smith along with 2B Jared Foster to provide the pitching and leadership needed to overcome their losses.


2 Hole: What new addition will have the biggest impact this season?

BC: Bishop Verot (FL) looked to have a strong team in 2011 with the return of Florida commitDaniel Vogelbach, DJ Schleicher, Keith Ryan, and Nick Rivera from a team that won 20 games and made it to the 3A Elite Eight in 2010. That was before the transfer of RHP Hudson Boyd (previously at South Fort Myers), which has pushed the Vikings into the discussion of best team in Florida and may make them the favorite in 3A.
Bishop Verot has gotten off to a 9-0 start this season, and Boyd has been lights-out, striking out 39 in 16 innings, including a 15 strikeout performance in a combined no-hitter against Neumann, and another 15 strikeout performance against LaBelle.. Committed to Florida, Boyd has proven to be one of the top arms in the state and along with the bat of Vogelbach, make the Vikings a team no one wants to face. They will get their first big test against #27 Jesuit tonight, and will also play in the Sarasota Baseball Classic early next week, squaring off against some of the best teams in Florida.


TG: TG: Spring Valley (SC) RHP Taylor Guerreri is probably the best player to transfer this year. But probably the biggest impact transfer would probably have to be RHP/1B Nick Travieso. Travieso’s addition to an already very good Archbishop McCarthy (FL) roster makes them a legitimate contender in 4A. The Mavericks also feature 2B/RHP Alex Fernandez, 3B/RHP Jose Brizuela, SS Nick Basto and RHP Ryan Castellanos. The Mavericks are off to a 9-1 start and have been one of the most prolific offenses in the country thus far, racking up 110 runs in their first 10 games. They probably would be winning games without Travieso at this point, but come playoff time his presence in the lineup and arm will likely make the difference against a fellow powerhouse.


Clutch Tim: With the season just about to get underway in many parts of the country, which pre-season favorite will get the biggest test?

TG: Probably the most exciting battle should come from Washington. Redmond looks like the favorite and feature a pair of big time prospects in RHP/OF Dylan Davis and OF Michael Conforto. But they’re going to be challenged by King County rival Newport. Newport boasts RHP Cole Wiper and RHP/1B Jared Fisher. When these two teams meet on March 28th and April 27th you can bet there will a lot of MLB scouts on hand. A couple other teams in Washington that also could make a claim for best team in Washington (and the Northwest Region) are Shorewood and WF West. Shorewood has the pitching to compete with Newport and Redmond, the question mark is their offense beyond Trevor Mitsui. WF West is a bit young, but they do have a very talented senior in 2B Eric Forgione.
It will be a fun state to follow and opening day is just two days away!


BC: Illinois has had ten champions in the past ten years in their biggest class (AA from 2001-2007, 4A since 2008). The state looks to be wide open again with a couple of dozen schools having a legitimate title shot, something not many states can claim. The early favorite may be #30 Providence Catholic and their six D1 commits. Or it may be Downers Grove South behind the state’s best pitcher, Nick Burdi. St. Rita also has to be in the discussion, with the pitching trio of LHP Joe Filomeno (Louisville commit), RHP Nico Zych (Tennessee-Martin), and RHP Eddie Delariva (Purdue).Naperville Central is the defending champion and have LHP Dan Ludwig, 2009 champion New Trier has the top position player in the state in OF Charlie Tilson. The depth of the Chicago-land area is staggering and it also features some of the country’s toughest conferences. Other top rated schools coming into the year are Stevenson, Mt. Carmel, Brother Rice, and Oak Park River Forest, with apologies to a number of other schools that deserve mention. Illinois play gets underway Monday, March 14.
3/17/2011 7:41:13 AM
Topic:
How do I update a player note on their profile?

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
The notes in the player profiles are put in by the PG staff. If you would like to email it to me, I will give it a look and consider putting it in his profile. Here is my email.

bcollman@perfectgame.org
3/17/2011 7:49:15 AM
Topic:
Climbing the list........

bcollman
bcollman
Administrator
It possibly could. There is no set criteria for our rankings other than to rank the players 1-500, Top 1000, High Follow, Follow. This is done using PG Showcases, PG Tournaments, other showcases/tournaments that PG scouts, and information we get from scouts and other contacts.

The inclusion on the Top Prospect Team and Top Prospect List for that event is an indication that the player performed well and got high grades from PG scouts.

Hope that helps.
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