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High School  | Rankings  | 1/30/2023

Preseason HS Rankings: 50-41

Tyler Russo      Cameron McElwaney     

50. Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas, Nev.)
2022 Record: 21-13
Head Coach: David Anderson

Notable Prospect(s): RHP LJ Mercurius (UNLV), 1B Miller Durham (Point Loma Nazarene), OF Zane Kelly (San Diego State), LHP Spencer Hatch, OF Christian Gross, RHP Ace Hansen, SS/C Rouselle “Rookie” Shepard (Miami), 3B Kingston Kela (Texas A&M)

The Crusaders are coming off a solid year where they were just a couple wins away from the state tournament and most of their production from last year’s group is back as just one guy with double digit hits in 2022 was lost to graduation. A major component to this year is that they should get uber-talented right-hander LJ Mercurius back on the mound who can be a dynamic weapon at the front of the rotation to go with what should be a good lineup. Miller Durham has legit juice, Zane Kelly makes a lot happen, Christian Gross is an athletic bat and they’ve got the top freshman in the country that could factor in as Rookie Shepard gets time.

49. Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.)
2022 Record: 20-7
Head Coach: Ed Holloway

Notable Prospect(s): LHP Alexander Clemmey (Vanderbilt), OF Griffin Cain (Louisville), SS Jack LaRose (UConn), 1B Cole Hambly, RHP Braxton Pearson (Maryland), LHP Patrick Clemmey (Vanderbilt), SS Cooper Maher

Funny enough, Coach Ed Holloway and Bishop Hendricken will start the year at the same spot they did last year from a national ranking perspective at 49. They’re led on the mound by PG All-American Alexander Clemmey, a deceptive low slot mid-90s left-hander who could be an ace on a lot of teams in the country, with his younger brother Patrick and strong right-hander Braxton Pearson also a part of the program. ‘24s Griffin Cain and Jack LaRose were two of the more productive hitters a year ago and they’re back as juniors now. Plenty of spots are up for grab in the lineup, but this program has 22 state titles and they’re set up for another in 2023.

48. The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas)
2022 Record: 25-11
Head Coach: Ron Eastman

Notable Prospect(s): LHP/OF Brayden Sharp (Tennessee), RHP Tyler Sunseri (Wharton County JC), RHP Carson Kimball (Texas State), C Enrique Perozo (San Jac CC), RHP Ethan Coronel (Houston Baptist), 1B Sammy York, 2B Tyler Howard, OF Luke Jones, Nolan Roycraft (Rice)

This is one of Houston’s better programs historically when you look at all the talent that comes through it and their success on a regular basis, but this may be one of the better rotations they have had in a long time. They’ve got a case for one of the best staffs in the state with Brayden Sharp and Tyler Sunseri reportedly up to 95 this preseason to go with Carson Kimball, a really talented low-90s right-hander who spins it well, Ethan Coronel, another good senior arm, and some intriguing underclassmen. The question guiding their success is if they can hit enough to ride those arms to a state title, but they’ve got some experienced guys headlining their lineup.

47. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
2022 Record: 27-6
Head Coach: David Jeans

Notable Prospect(s): RHP Cal Randall (UCLA), LHP RJ Meyn (Santa Clara), C Connor Harrison, 1B Sean Stafford, OF Joe McGee (Arizona), RHP Jack Hershey (UC Santa Barbara), OF Alec Blair

It’s always a good year when your final game is a win, especially so when it’s to win a title. De La Salle once again did that, winning both the North Coast Section and the Northern Section D1 titles in 2022 and although that team was chalked full of senior talent that is now gone, the group that comes back is a good one. PG All-American right-hander Cal Randall headlines their staff with mid-90s heat and all the stuff to miss bats in bunches, while they’ve got some others committed to the next level that’ll factor into big innings. Connor Harrison was productive as a junior a year ago and he’s back while some other juniors, now seniors, were good in brief stints.

46. Jesuit (Portland, Ore.)
2022 Record: 20-4
Head Coach: Colin Griffin

Notable Prospect(s): RHP Noble Meyer (Oregon), 3B Levi Jones (Oregon State), SS Ryan Cooney (Oregon), RHP Tyler Alleman (Santa Clara), Charlie Sturm (Chapman), Brock Leitgeb (Michigan)

Jesuit is a staple program in the Northwest competing for titles in the state of Oregon year after year and they’ve got some of the states’ top talent in the senior class. They’re headlined on the roster by the country’s top right-hander Noble Meyer, a more than likely first round pick in this year’s draft as he’ll blow upper-90s with a 3000+ RPM slider, but the pair of Levi Jones and Ryan Cooney give them three of the top five players in the entire state for the 2023 class. They’ve got plenty of experience across the roster though with close to double digit seniors committed to play at the next level and some interesting underclassmen that could factor in in different ways.

45. Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)
2022 Record: 30-11-1
Head Coach: Matt Buckner

Notable Prospect(s): 3B Jett Johnston (Texas A&M), OF Mark Underwood, OF Brennon Seigler (Tennessee), RHP Stratton Scott (Tennessee), 3B Eli Evans (East Tennessee St), OF Landis Davila (Virginia Tech), OF Jack Alley, SS Lukas Buckner (UCF), LHP Ryan Wallace, OF Michael Delph, OF Charlie Bozeman (Samford), RHP Matt Heflin

More than likely taking the crown for the state’s best program over the last 10-plus years, the Admirals are consistent and now have 11 state titles in program history with their winning of it in 2022. While they’re not chalked full of seniors this year, they weren’t last year either as the bulk of their big production and talented prospects still yet to be in their final campaign. Jett Johnston is a senior for them who’s one of the best in the state with juice and a big arm, while their juniors (‘24s) are extremely deep with Brennon Seigler at the forefront and they’re now pushing double digits in terms of 2024s committed to play at the Division I level in two years.

44. Hartselle (Hartselle, Ala.)
2022 Record: 39-4
Head Coach: William Booth

Notable Prospect(s): OF Coleman Mizell (Alabama), LHP Jack Smith (Arkansas), SS Eli Tidwell, 3B Peyton Steele (Alabama), SS Josey Williamson (Alabama), SS Cade Miles (Jacksonville State)

Harstelle is coming off one of its best years in program history as they lost just four games on their way to a state title in dominant fashion and there’s big aspirations once again. They have to replace a dynamic talent Elliot Bray, but senior Coleman Mizell and juniors Peyton Steele and Josey Williamson are more than capable of shouldering a big load on the offensive end. Left-hander Jack Smith has the look of an ace and if the rest of the roster can fill in with big innings, this team has a chance to make another run at Alabama’s 6A state title, not an easy one to get.

43. Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.)
2022 Record: 17-6
Head Coach: Mo Blakeney

Notable Prospect(s): 3B Will Papciak (Davidson), RHP Ethan Gravely (North Carolina A&T), 3B Christian Walker (Belmont Abbey), OF Sawyer Black (Liberty), RHP Hudson Lance (Wofford), RHP Samuel Cozart (Mississippi State), OF Domaine Vann (Miami), SS Nick Papciak

This team lost a tough one early in the playoffs a year ago after a solid regular season and even though they lost their leading hitter to graduation, most of the lineup that produced for them is back with a year of experience under their belt. This a talented roster across the entirety of the classes and they’ve got a balanced attack; Will Papciak and Christian Walker bring the blend of experience and production needed to make this team go while a handful of now juniors already have plenty of at-bats playing at a high level. Most of their innings on the mound are back from a year ago as well as Hudson Lance and coveted young power-arm Samuel Cozart were the two innings leaders a year ago and they’re well positioned for another big spring.

42. Hoover (Hoover, Ala.)
2022 Record: 27-16
Head Coach: Adam Moseley

Notable Prospect(s): MIF RJ Hamilton (Vanderbilt), C Cade Carr (Samford), RHP Tyler Wilson (Auburn), RHP Samuel Schmidt (Troy), 1B Devin Lee, C Will Lawrence (Samford), SS Collin Rengering, RHP Mason Blasche, 2B Caid Finn, OF Andrew Pitts, 3B Ma’Kale Holden (Alabama), SS Jaxson Wood (Tennessee), 1B Will Adams (Alabama)

It’s no surprise to see a Hoover team in the national rankings given the continuous success of the program and this team should be playing with some real motivation given the events that have unfolded heading into the spring. RJ Hamilton is now in his final campaign as a Buc and he’s got the energy and athleticism to be a spark plug for this offense while there’s a bunch of juice in this lineup that could bring big things. Tyler Wilson and Samuel Schmidt are a couple experienced arms in this rotation, with plenty of others likely to see innings given the extensive schedule this team usually plays, while there’s also some interesting young bats they could use.

41. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
2022 Record: 24-5
Head Coach: Mike Rooney

Notable Prospect(s): SS Eric Becker (Virginia), 1B Allen Hernandez (FGCU), OF Nick Locurto (Virginia Tech), RHP Zach Stichweh (Maryland), RHP Carlo Lalomia (Iona), C Gabe Cushner, SS Nicky Becker (Virginia), SS Dylan Henshaw, RHP Ethan Lee, OF Michael Hanna (Virginia)

This is another program that has become a staple in the national rankings given their extensive success they have in the Northeast and although they don’t have the same extreme firepower we are used to seeing, they’re more than capable of winning yet another state title. Eric Becker is the big name here that should be a staple in the offense, but guys like Allen Hernandez, Nick Locurto and some younger bats will fill out a deep lineup. They’ve got plenty of arms who can throw it well, including Stichweh and Lalomia, a pair of seniors committed to the next level; it’s a group that knows how to win and they’ve got big expectations year in and year out to uphold.