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High School | General | 1/28/2022

Preseason HS Top 50: 1-10

Tyler Russo      Colton Olinger     
Photo: Perfect Game
2022 High School Baseball Preview Index | 41-50 | 31-40 | 21-30 | 11-20

1. Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)
2021 Record: 30-6
Head Coach: Eric Borba
Notable Standout(s): SS Mikey Romero (LSU), LHP Oliver Santos (Duke), C Karson Bowen (TCU), 1B Gabriel Miranda (TCU), RHP Louis Rodriguez (TCU), OF Bryan Martinez (Long Beach State), Joseph “JD” Rodriguez (USC), RHP Sawyer Voortman, LHP Jaxton Andeel, UT Chase Cummings, 3B Casey Borba (Texas), RHP Evan Miranda, C Richard Tejeda III, RHP Edward Park, RHP Jordan Cole, OF Sammy Vander Hill, OF Derek Curiel (LSU), SS Ben Reiland, RHP Brady Strohm, RHP Ross Clark, C Nate Savoie, OF Josiah Hartshorn
 
Given the abundance of talent on the teams throughout the Top 10, it wasn’t easy to place a single team above the rest, but looking at the roster of this Orange Lutheran team, it’s clear why they’ve been chosen as our top team in this year’s preseason rankings. The Trinity League is regularly seen as the most difficult league in the country at the high school level to play in and this year is no different as four of the six teams landed within just the Top 25 of these national rankings. Where this roster really stands out above the rest is the combination of top-line talent and depth at every age. The senior class is surely one that’ll be remembered starting with the trio of Mikey Romero, Oliver Santos and Karson Bowen. Romero is lauded as one of the best pure hitters in the entire country, and for this year’s draft, while Santos has posted tons of big performances on the circuit and Bowen is one of the best catchers in the country. The senior class doesn’t let up there, as Gabriel Miranda and Bryan Martinez bring more strength to the lineup and the pair of Louis Rodriguez and Joseph “JD” Rodriguez will complement Santos on the mound with big fastballs. The underclassmen on this team give no drop-off in talent as Casey Borba has come on in a big way on the offensive end while Derek Curiel, the top-ranked sophomore in the country, is a difference-maker in the lineup as well. Evan Miranda is a junior arm who is now getting close to the mid-90s on the mound while a variety of other youngsters like Ben Reiland, Brady Strohm and Ross Clark all add to making this team ridiculously good.
 
2. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
2021 Record: 23-2
Head Coach: Dave Turgeon
Notable Standout(s): OF Elijah Green (Miami), LHP Jackson Ferris (Ole Miss), C Brady Neal (LSU), SS Alvin Keels (West Virginia), SS JeanPierre Ortiz (FIU), OF Nathan Fink, RHP Davion Hickson (FSU), OF McCabe Moyer (Oregon), 1B Chase Ingram, SS Aidan Cremarosa (Fresno State), C Will Radich (Valparaiso), OF TayShaun Walton (Miami), SS Stone Russell (Florida), RHP Jaewoo Cho (Arkansas), LHP Ryan Rushing (Indiana)
 
Given the nature of the school and the lack of a classification in the state of Florida, IMG Academy doesn’t get the opportunity to play for a state title each year, but they do manage to accumulate one of the country’s most difficult schedules and managed just two tight losses on the season in 2021. Moving forward to this spring, a good chunk of that roster is back while they’ve reloaded in some areas giving them the high-end talent paired with depth to navigate another difficult schedule. The talent at the top if significant with a trio of PG All-Americans in Elijah Green, Jackson Ferris and Brady Neal leading the way and drawing significant scouting looks. Green is seemingly a sure-fire top-10 pick in the upcoming draft at this point given the tools are loud across the board, while Ferris has placed himself firmly in first round discussion as one of the top prep arms in the draft. Neal was a reclass up from 2023, making him one of the youngest in this year’s draft, and his talent behind the plate paired with a premier offensive profile gives him plenty of chance to go early as well. The rotation goes with Ferris but Davion Hickson, Jaewoo Cho and Ryan Rushing are three very talented arms that will win them plenty of games. Guys like Alvin Keels, JeanPierre Ortiz, TayShaun Walton and Stone Russell are all highly-ranked guys with premier sets of tools that’ll give this lineup no breaks at any point.
 
3. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.)
2021 Record: 28-2
Head Coach: Todd Fitz-Gerald
Notable Standout(s): OF Roman Anthony (Ole Miss), OF/LHP Chris Arroyo (Florida), RHP/OF Jake Clemente (Florida), C Santiago Ordonez (FSU), OF Grant McDonald (Radford), 2B Cameron Harris (Wingate), RHP Brandon White, OF Derek Yahel Rodriguez, RHP Sammy Beir (FAU, SS Rolando Lujo (Erskine), OF/RHP Christian Rodriguez (Florida), LHP Jacob Gomberg (Florida), OF Dillon Moquin, C Niko Benestad, SS Rylan Lujo, SS Devin Fitz-Gerald (NC State), RHP Jayden Dubanewicz, OF Alex Rodriguez
 
It’s hard to talk about the reigning national champions without mentioning what they were able to accomplish a year ago, combining an impressive roster with gusty performances on their way to a state title in the state’s highest, and arguably most difficult, classification. What is easy to talk about when it comes to the hype around this team is that they lost very little to graduation and will bring a potentially even better group to this spring. With talent and winners all over the roster, this is a team that should very much be the favorite in the state. Roman Anthony stands as one of the country’s top overall hitters and showed it last spring hitting .362 with a team-leading five home runs while guys like Jake Clemente, Santiago Ordonez, Cameron Harris and Grant McDonald should see just as many at-bats as a year ago. Where the team really gets its spark from is the duo of ultra-talented two-ways Chris Arroyo and Christian Rodriguez, who are looked at as one of the best one-two punches in the state after combining for a 17-0 record and 200 strikeouts last spring. While there’s a plethora of talented arms that will fill bullpen innings and spot starts, the addition of left-hander Jacob Gomberg is a massive one as he pairs premium stuff with real pitchability giving a deadly rotation to a team that’s been red hot year after year.
 
4. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
2021 Record: 43-1
Head Coach: Matt Petry
Notable Standout(s): RHP Brock Porter (Clemson), C Ike Irish (Auburn), OF Nolan Schubart (Michigan), 3B Jack Crighton (Michigan), 2B Jake Dresselhouse (Michigan State), RHP Ciaran Caughey (Kent State), OF Brandon Skorupski (Davenport), SS Blake Grimmer (Tennessee), OF Ryan Mooney (Notre Dame), SS Jasen Oliver (Michigan), 2B Ryan McKay (Michigan State), LHP Anthoni Kiafoulis (Pennsylvania), RHP Jamie Henderson (Illinois State), RHP Parker Brzustewicz
 
It’s never easy to replace a guy like Alex Mooney, who led the offense for this state champion team a year ago, as well as three guys who were in the top-five of innings thrown for them last year, but this roster is as deep as it is talented at the top and is for good reason recognized as the top team in the state of Michigan. There’s definite talent in the youth here, but the senior class is what will carry the weight with three PG All-Americans as the headliners. Brock Porter has solidified his place as one of the best arms in the country for this year’s class and will likely have his name called early come the draft with a fastball into the upper-90s and high-end secondaries, but Ike Irish and Nolan Schubart have some draft hype of their own, and for good reason. Irish is as athletic as they come behind the dish and will flash some pop in the bat while Schubart mirrors that athleticism and has big power in the stick. Jack Crighton leads those returning in batting average from last spring, after hitting .438, while Jake Dresselhouse brings back 14 home runs with an average that was also up over .400. The youngsters on this roster give some of the best depth at the back of the lineup of any team in the country and should make this a fun team to follow all spring long and a nightmare for programs across the state.
 
5. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
2021 Record: 20-3
Head Coach: Mike Woods
Notable Standout(s): OF Gavin Turley (Oregon State), RHP Logan Saloman (Arizona State), Kole Klecker (TCU), OF Prince Deboskie, 1B Grant DeGraffenreid, RHP DJ Barrett, OF Tanner Holland, RHP Jeremy Jones, SS Roch Cholowsky (UCLA), 1B Zach Wadas (TCU), RHP Will Shelor (Arizona), SS Ryan Kucherak (Baylor), UT Josh Tiedemann (TCU), RHP Carson Johnson (Hawaii), OF Jeter Mauzey (New Mexico State), SS Cooper Brass, SS Tre Spivey, SS AJ Diaz (Arizona), SS Gavin Smith, OF Jaylen Payne
 
When it comes to teams ranked up this high in any poll, there’s obvious talent across the board, but it speaks volumes about the program that Coach Mike Woods has built at Hamilton given this team competes for the top spot in the state almost every year and is regularly in discussion for this type of ranking nationally. It starts at the top with one of the country’s most tooled up players in outfielder Gavin Turley, a prospect who has turned in a 6.29 60-yard dash, been up to 97 mph from the outfield and posted triple-digit exit velocities, all of which impact in a massive way at this level. Sticking with the senior class, they’ll be led on the mound by a pair of talented right-handers in Logan Saloman and Kole Klecker, who both saw quality innings last year behind now-graduated Brock Selvidge and will both run their fastballs into the low-90s. While seniors Prince Deboskie and Tanner Holland will play big parts at the plate, a very talented underclass group of Roch Cholowsky, Zach Wadas, Ryan Kucherak and Josh Tiedemann will be crucial for the success of the offense as the Huskies undoubtedly should vie for another state title.
 
6. Buford (Buford, Ga.)
2021 Record: 32-2
Head Coach: Stuart Chester
Notable Standout(s): RHP Dylan Lesko (Vanderbilt), OF/RHP Riley Stanford (Georgia Tech), OF Kaden Martin (Miami), SS Brant Baughcum (Georgia Tech), MIF Jackson Gaspard (Georgia Tech), OF Stan Zagrodnik (Wofford), OF Parker Walsh (Lafayette), LHP Charles (Trey) Kazienko, LHP Andrew Nixon (Spartanburg Methodist College), SS Andrew McMurry (Mercer), SS Cole Taylor, 1B Carson King, OF Tyler Dushane, SS Ethan Murray, (Georgia Tech), OF Cannon Goldin (South Carolina)
 
It’s tough to believe that a 32-2 season could end in disappointment but after an early second round exit in the playoff, you will be hard pressed to find a more focused group of seniors than this year’s 2022 class for the Wolves. They will be led by two All-Americans at the top of the rotation starting with Dylan Lesko, who looks to be the favorite for the top arm taken in this June’s draft as he boasts an upper-90s fastball with plus spin on the breaker and likely the best changeup in amateur baseball. Right behind that you have Riley Stanford with his upper-90s heater and feel for his new slider that gave hitters fits all summer. Guys like Jackson Gaspard and Andrew Nixon could be counted on in a multitude of roles as both are capable of running into the low-90s with the fastball. Trey Kazienko is another to keep an eye on as well coming off a summer where he averaged over a strikeout per inning. Offensively the addition of All-American Kaden Martin will help to replace some of the offensive talent they lost in the 2021 graduating class but having key contributors like Brant Baughcum, Stan Zagrodnik, Andrew McMurry and Parker Walsh, not to mention Lesko, Stanford and Gaspard also in the offense, it would be no surprise to see this offense averaging over seven runs a game again this season. Youngsters Cole Taylor, Carson King, Tyler Dushane, Ethan Murray, and Cannon Goldin are all others to keep an eye on as the next to fill some big shoes in the talented Buford program.
 
7. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
2021 Record: 19-1
Head Coach: Gino DiMaria
Notable Standout(s): OF Justin Crawford (LSU), 3B Demitri Diamant (Georgia Tech), 1B Tai Nguyen (Yale), RHP Payton Riske (Utah), RHP Tyler Avery (UNLV), LHP Raffael Chiarella, RHP Lucas Boesen (College of Southern Nevada), C Joey Randazzo (California Baptist), RHP Kamdyn Perry (St. Mary’s), 3B Easton Shelton, C Anthony Marnell, IV (Oregon State), 3B Gunnar Myro (UNLV), OF Aiden Pollock, SS Maddox Riske, RHP James Whitaker (LSU)
 
The Gaels ended last season on a 16-game winning streak en route to the program's eighth state title. This year’s lineup will return seven guys that saw regular time in that lineup as they averaged over nine runs a game, hitting over .400 as a team. Senior All-American Justin Crawford will look to replicate his junior year after hitting .492 with 10 extra-base hits in 18 games. The lineup will also get back senior Tai Nguyen, who hit .508 with five home runs a year ago, as well as Demitri Diamant and Joey Randazzo, who both come off strong junior years in their own right. Younger guys that got key experience a year ago, like Gunnar Myro, Anthony Marnell, IV and Maddox Riske, all appear ready to take the next step after hitting .375 collectively as freshmen and sophomores in 2021. Keep an eye on Easton Shelton and Aiden Pollock to be two guys who could see their roles grow heading into 2022 as each possesses special raw power at the dish.  On the mound it’s a deep senior-led rotation with names like Payton Riske, Tyler Avery, Raffael Chiarella, Lucas Boesen, and Diamant, who will likely pull some two-way duties after throwing 20 innings a year ago. Junior Kamdyn Perry and freshman James Whitaker will be two of the top options as far as underclassmen are concerned with Perry returning after five appearances a year ago. 
 
8. JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
2021 Record: 30-7
Head Coach: Brett Kay
Notable Standout(s): RHP David Horn (Vanderbilt), RHP Tyler Gough (Oregon State), 3B Ricky Rodenberg, SS Owen Fuller, RHP Tristan Lamaison, RHP Brodie Purcell, SS Trent Caraway (Oregon State), SS Jonathan Mendez (UC Santa Barbra), C Andrew Lamb (Southern California), RHP Dominic Smaldino (California), 3B Matthew Champion (LSU), OF Adrian Nunez (Long Beach State), C Charlie Caruso 
 
After a rocky start, the 2021 JSerra team caught fire finishing the season 26-2 in their last 28, including a 14-1 run through Trinity League play. Despite the loss of three huge arms from last year’s club, the Lions return All-American David Horn and flame thrower Tyler Gough. Tristan Lamaison, Brodie Purcell, and Dominic Smaldino will also rejoin the staff as each should see an increase in their usage this season. The addition of Trent Caraway and his low-90s fastball could make for an interesting option in the rotation, as will sophomore Matthew Champion, who pitched on last year’s staff as a freshman and has added more to his arsenal, as well as velocity to his fastball, now running it into the upper-80s. Offensively, the club had no problems putting up runs a year ago with an average of six a game. Ricky Rodenberg, Owen Fuller, and David Horn will be the three seniors to keep an eye on as they look to make up for the loss of Cody Schrier and Gabe D’Arcy. When he’s not on the mound, Caraway and Jonathan Mendez seem like the mostly likely double play tandem up the middle with each having the type of arm and athleticism to play short at the next level. Andrew Lamb will be tasked with handling the talented pitching staff behind the dish, while Charlie Caruso could also see time back there after he put up some impressive numbers at the Sophomore World Championships. Sophomore outfielder Adrian Nunez looks to be coming into his own and ready to fill some big shoes in his first year with the Lions.
 
9. Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
2021 Record: 29-18
Head Coach: Larry Vucan
Notable Standout(s): LHP Griffin Herring (LSU), RHP Zachary Colletti, LHP Owen Proksch (Duke), OF Jake Krause, 3B Cole Bedwell (Ouachita Baptist), RHP Jared White (Arkansas), SS Ethan Mendoza, 1B Alan Choo, RHP Tyler White, OF Colin Robson (Duke), 3B Ben Tryon (Dallas Baptist), C Cody Cashon, OF Anthony Llera
 
After an up-and-down season with a lot of younger guys getting key playing time, the Dragons return in 2022 with confidence that this year’s upperclassmen have what it takes to compete for a 6A state title. They get back 10 starters from a year ago and none more important than their one-two punch at the top of the rotation. Griffin Herring was outstanding, pitching to a 1.45 ERA in 2021, while Owen Proksch matched him pitch-for-pitch to close out his year with a 0.67 ERA. Zachary Colletti, Jared White and Tyler White will add three more topflight arms that figure to get plenty of innings, as it takes an entire staff to get through the long Texas high school baseball season. Proksch will likely be a catalyst for the offense once again after a strong junior year, as will senior corner infielder Cole Bedwell. Underclassmen Ethan Mendoza, Ben Tryon and Alan Choo all appear ready to fill bigger roles as each hit well over .300 on the summer circuit and showcased some power as well, as all three posted an OPS well over .900. In the outfield, Colin Robson and Anthony Llera should have no problem covering the gaps with their sub-7.00 speed and bring a dynamic element to the lineup, while Cody Cashon should factor into a bigger role behind the dish.
 
10. Alfred M. Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
2021 Record: 39-2
Head Coach: Glenn Cecchini
Notable Standout(s): SS Gavin Guidry (LSU), RHP Keyon Guillory, OF Crawford Courville (LSU-E), 3B Grant Comeaux (Louisiana Tech), C Donnell Sandifer (Southern), OF Blake Moss, OF Donovan Lasalle (Oklahoma State), LHP Jon Cassidy Vanek (Louisiana State), MIF/C Holden LeBlanc, RHP Landon LeDoux, RHP Landon Victorian, 2B Owen Galt (LSU), SS Kasen Bellard, C Presley Courville (Texas A&M)
 
The Barbe Bucs find themselves at No. 10 in this year’s preseason ranks after finishing last year at No. 3 in the poll and wrapping up the school’s 11th state title with a 39-2 record. Replacing last year’s National Pitcher of the year Jack Walker will be no small task, but with their No. 2 from 2021 Gavin Guidry back and guys like Jon Cassidy Vanek and Landon Victorian to round out a three-man rotation, you’ll be hard pressed to find a staff with as much front-line talent anywhere around the country. Out of the bullpen, guys like Keyon Guillory and Landon LeDoux should assume bigger roles with others stepping into the starting rotation. Offensively, like on the mound, it starts with Guidry and Vanek, but this year’s lineup brings back plenty of experience across the board from last year's title run. Crawford Courville, Grant Comeaux, Donnell Sandifer and Blake Moss all return for their senior year with lofty expectations of matching last season’s almost seven runs a game. Underclassmen Donovan Lasalle, Holden LeBlanc, Owen Galt and Kasen Bellard all saw playing time as sophomores and freshmen a year ago and will no doubt have to play a big role in the run producing if they are going to match those scoring totals. Presley Courville will be a freshman to keep an eye on as well as he could force his way into some playing time with his advanced actions on both sides of the ball.
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