High School : : General
Monday, March 17, 2014

Coach Bob Invades the Desert

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Perfect Game

2014 Coach Bob National Invitational: PG Event Page | Official Site

ANTHEM, Ariz. – For the sixth time since its inception in 2009, the Coach Bob National Invitational will fill Arizona high school baseball fields with teams from all over the Western half of the country. A two-week tournament – aligning with high school spring break – Coach Bob is one of several high school tournaments occurring throughout the country in the early spring.

The initial week features the Premier Division, Classic Division, and American Division – the top division for the week. Following up in the second week is the National Division, All-Star Division, West Coast Division, and AAA Division. Continuously occurring throughout the two-week span is the Open Division which always proves to create story lines and intriguing matchups.

Last year the All-Star championship was won by ThunderRidge (Colo.), a team who was just beginning to heat up at the Coach Bob Tournament. Throughout the spring they ascended Perfect Game’s Top 50 National High School Rankings and provided Perfect Game with their first glimpse of shortstop Brody Westmoreland, who has since committed to San Diego State, at this tournament.

The Coach Bob National Invitational tournament is a conglomeration of two tournaments, a national invitational that was started by Boulder Creek High School, and the Eagles Classic hosted by O'Connor High School. The two events merged into one major event beginning in 2008 and will now grow to 105 teams this year.

The tournament is named in honor of former Boulder Creek coach Bob Weinheimer, who concluded his 44-year coaching career at the school. Boulder Creek head coach Joe McDonald explained that his team – which has captured the National Division championship two of the last three years – has a lot of pride playing in memory of Coach Bob.

Some players are coming into the event with college commitments and prolific resumes, some will leave with such college offers, and others will be making their debuts in front of the Perfect Game staff. Some players that have already made lasting impressions on the Perfect Game staff, as here some of the more notable prospects set to attend:

Class of 2014
OF Gerard Hernandez, Pinnacle (Ariz.)
RHP Jonathan Teaney, Quartz Hill (Calif.)
OF Cole Krzmarzick, Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
1B Caleb Eldridge, Deer Creek (Okla.)
OF Elliot Cary, Clackamas (Ore.)
SS Kobie Foppe, Pinnacle (Ariz.)

Class of 2015
SS Nicholas Shumpert, Highlands Ranch (Colo.)
SS Cadyn Grenier, Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
OF Greg Pickett, Legend (Colo.)
RHP Andy Pagnozzi, Fayetteville (Ariz.)
SS Tyler Wyatt, Liberty (Ariz.)
SS Jordan Stephens, Legend (Colo.)
RHP Ty Harpenau, Fort Smith (Ark.)
RHP Karsen Lindell, West Linn (Ore.)
RHP Jacob Bennett, 2015, Tualatin (Ore.)

Class of 2016
RHP Jack Little, Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
OF Wyatt Featherstone, Green Mountain (Colo.)
C Maverick Handley, Mullen (Colo.)
RHP Kevin Gowdy, Santa Barbara (Calif.)

While the players above are known and currently ranked in their respective classes, it’s important to remember that with 105 teams competing over the course of two weeks, new names will pop up and find themselves within the rankings in future updates.

Three Games to Watch:

Fayetteville (Ark.) vs. Bishop Gorman (Nev.) | 
March 22, 9:30 AM

On paper heading into the tournament these two teams appear to be the top teams in attendance thanks to front line talent and pitching depth. Fayetteville has a bevy of options to send to the mound, led by 2015 righthander Andy Pagnozzi, a Mississippi commit who recently turned in a strong performance at the Perfect Game Indoor Showcase. Other potential candidates to start the game include Arkansas commit Kyle Pate, Cody Davenport and Walker Powell, all of whom have garnered Division I interest. Two players who play an integral role on both sides of the ball are shortstop Drew Tyler and catcher Grant Koch, both juniors who are also committed to the University of Arkansas.

The success of Bishop Gorman has long been documented, and the 2014 version of Coach Nick O’Day’s squad boasts as much talent as his past teams. One of the top ranked players in the 2015 class is Oregon State commit Cadyn Grenier, who shows the highest-level tools both at shortstop and from the right side of the plate. The Gaels' lineup is littered with Division I commits, as is their pitching rotation which includes talented sophomore Jack Little. A Stanford commit who excelled last spring during his freshman year, Little will be counted on again this year, along with Alex Perron, who is committed to the University of San Diego.

Quartz Hill (Calif.) vs. West Linn (Ore.) | 
March 24, 12:30 PM

This game is very intriguing based on the potential pitching matchup it could produce. With this being the first game for both sides in the tournament, there is a strong possibility that each will send their ace to the mound.

Quartz Hill is lead by righthander Jonathan Teaney who made the rounds on the summer circuit and participated in the 2013 National Showcase in Minnesota this past June. The San Diego commit works comfortably in the low-90s, topping out at 92, with a hammer 12-to-6 curveball. He also shows a feel for a late fading changeup. Teaney is a pitcher scouts are sure to keep their eyes on this spring, especially once he begins to fill out his lean 6-foot-2 frame.

One of the top pitchers in the state of Oregon could take the ball to counter Quartz Hill’s ace. Karsen Lindell is currently a junior who has already committed to the University of Washington and shows big time potential on the mound. Lindell performed at a high level at his first ever Perfect Game event – the 2013 16u PG/MLK Championship – topping out at 89 mph while striking out 10 batters in six innings of work. Now over a year since that performance, it is easy to believe that Lindell is now working in the low-90s as reports indicate.

Legend (Colo.) vs. Pinnacle (Ariz.) | 
March 28, 9:30 AM

Despite being located over 12 hours apart from one another, there are some glaring similarities in both lineups.

Starting at shortstop for Pinnacle is senior Kobie Foppe, an Arizona State commit who shows quick-twitch muscle and plays the game with high energy. Foppe transferred to Pinnacle for his senior season from Notre Dame Prep and will help set the table at the top of the lineup for lefthanded slugger Gerard Hernandez. Hernandez has adjusted his approach at the plate, showing a strong understanding of the strike zone and taking advantage when a pitcher throws him his pitch.

Like Pinnacle, Legend has a quick-twitch shortstop of their own, Jordan Stephens, and although he isn’t committed to a Division I school currently, he will be by the time he graduates. Stephens, a junior, is very sound defensively up the middle and shows some nice potential with the bat as he continues to physically develop.

Just as Pinnacle has Hernandez, Legend also boasts a lefthanded power threat in the middle of their order, Greg Pickett. The 6-foot-4 Pickett burst onto the national scene last summer with his big bat and ability to drive the ball over the fence with relative ease.

To follow all the action from the Coach Bob National Invitational and keep tabs on all the players be sure to follow Todd Gold (@TGold_PG) and Jheremy Brown (@JBrownPG) on Twitter as they will be providing scouting notes and game updates throughout the course of the tournament.

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