JUCO: Top 10 Teams

Juco : : Rankings
Allan Simpson        
Published: Monday, January 31, 2011

TOP 10 TEAMS, 2011

1. HOWARD / Texas (45-10 in 2010)
Critical injuries sidetracked the Hawks bid to repeat as national champs in 2010, but fireballing RHPs Derrick Bleeker (transfer from Arkansas) and Damien Magnifico (injured in 2010; Mets’ fifth-round pick in 2009) headline a deep pitching staff. Both pitchers were clocked at 97 mph in the fall. Florida International-bound Nathan Burns (.394-12-53, 29 SB) and Baylor transfer Tyler Collins, both outfielders, are offensive stalwarts. A key for the Hawks will be the continued emergence of Oklahoma-bound 3B/RHP Tony Calhoun (.356-9-56), who didn’t pitch as a freshman but was clocked at 94 mph in the fall.
2. SAN JACINTO /Texas (52-12 in 2010)
The Gators made a record 12thappearance in the national title game a year ago, and return ace LHP Miguel Pena (14-2, 2.51) and Ole Miss-bound C Ryan Hornback (.347-1-37), along with RHP Tommy Collier (2-0, 0.00) and LHP David Rollins (1-0, 3.52), who missed most of last year with season-ending injuries but combined for 21 wins in 2009. Key supplemental pieces include OF Jarrett Higgins (.317-5-35, 29 SB), Arkansas-bound LHP Tyler Wright (1-0, 4.50) and Southern Miss-bound RHP Cam Giannini (Liberty transfer).
The defending Florida JC state champs feature a nice mix of returning players like SS-turned-RHP Nick Goody (0-1, 2.55), an LSU recruit whose fastball was clocked at 94 mph in the fall, and 3B L.B. Dantzler (.286-1-21), MVP of the Florida Collegiate Summer League; transfers like ex-Florida RHP Ben Brown and ex-Central Florida 2B Anthony Caronia; and incoming freshmen like OF Rock Shoulders (Red Sox, 20throunder) and RHP/SS Luis Benitez (Blue Jays, 31st-rounder).
4. FEATHER RIVER / California (31-7 in 2010)
The Golden Eagles are mysteriously missing from the top of the California JC pre-season rankings, but feature the state’s top three returning hitters in OFs Dayton Alexander (.508-7-52) and Victor Mendoza (.500-10-52), and 2B Kyle Stone (.497-0-21). Texas Christian-bound RHP Cody Anderson (0-1, 3.21), a 17th-round pick in the 2010 draft whose fastball peaked at 94 mph in the fall, is the top-ranked prospect in the California juco ranks, and he’ll be complemented in the Feather River rotation by LHP Tyler Hoelzen (5-2, 1.66).
5. WALTERS STATE / Tennessee (42-9 in 2010)
The Senators have been a JC power since winning the 2006 national title. Power-hitting OF Cody Stubbs, a transfer from Tennessee and North Carolina recruit, could be a premium draft in June, and he’ll get plenty of offensive support from returning 1B and former Washington Nationals 15th-rounder Corey Davis (.346-3-39). RHP Chris Costantino (2-0, 3.77) returns for a full season after taking a medical red-shirt early in the 2010 season. His fastball was clocked at 93 mph in the fall. LHP Shane Grimm (7-0, 3.19) is a Kentucky recruit, while RHPs Cody Poarch (UNC Greensboro) and Jordan Cooper (Mississippi) are prominent D-I transfers. The Senators received a further shot in the arm after Christmas when OF Marcus Davis and RHP Dale Innes, both one-time top prep prospects, transferred in from Louisiana State and Clemson, respectively.
6. CENTRAL ARIZONA (46-20 in 2010)
Twelve players from CAC, the 2002 national champs, committed to NCAA D-I schools in the November early-signing period, led by rapidly-improving C Max Rossiter (.338-1-20, 19 2B), one of three Arizona State recruits, and highly-athletic Utah-bound OF Keenyn Walker (.299-2-16, 21 SB). Ex-Long Beach State 3B R.J. Santigate and ex-Texas 3B Jordan Weymouth lead an impressive wave of newcomers, while Southern California-bound RHP Zach Dando (4-2, 3.54) will step in the No. 1 starter and ASU-bound RHP Josh Dahl (3-1, 5.33) will close with his 95 mph fastball.
7. NAVARRO / Texas (39-20)
A wave of impressive newcomers should play key roles for the Bulldogs, notably 6-foot-6 ex-Oklahoma RHP Drew Verhagen, who has returned to full health and cranked his fastball up to 94 mph in the fall. He’ll join holdovers like 2B Christian Stringer (.352-6-32), ex-Texas C J.T. Files (.380-2-30) and ex-Houston 1B Casey Grayson (.344-4-31). Verhagen is a Vanderbilt recruit and one of nine Bulldogs who made commitments to Division I schools in the fall.
8. PALOMAR / California (24-15 in 2010)
The Comets feature North Carolina State-bound RHP Ryan Wilkins (6-3, 3.32), and numerous prominent transfers from Division I schools, notably ex-San Diego State OF Justin Bellez, ex-Arizona State SS Tyler Bernard and ex-Southern California 1B Casey Husband. Bellez and Bernard did not play as freshmen, but Bellez was clocked up to 95 mph in the fall and Bernard is a former 20th-rounder out of high school who is headed for Virginia Tech.
9. EASTERN OKLAHOMA STATE (37-22 in 2010)
The Mountaineers added two prominent freshman arms—RHP Jonathan Gray (Royals, 13th round), RHP Mason Justice (Red Sox, 21st round)—and transfer pitchers from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to a solid returning nucleus that includes Cal State Fullerton-bound SS Chris Munoz (.358-15-54, 27 SB, 6 SV as closer), and top winner Jesse Baird (9-2, 3.86). Baird, Gray, Wichita State-bound LHP Brandon Bargas (transfer from Oklahoma) and Justice should form a formidable four-man rotation, while Munoz, whose fastball has been clocked at 93 mph, will close.
10. MIDDLE GEORGIA (38-22 in 2010)
The four-time former national champs may have as much raw talent as any junior college team in the country, but much of it is untested. LHP Matt Taylor, a transfer from Alabama who has committed to Georgia, is the state’s best JC prospect and takes over the No. 1 spot in the rotation. Sophomore RHP Jesse Scott, another Georgia recruit, steps into the No. 2 spot. RHP/OF Demondre Arnold, a Tampa Bay draft pick out of high school who was clocked at 94 mph in the fall, and speedy OF Patrick Smith, a Boston draft pick, highlight an impressive freshman crop.
Recent Related Articles
Final 2017 Junior College Top 25
Chipola spent the entire 2017 season as the Perfect Game/Rawlings No. 1 Junior College team and capped its season off with th... READ 
JUCO Top 25 Teams: May 24
Ohlone will play for the California Community College Athletic Association Championship this weekend as we update the PG/Rawl... READ 
Highlands advances to GCAA Championship
Georgia Highlands College advances to the championship final of the 2017 GCAA D1 Baseball Championships, at PG Park South at ... READ 
Most Viewed Related Articles

About Perfect Game :: Contact us :: Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Site Map :: Testimonials
Copyright 1994-2017 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.