High School | Rankings | 1/28/2019

2019 National HS Rankings: 6-10

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: William Kempner (Perfect Game)

2019 High School Baseball Preview Index

6. Valley Christian Warriors

San Jose, Calif.
CIF Central Coast Section Open Division WCAL
Head Coach: John Diatte
2018 Result: 29-3-1, State champions

Key Losses: LHP Patrick Wicklander (Arkansas), SS Dawson Brigman (Santa Clara), RHP Brett Garcia (UC Irvine)

Top Players: RHP William Kempner (262/Gonzaga), OF Coleman Brigman (269/Santa Clara), OF Steven Zobac (T500/California), SS Nico Marinconz (T500/Cal Poly), OF Eddie Park (270/Stanford), SS/RHP Jonathan Cymrot (55/Arizona), SS Trevor Haskins (75/Stanford)

After finishing the 2018 season as the No. 9 team in the country, Valley Christian returns a good amount of their contributors from a year prior while looking to be the class of Northern California. The Warriors lost only three games a year ago while facing a tough schedule that included capturing the championship of the prestigious National Classic in Southern California during April. 

The Warriors suffer some losses to Division I colleges, including former staff ace Patrick Wicklander, and have a large collection of senior talent which includes PG National participant William Kempner. 2018 was closed out on a high note after winning their final 11 games, when the offense scored at least four runs per game, and captured the state championship. 

The combination of upperclass depth and underclass high-end talent makes Valley Christian a force to be reckoned with as Coleman Brigman, Steven Zobac and Nico Marinconz round out some of the expected contributors from the senior class. Eddie Park is one of the top names for the junior class out of Northern California, as he has an advanced lefthanded bat, and their combination of top 100 sophomores in the physical Jonathan Cymrot and the adept defender Trevor Haskins

Early on in the season might force a bit of an adjustment period for Valley Christian, however, we're high on the potential this squad shows heading into the 2019 season as well as the precedent they have established in recent years as being one of the top programs in the Northern California region. 

7. Westmoore Jaguars 

Oklahoma City, Okla.
OSSAA 6A District 2
Head Coach: Joe Patterson
2018 Result: 33-6, State runner-up

Key Losses: SS Braxton Bohrofen (Oklahoma)

Top Players: RHP Kale Davis (66/Oklahoma State), SS Erick Rey (T1000/uncommitted), C Chance Westervelt (T1000/uncommitted), OF Jace Bohrofen (54/uncommitted), OF Cameron Uselton (T500/Kansas State)

Coach Joe Patterson and the Jaguars had one of the best seasons in the state a year ago and they head into the 2019 season as the top-ranked team in the state of Oklahoma. After winning 33 games last season and coming within one run of the state championship, not to mention defeating national power Owasso in the state semifinals, Westmoore has a talented duo of stars which includes MLB Draft prospect Kale Davis and reigning Oklahoma Player of the Year Jace Bohrofen

Westmoore scored nearly 400 runs a year ago and return a good amount of that firepower, which includes Bohrofen. One of the top uncommitted prospects in the country, Bohrofen is a supreme athlete that hit well over .500 a year ago while racking up double-digit numbers in both home runs and stolen bases. In addition to taking the mantle on the baseball team from his older brother, he also is a quarterback on the high school team where he contributed this past fall. 

Davis, an Oklahoma State signee, is an early contender for state Player of the Year honors as he has the potential to be one of the fastest rising draft prospects in the country. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander has the prototypical build of a frontline starting pitching prospect and can work his fastball into the mid-90s while showing good feel for his secondaries. Davis was named the 2018 PG Tournament Pitcher of the Year for the 2019 class as he was dominant in all looks, which included a perfect game in the 17u WWBA playoffs last summer. 

Chance Westervelt is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state as a senior while Cameron Uselton is the younger brother of former PG All-American Conner Uselton and is a big named prospect in his own right. The Jaguars have the talent to compete with anyone in the state and could get on a roll quickly if Davis and Bohrofen both get off to strong starts. 

8. Calvary Christian Academy Eagles

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
FHSAA 4A District 7
Head Coach: Alan Kunkel
2018 Result: 17-15, State champions

Key Losses: SS Raynel Delgado (6th round/Indians), RHP Christian Scott (Florida), 3B/RHP Roberto Pena (Florida), LHP Timothy Watkins (Polk State)

Top Players: 3B Mykanthony Valdez (148/Miami), C Benjamin Rozenblum (217/Florida International), OF Tyler "TK" Knierim (T500/South Alabama), OF Ryan Keenan (T500/Vanderbilt), RHP Skylar Gonzalez (T500/West Virginia), SS Dante Girardi (161/Florida International), RHP Irving Carter (8/Miami), RHP Andrew Painter (26/Florida)

2018 was a bit of an odd season for coach Alan Kunkel and company, as despite winning a bevy of games early they were forced to forfeit the first number of games during the season due to a paperwork issue. Despite having their record drop, the Eagles were a dominant team from the beginning of the season up through their 4A state championship. Possibly one of the teams that suffered the heaviest losses in the Top 50, Calvary has the good fortune of being able to have young prospects immediately replace the departed production of starters from a year ago.

The senior class of 2019 looks to be a strength for the Eagles as Mkyanthony Valdez and Benjamin Rozenblum create a formidable duo, with Valdez showing huge raw pop and Rozenblum being one of the most balanced backstops in the country. Skylar Gonzalez looked very good toward the end of last season while Ryan Keenan and Tyler Knierim provide good depth and experience as well. 

The season will likely come down to the success of their sophomore duo of Irving Carter and Andrew Painter. Both top 30 prospects for the 2021 class, Carter and Painter have established track records of success on the national scene. Carter works his fastball up to 90 mph with a very good changeup while Painter can also work in the low-90s and is one of the most projectable arms in the country. 

Calvary Christian has a bevy of talent; also included is Dante Girardi who was a major piece a year ago and the son of former Major Leaguer Joe Girardi, and the upside is limitless for Kunkel's squad. The state championship defense will start soon and the Eagles look as talented as ever. 

9. DeSoto Central Jaguars

Southaven, Miss.
MHSAA 6A Region 1
Head Coach: Mark Monaghan
2018 Result: 29-9, State champions

Key Losses: 3B Peyton Mills (T1000/Northwest Mississippi CC)

Top Players: SS Kamren James (190/Mississippi State), OF Hunter French (T500/Mississippi State), OF Terris Meeks (T500/Itawamba CC), RHP Gabe Moore (T1000/uncommitted), RHP Cade Smith (140/Mississippi State), OF Kyle Booker (318/Tennessee), C Chase Honeycutt (T500/uncommitted), 1B Blaze Jordan (1/Mississippi State)

Making it through the gauntlet of the Mississippi 6A state playoffs, and downing perennial powers Oxford and George County along the way, were the DeSoto Central Jaguars who look the part of the most talented team in the state for 2019. There is depth to the senior class, along with the top 2021 prospect in the entire country in the talented Blaze Jordan, and that in conjunction with a good amount of returning talent makes them a Top 10 team. 

There are a number of players committed to Division I and junior college schools throughout the roster, and they'll be led by a duo of Mississippi State signees in shortstop Kamren James and outfielder Hunter French. James is a well-balanced player with athleticism, arm strength and bat speed to be one of the top players in the state. Jordan is an electric hitter with tremendous bat speed and power from the right side; he's been a national name for a while and could very well be the top hitter in the state. 

The rotation will be led by junior Cade Smith, who has very advanced pitchability with a fastball that already works into the low-90s. Smith will be expected to contribute some big innings along with a few other senior arms that include Game Moore. There is depth, athleticism, and strength throughout the roster for DeSoto Central and they will be tested early and often as their schedule includes the big PG HS Showdown early in the season as an early test for the Jaguars heading into the 2019 season. 

10. Delbarton Green Wave

Morristown, N.J.
Head Coach: Bruce Shatel
2018 Result: 22-9, State runner-up

Key Losses: LHP Billy Price (Virginia)

Top Players: RHP Jack Leiter (15/Vanderbilt), SS Anthony Volpe (32/Vanderbilt), LHP Shawn Rapp (430/North Carolina), OF Aidan Kane (T1000/uncommitted), OF Mark Darakjy (T1000/Northeastern), C Willie Schwarick (T1000/uncommitted), 1B Kyle Vinci (NR/uncommitted)

There's an argument to be made that no other team in the country boasts a better duo than Delbarton as the Green Wave will be heavily watched by scouts heading into the spring. The combination of Jack Leiter and Anthony Volpe, both Vanderbilt signees and projected Day 1 draft picks, will attract a lot of attention and there's no other team in the state that looks to be poised for a better season. 

Bruce Shatel's squad came up just short in the state championship a year ago, losing to another private school power in St. Augustine Prep. They lose former starter Billy Price to Virginia, but return a lot of core pieces from a year ago including Leiter and Volpe. Leiter, the son of former Major Leaguer Al Leiter, was electric in the fall, routinely working up to the mid-90s with a power curveball while drawing Sonny Gray comps. Volpe is about as well-rounded a prospect as you will fine, with outstanding glove work, very good barrel skills and plenty of intangibles to like. 

The depth around the rest of the squad is just as impressive including North Carolina signee Shawn Rapp and outfielders Aidan Kane and Mark Darakjy. Willie Schwarick has plenty of big-game experience behind the plate and junior first baseman Kyle Vinci has huge raw power and stood out fairly easily at the recent Main Event Showcase in Fort Myers in late December. 

Delbarton is a traditional in-state power and Shatel, fresh off his 300th career win a year ago – who also has 400-plus career victories as the coach on the ice rink – has his most talented team in some time. The Green Wave won't get started until a little later on in the spring, but once they get rolling it's going to be hard to stop them. 

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