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High School | General | 1/27/2022

Preseason HS Top 50: 11-20

Tyler Russo      Colton Olinger     
Photo: Perfect Game
2022 High School Baseball Preview Index | 41-50 | 31-40 | 21-30

11. Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.)
2021 Record: 29-3
Head Coach: Brad Fontes
Notable Standout(s): RHP Sam Tookoian (Ole Miss), 3B Andrew Smith (Oregon), OF Evan Wallace (UC Irvine), SS Jett Ruby (Fresno State), OF Hunter Jansen (Pepperdine), RHP Austin Watson (Utah Valley), 1B Max Bernal (Cal State Bakersfield), SS JP Acosta (Long Beach State), RHP Jayden Mandal (Fresno State), SS Colton O’Toole (Long Beach State)
 
It was a strong spring last year for the Buchanan program and although their playoff run was cut shorter than expected, they’ll bring back a really good group that gives them even higher expectations than a year ago. It’s a deep senior class this year with at least seven kids from this year’s graduating class headed to play at the next level. Sam Tookoian fits the mold of an ace on the mound with a fastball into the low-90s and big strikeout numbers on the summer circuit, while junior Jayden Mandal can also eat up innings in bunches. Where the roster is potent is on the offensive end, as they’re littered with Division-I position players at both the upper and underclass level. Guys like Andrew Smith, Evan Wallace, Jett Ruby, Hunter Jansen and Max Bernal are all seniors looking to cap off their prep careers while JP Acosta and Colton O’Toole are a pair of junior middle infielders with the talent to see a ton of innings.
 
12. Tampa Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
2021 Record: 26-3
Head Coach: Miguel Menendez
Notable Standout(s): LHP Jamie Arnold (FSU), RHP Ryan Denison (FSU), 2B AJ Nessler (Pittsburgh), RHP Andrew Hunt, 1B Jalen Smith, RHP Macklin Miller, LHP Wesley Mendes (Vanderbilt), OF/1B Jake Kulikowski (Miami), RHP John Abraham, LHP McCall Biemiller, RHP Aden Knowles, C Yvan Douglas, OF Jack Clark, SS Jacob Lozano, RHP Davis Stine, OF Zane Pestalozzi
 
It was a surprisingly early exit for Tampa Jesuit in the second round of regional playoffs in 2021, at least to their standards, as the program has become a staple in the state of Florida competing for state championships on a seemingly regular basis. This year should be no different for the Tigers as they’ll put one of the more balanced rosters on display with a variety of skill sets that complement the others well. The pitching staff is a very good one with seniors Jamie Arnold, Ryan Denison and Andrew Hunt all having the kind of stuff that’ll garner success, while Wesley Mendes is more than talented enough to be the staff ace as a junior, and John Abraham, McCall Biemiller and Aden Knowles should eat up quality innings as well. The offense has big pieces as well with pure hitter AJ Nessler leading the way, while junior Jake Kulikowski has some of the best power in the state to go with a quality hit tool. There’s depth with the youth and enough senior leadership to make this team go.
 
13. Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)
2021 Record: 26-7
Head Coach: Jeff Mcinnis
Notable Standout(s): RHP Isaiah Lowe (Wake Forest), Hunter Sloop (Tennessee), RHP Austin Williamson (South Carolina), SS J.P. Cunningham (Clemson), RHP Mason Murdock (UNC-Wilmington), 3B Keegan Knutson (San Jacinto CC), RHP Jerry Garcia (Tennessee), OF Justin Best (Florida State), 3B Isaiah Mack (UAB), 1B Payton Manca (Florida State), LHP Garrett Mackowiak, RHP Michael Pastrana, C Aidan Paradine (UAB), OF Jaden Knight, RHP Thomas Moore, RHP Ethan Suchenski
 
In their second season, Combine Academy and Head Coach Jeff Mcinnis show no sign of slowing down. After a rather impressive 26-7 inaugural season, the Goats once again have a loaded roster this season, having added more depth to what was one of the top rosters in the Coastal Region a year ago. Led by a star-studded cast of arms, it appears opposing hitters will be in for a treat. The likes of Isaiah Lowe, Hunter Sloop, Austin Williamson, Mason Murdock and Jerry Garcia are all capable of running their fastballs into the low-90s or better, while underclassmen Garrett Mackowiak, Michael Pastrana, Thomas Moore and Ethan Suchenski will all live in at least the mid- to upper-80s with their fastballs. Returning guys like J.P. Cunningham, Keegan Knutson and Isaiah Mack will be big for the lineup, as will the addition of outfielder Justin Best. Sophomore catcher Aidan Paradine proved himself a year ago and outfielder Jaden Knight is coming off a solid summer of his own, putting together good showings on both sides of the ball.
 
14. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
2021 Record: 19-5
Head Coach: Mike Rooney
Notable Standout(s): RHP Caden Dana (Kentucky), RHP Kevin Jaxel (Virginia), RHP Zach Stichweh (Maryland), SS Pablo Santos (Rutgers), SS Johnny Pilla (Stony Brook), C Jack Cannizzaro (James Madison), RHP Clayton Poliey (Rider), RHP Nick Semon, 2B Anthony Zollo (Iona), C JP Kuczik (Fairfield), SS Eric Becker (Virginia), RHP Charles Batista, 1B Allen Hernandez (Florida Gulf Coast), OF Nick Locurto (Virginia Tech), RHP Carlo Lalomia (Iona)
 
Coming off a strong season with last year’s 19-5 record, but deprived of any kind of postseason play due to COVID, this year’s Don Bosco squad will be hungry to prove they are once again the top dog in the Northeast. It’s a three-headed monster at the top of the rotation with seniors Caden Dana, Kevin Jaxel and Zach Stichweh ready to eat up innings. Behind that, Clayton Poliey and Nick Semon are both back as are underclassmen Charles Batista and Carlo Lalomia to bring plenty of depth to the pitching staff. On the infield, Pablo Santos, Johnny Pilla, Anthony Zollo and Eric Becker will lead a stingy defense while Jack Cannizzaro and JP Kuczik both figure to see similar time behind the dish. This team will certainly be tested as they head to Cary for the NHSI early in the year to play against some of the top competition in the country. This will provide a good measuring stick and a chance to figure out roles before they head back home and open up league play.
 
15. Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
2021 Record: 24-5
Head Coach: Benjamin Medure
Notable Standout(s):  LHP Ben Jacobs (UCLA), RHP Tyler Prystajko, RHP Jack Smith (Cal State Northridge), OF Nicholas Dumesnil (California Baptist), RHP Ryker Sullivan, 3B Matthew Lopez, C Raffaele Velazquez (Arizona State), OF Aidan Espinoza (UCLA), SS Dean Carpentier (Loyola Marymount), RHP Wyatt Thomas (Biola University), C Trent Grindlinger (Long Beach State), 3B Ethan Porter (Oregon State), SS Linkin Garcia (Arizona)
 
When you take one of the top freshman classes in the country and add it to an already deep roster from 2021, it’s no surprise the Oilers find themselves back in a healthy spot in the Preseason Top 50. Right off the bat, the arms at the top stand out. Ben Jacobs, Tyler Prystajko, Jake Smith and Ryker Sullivan are all back for their senior years and are more than capable of shutting down opposing offenses. Offensively, some more responsibility will fall on the underclassmen as Nicholas Dumesnil and Matthew Lopez are the only two seniors who were in the lineup regularly last season. Juniors Raffaele Velazquez and Aidan Espinoza both bring back plenty of experience after breakout sophomore campaigns and middle infielder Dean Carpentier will look to stay hot after a good showing on the travel circuit where he hit .325. Although their roles may not be as defined or significant right away, this freshman class will provide Coach Medure some options. Two-way talents Trent Grindlinger and Ethan Porter both bring plenty of upside on both sides of the ball with juice in the bat and good fastballs, while Linkin Garcia and his athleticism and knack for the barrel make him a fit at various positions.
 
16. Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
2021 Record: 12-8
Head Coach: Troy Gerlach
Notable Standout(s): RHP Andrew Carroll (Arizona), OF Ethan Hott (Stanford), RHP Hayden Lewis (Arizona), SS Trent Harrington, C Slader Spoor (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College), RHP Colin Christensen (Antelope Valley), SS Miles Vandenheuvel, RHP Max Mazinter, RHP Wyatt Halvorson, 1B Reese Orrison, SS Chris Newstrom (Tennessee), 1B Reece Van Devander
 
One of the perennial powers of the Grand Canyon State over the years, Chaparral is back to the kind of depth that will once again have them challenging for a state title. With four senior arms all capable of working in the upper-80s to low-90s, Andrew Carroll, Hayden Lewis, Trent Harrington and Colin Christensen seem to be a likely bunch to eat up a majority of the innings, but don’t count out juniors Max Mazinter or Miles Vandenheuvel to find their way to the rubber after both are coming off summers averaging more than a strikeout per inning. At the plate, Ethan Hott will look to pick up where he left off a year ago after hitting .362 with seven home runs, as will Slader Spoor, who returns for his senior year behind the plate. Sophomore Chris Newstrom is coming off his best summer on the travel circuit where he hit over .400 and continued to see a rise in the power numbers, and Reese Orrison and Reece Van Devander will each provide the lineup with much needed depth. The Firebirds will have two early season tests as they play both Desert Mountain and Hamilton in non-sectional play.
 
17. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
2021 Record: 30-6-2
Head Coach: Mike Rogers
Notable Standout(s): RHP Pierce George (Texas), RHP Luke Jackson (Texas A&M), SS Kaeden Kent (Texas A&M), LHP Charlie Bower (Baylor), OF Clyde Austin Reed, OF Cole Carroll (Rhode Island), LHP Ethan Calder (Baylor), 1B Cole Johnson, RHP Orlando Jose Gonzalez Jr, RHP Jackson Baker, OF Liam Richards, SS Hank Benny, OF Cooper Scott, SS Dylan Schlotterback
 
It was a solid season for Lake Travis in 2021 as they managed numerous wins over really good opponents and fell just a couple rounds short of the state playoffs. This year they’ll have to replace some of that production from the graduated seniors, but they return a good chunk and have the talent at the junior and senior level to make a strong run in the state’s top classification. Pierce George should make a big impact on the mound this spring with a fastball that’ll work in the low-90s, while Luke Jackson is back and primed for another big spring with Charlie Bower, Ethan Calder and underclassmen Orlando Jose Gonzalez, Jr and Jackson Baker all contributing innings where needed. Kaeden Kent should set the pace of the offense after a good spring a year ago with plenty of juniors and seniors giving the lineup quality depth and the right amount of experience.
 
18. Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.)
2021 Record: 30-10
Head Coach: Chan Brown
Notable Standout(s):  OF Jayden Talik (Young Harris College), RHP Matthew Holcomb (Young Harris College), 2B Cayden Gaskin (Florida Southwestern State), 1B Jabari Daniely, SS Colin Houck, 1B Landon Stripling (Mercer), RHP Garrett Lambert (Mercer), C Samarion Ward, RHP Thorpe Musci (Georgia Tech), LHP Ford Thompson (Georgia), C Brett Andrews, 3B Cade Brown, OF Makhi Buckley (Tulane)
 
Reload and repeat, not many programs can claim a run like the Parkview Panthers have been on these last few seasons. Currently the defending state champs, and in the running for a four-peat this season, Coach Brown’s squad once again must be considered the favorite in Georgia’s biggest classification. After having their depth tested on the way to last year’s championship, this year’s team will bring back experience up and down the roster. Matthew Holcomb and Landon Stripling bring back the most experience on the mound, while talented youngsters Ford Thompson and Thorpe Musci will be able to draw on what they learned a year ago now moving into their sophomore campaigns. Junior Colin Houck is back after hitting .400 a year ago and will likely be joined by seniors Jayden Talik, Jabari Daniely and Cayden Gaskin toward the top of the order after each played a big role in last year’s run production. The depth and talent of this squad will be tested early and often as they wrap up week one of the season with a rematch of last year's state championship, and then play four more nationally-ranked teams over the course of the rest of the season. Youngsters Brett Andrews, Cade Brown and Makhi Buckley will surely be others to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
 
19. Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.)
2021 Record: 20-8
Head Coach: Greg Olsen
Notable Standout(s): 3B Miles Curley (East Carolina), RHP Ethan Phillips (Indiana), SS Matt Rose (USF), 1B Sean Shelly (Barry), C Eli Kapkowski (Lafayette), RHP Landen Maroudis (NC State), RHP Liam Peterson (Florida), LHP Hunter Dietz (USF), LHP Paul Guerne (Duke), RHP Blake Opie (USF), RHP J.T. Long, 3B Tad Brooks, 1B Justin Mayes, MIF Aidan Brigato, SS Jace Kohler, C Andrew Tess, 1B Cameron Uzzillia (NC State), RHP Daniel Giuliani
 
This is another program that seems to just reload every year and regularly competes against some of the best in the state. This year is no different as they’ve got the kind of depth on paper that makes up what a state champion-caliber team looks like. With one of the more balanced rosters in terms of age, they’ve got talent at every level. The senior class is a good one with Miles Curley, Matt Rose, Sean Shelly and Eli Kapkowski all being quality and experienced bats, while Ethan Phillips has taken steps forward on the mound. Where a bulk of talent also rests is in the junior class, starting with one of the top two-ways in the country in Landen Maroudis and rolling through a number of very talented arms in Liam Peterson, Hunter Dietz, Paul Guerne, Blake Opie and J.T. Long. This is a club with power, athleticism, consistency and depth, which if it all clicks on the field, could absolutely be a team that runs the table.
 
20. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.)
2021 Record: 29-4
Head Coach: Jared Halpert
Notable Standout(s): OF Toussaint Bythewood (UCLA), C Jacob Galloway (Texas Tech), OF Marty Kaplan (Northwestern), 3B Jordan Kang (Harvard), OF Andrew Citron (Georgetown), OF Will Gasparino (Texas), MIF Kai Caranto, SS David Lozano (Loyola Marymount), SS/RHP Bryce Rainer (UCLA), 1B/RHP Duncan Marsten (Stanford)
 
This Harvard-Westlake team was just simply good in 2021, beating two very good programs in Orange Lutheran and JSerra on their way to the Division I Southern Section Championship, and they show no signs of slowing down coming into this spring with talent all over the field. It’ll start in the senior class with plenty of position players that’ll head to good college programs next year and should do well this spring; Toussaint Bythewood, Jacob Galloway, Marty Kaplan, Jordan Kang and Andrew Citron all are experienced with a variety of tool sets while many of the underclassmen are premier talents as well. Will Gasparino and Kai Caranto are a couple good hitters in the junior class, while Bryce Rainer and Duncan Marsten are some of the better sophomores in the state. Rainer and Marsten would usually lead the way for them on the mound, but will likely be shut down in that respect for the spring due to some health issues. There should be plenty of innings to go around with enough good athletes to piece it together and let the offense guide their success.





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