Arizona high school baseball preseason rankings

Arizona high school baseball preseason rankings

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Arizona high school baseball preseason rankings

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Division I

1. Chandler Hamilton: Lost stud pitcher Patrick Murphy to an elbow injury but bring back 10 other seniors, including three Division I signees.

2. Phoenix Brophy Prep: The state runner-up graduated 11 seniors but returns pitchers Michael Westra and Steven Oleksak.

3. Scottsdale Desert Mountain: Lost 11 players to graduation, but 10 seniors – including Cody Erickson and David Greer – pick up the slack for quarterfinalist.

4. Scottsdale Chaparral: Two-time defending champ’s contention days look to be closing after losing 13 graduates, including two All-Arizona selections.

5. Tempe Corona del Sol: Fourteen seniors, including Josh Ethier and Colby Hamilton, return from team that advanced past the first round at state as the No. 24 seed last year.

6. Phoenix Pinnacle: Last season’s top seed returns six of its top seven batters and three of its top six pitchers.

7. Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor: Eight seniors and nine juniors return from last year’s team, headlined by Noah Kelly.

8. Mesa Desert Ridge: Preseason All-Arizona selection Riley Unroe leads a strong contingent of returning players from final-eight team.

9. Phoenix Mountain Pointe: The Pride lost some good players but return Division I commits Brantley Bell (Ole Miss) and Cole Tucker (Arizona).

10. Phoenix Desert Vista: Eleven players graduated, but eight seniors should buoy the team, although pitching experience is at a premium.

Division II

1. Phoenix Sunnyslope: Defending champions return a load of talent, including All-Arizona selections Calvin LeBrun (1.47 ERA, 77 K) and Casey Bowman (.510 BA).

2. Peoria Sunrise Mountain: Mustangs will be led on the mound by stellar pitchers Brick Paskiewicz (1.81 ERA) and Seth Martinez (1.83 ERA).

3. Tucson Sabino: T.J. Hasting (2.06 ERA) will take over as ace for a team that graduated four pitchers who accounted for at least 20 innings each.

4. Peoria Liberty: The state runner-up has a solid senior class that’s 10 players deep and gets back Zach Johnston and Rudy Karre.

5. Tucson Salpointe Catholic: Finding offense will be tougher than finding defense, but All-Arizona selection Michael Hoard (.460, 8 HRs) should help.

6. Scottsdale Notre Dame: Half of 2012 team graduated, but Saints will reload with help from ASU commit Kobe Foppe and UA signee Austin Schnabel.

7. Oro Valley Canyon del Oro: Junior Tyler Brown (2.85 ERA) and sophomore Gabe Benavides (1.86 ERA) each threw more than 40 innings last year.

8. Phoenix Greenway: The Demons’ top five batters, in terms of plate appearances last season, are four juniors and a senior.

9. Tucson Sahuaro: Sahuaro overflows with pitching, led by juniors Alex Verdugo (2.04 ERA) and Vinna Tarantola (7-1 last year).

10. Scottsdale Saguaro: Proud program lost 16 players to graduation but hopes junior Turner Lace (.333 BA) is ready to step up.

Division III

1. Mohave Valley River Valley: The defending champs lost important pieces, but junior Tyler Scully (.542 BA) and company should repeat.

2. Fountain Hills: After making a run to the semifinals as the 15 seed, the Falcons might go a step further behind pitcher Nick Wojtysiak and infielder Andrew Bryniarski.

3. Scottsdale Christian: Last year’s team had only three seniors. This year’s has 11, an embarrassment of riches for a D-III school.

4. Goodyear Estrella Foothills: Senior Zach Miller should be ready to take the mantle of ace for state runner-up.

5. Lakeside Blue Ridge: More than two-thirds of the Yellow Jackets’ run production graduated, leaving infielder Kevin Spencer (.620 BA) unprotected.

6. Cottonwood Mingus: Almost the entire pitching staff is back, headlined by junior Austin Zwart (2.41 ERA).

7. Show Low: Only three players graduated, and only one of them played a significant role. Unlike last season, the Cougars should win at least one game at state in 2013.

8. Tucson Empire: Donny Sands (.472 average as a hitter, 56 strikeouts as a pitcher) thrilled as a freshman last season.

9. Winslow: The offense should restock pretty easily, but only one returning pitcher, Jon Bollin, threw double-digit innings last year.

10. Willcox: Daniel Diaz (second team) and Travis Regelado (honorable mention) earned All-State nods as freshmen last season.

Division IV

1. Phoenix Christian: The Cougars weren’t hurt much by graduation. The pitching staff, led by Austin Green (1.65 ERA), remains nasty.

2. St. David: The reigning champ should be deep again. Watch out for senior infielder Shane Bradford (.535 BA).

3. San Manuel: The Miners crashed the semifinals as the No. 22 seed last year and have had to do very little reloading.

4. Tucson Desert Christian: The Eagles were hurt by a transfer and a season-ending injury. They have plenty of talent to make up for it, though.

5. Yuma Catholic: All but one member of the state runner-up’s pitching staff graduated. All eyes are now on senior Matt Milnik.

6. Scottsdale Prep: Every Spartan pitcher is back for another year. More experience will lower last season’s 5.12 team ERA.

7. Phoenix Valley Lutheran: Aaron Koehne’s the ace now.

8. Tempe Prep: Senior Forest Redlin will try to lead the experienced Knights to a playoff win.

9. St. Johns: Despite graduation losses and a 6.98 ERA last season, it’s hard to argue with a team that made the quarterfinals last year.

10. Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian: The bulk of the 2012 quarterfinal team returns, highlighted by junior Mike Doty (.438 BA).

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