USATODAY Sports Super 25 Expert Rankings

2015 – 16 Week 1

Boys Baseball Rankings


Archbishop McCarthy

Fort Lauderdale, FL 27 - 5 - 0

Result: The Mavericks have won five state titles in the past six seasons, including the 5A title last season. They have plenty of experience, including two Miami commits: junior RHP Daniel Federman (8-0, 1.99 ERA); and junior 1B Alex Toral (.386, 31 RBI, five HRs). The infield returns senior shortstop Kobe Lobe (.404) and gained South Florida commit Joseph Perez (.361, four HRs, 15 RBI), a junior third baseman. RHP Johnny Leone (1.19 ERA), a transfer from St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) and RHP Roger Garcia (3-1, 1.52 ERA, 46 Ks in 27.2 innings) give the Mavericks two solid pitchers behind Federman. The outfield is solid with senior Alex Carballo (.325) and junior Adan Fernandez (.289).



Oxford, MS 25 - 1 - 0

Result: The Chargers won the 5A state title last season and return a lot of pitching. Senior RHP-INF Jason Barber (12-0, 0.00, 110 Ks, hit .337 with 35 RBI and eight HRs), an Ole Miss commit, was the state Player of the Year. Other pitchers include: SS-RHP Grae Kessinger (.354, 19 SB), the grandson of Cubs great Don Kessinger; RHP-OF Houston Roth (9-1, 1.26 ERA, 95 Ks, hit. .354 with 36 RBI), an Ole Miss commit; junior RHP-OF Reid Markle; junior RHP-1B Duncan Graeber and junior RHP-INF Carson Stinnett. Other key players for Oxford: junior catcher Ben Bianco (.356, 33 RBI); senior OF Sage Mullins (.382). and senior C-OF Thomas Dillard, a transfer from Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.), who is an Ole Miss commit and has a quick release and a quick bat.



Lilburn, GA 34 - 2 - 0

Result: The reigning state 6A and Super 25 champion Panthers have a solid pitching staff. Begin with RHP-1B Will Ethridge (13-1, 1.47 ERA), an Ole Miss signee and two junior lefties in Cody Collett (4-0, 1.38 ERA) and Caleb Mitchell. Seniors 1B-RHP Corey Whitlock (.471 BA) and OF-RHP Garrett Fowler (0.75 ERA) provide depth. The staff will have a good target to throw to in Georgia commit Austin Biggar (.370, 48 RBI, 11 HRs). Another key returnee is 1B-C Johnathan Whitmer (.292, 20 RBI).


Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, CA 26 - 8 - 0

Result: The Oilers won the CIF Southern Section Division I title and looks particularly strong on defense and on the mound. Key pitchers include: junior RHP/C Hagen Danner (7-2, 1.15 ERA, 65Ks in 61 innings), who has committed to UCLA; OF-LHP Nick Pratto, who transferred from Mater Dei and along with Danner helped lead USA Baseball’s U18 team to a World Cup title over the summer; senior RHP-3B Logan Pouelsen, a UCLA signee who didn’t allow an earned run last season; and junior Cory Moore, a transfer from Yucaipa. The team includes five players who led Huntington Beach’s Little League team to the World title in 2011: Danner, Pratto, INF Dylan Palmer, Justin Ciana and 2B Trevor Windisch.


Christian Brothers Academy

Lincroft, NJ 27 - 5 - 0

Result: The Colts won the state Non-Public A title and return two All-State players and a solid rotation. The All-State players, both North Carolina commits, are RHP Luca Dalatri (9-0, 0.88 ERA, 122 K’s in 71 innings) and C Brandon Martorano (.444 BA, 31 RBI, 11 HRs). Other key returnees: CF Cid Porter, who has committed to Catholic University; P Kenny Campbell (5-2, 2.03 ERA, 42 Ks in 41 innings); senior C-DH Brendan Galvin; junior P Mason O'Mara; sophomore P-OF Nick Hohenstein; sophomore SS Jack Harnisch; and junior P Ronnie Meehan.



Coppell, TX 25 - 6 - 0

Result: The Cowboys return 11 starters, with a deep pitching staff led by RHP Charles King (6-0, 1.09 ERA, 47K’s in 38.1 innings), a TCU signee considered a possible first-round draft choice. Other key players: RHP Ray Gaither (seven saves, 0.41 ERA), a Dallas Baptist signee; junior SS Jacob Nesbit (.354 26 SB); and RHP-OF Hayden Kettler (20 RBI, 1.07 ERA), a Baylor signee.


Bishop Gorman

Las Vegas, NV 32 - 3 - 0

Result: The Gaels are poised to repeat as state Division I champion with a strong pitching staff, led by LHP Jack Little, Bishop Gorman (7-1, 1.53 ERA, 45.2 IP, 41 K, 1 BB), LHP Matt Mitchell (7-0, 3.61) and RHP Zach Grech (4-1, 3.34). Other key players include sophomore catcher Jordan Sadovia, a Stanford commit, SS Beau Capanna (.450, 39 RBI, 18 SB) and junior INF Austin Wells (.293).


Westminster Christian

Miami, FL 24 - 7 - 1

Result: The Warriors have won 11 state titles, including the state 3A championship last season. The staff lost some key players, but Danny Perez (19 Ks in 21 innings, 0.98 ERA), Nick Auerbacher (21 Ks in 18.2 innings, 0.91) and Dylan Cloonan (38 Ks in 24 innings, 4.08 ERA) give the team a good start on the mound. Senior OF Alvaro Valdez (.322, 18 RBI in 87 AB) and senior catcher Jakob Zarello (.315, 21 RBI in 89 AB) are reliable hitters.


Archbishop Moeller

Cincinnati, OH 31 - 3 - 0

Result: The Crusaders have won eight state baseball titles, including the 2015 Division I title. Louisville signee LHP Nick Bennett (7-1, 0.90 ERA, 50 Ks in 54.1 innings) leads a strong pitching staff than includes RHP Cameron Junker (4-0, 2.29 ERA). Top hitters include: senior catcher Patrick Mullinger (.324 BA, 25 RBI) and senior OF Kyle Butz (.318, 25 RBI).



Lake Charles, LA 32 - 10 - 0

Result: The Buccaneers have won back-to-back 5A state titles and return a trio of elite players: junior 1B-P-DH Slate Fuller (.339, 14 2Bs, 5 HRs); junior P-1B Adam Goree (6-2, 2.57 ERA, 69 K’s in 60 innings); and senior Tyler Booth (8-2, 3.28 ERA, 74 K’s in 64 innings), who has signed with Southeastern Louisiana.



Cullman, AL 44 - 10 - 1

Result: The Bearcats have won four state titles, including the state 6A title last season. The top returning player is junior OF-1B Owen Lovell (.394, 61 RBI, 12 HRs), an Alabama commit. The team’s pitching is solid. Sophomore RHP Will Morrison (1.56 ERA_ and junior LHP Jacob Heatherly (4-2, 2.19, 78Ks in 57.2 innings), an Alabama commit, have already thrown no-hitters this season. Other key players include junior 2B Carter Bowen (.273, 31 RBI), an Alabama commit, SS Kolby Robinson (.383, 25 RBI), a Wichita State signee and junior SS Noah Fondren (.363, 18 RBI), who was the MVP of the state championship series.



Orange, CA 22 - 9 - 0

Result: The Lancers have a strong pitching staff, led by Nevada signee RHP Luke Mattson (6-3, 2.74 ERA, 38 Ks in 43 innings). RHP Cole Spear (4-0, 1.12 ERA), an UC Irvine signee, junior LHP Jason Farese (3.41 ERA), a San Diego commit, and LHP Chris Burica (1.77 ERA), a Creighton signee, add depth on the mound. Other key players include sophomore 2B Zach Lew (.382) and SS Tristian Hanoian (.309), a TCU signee.


JSerra Catholic

San Juan Capistrano, CA 29 - 7 - 0

Result: UC-Irvine commit 3B Royce Lewis (.389, 21 RBI, 21 SB), was an ALL-CIF player last season as a sophomore. OF Brady Shockey (.351, 25 RBI) is a Southern Cal signee and IF Chase Strumpf, an UCLA signee. Senior RHP Collin Quinn is the team’s top returning pitcher.



Marietta, GA 30 - 7 - 0

Result: The state runner-up Raiders returns 11 seniors. Key players include: SS-3B Carter Kieboom, who will the third Kieboom brother to play for Clemson; RHP Zac Kristofak (11-1, 1.18 ERA), who has signed with Georgia; INF Parker McCoy, who has signed with Georgia Tech; 3B Chandler Miller; OF Ben Spencer; junior OF Jason Rooks; 1B-RHP Chris Hummel and junior C-1B Jaon Avers.


St Francis (Mountain View)

Mountain View, CA 29 - 5 - 0

Result: The reigning Central Coast Section champions return junior OF-3B-RHP Jeremy Ydens (.404, 7-3, 1.69), who has signed with UCLA along with UC Santa Barbara commit and middle infielder Andrew Martinez (.419). Other key returnees include senior RHP Jacob Walker (0.38 ERA), C Johnny Mendoza (.299, 21 RBI) and junior INF R.J. Teijeiro (.403).


La Costa Canyon

Carlsbad, CA 26 - 7 - 0

Result: The Mavericks reached the San Diego Section finals and have a strong team returning, led by CF Mickey Moniak (.426, 29 runs, 28 RBI), a potential first-round draft choice. Other key players include junior RHP Nick Scheidler (7-2, 1.25 ERA, 63 Ks in 75 innings); C Ryan Orr (.375) and RHP Brendan Kawaja (6-1, 1.24 ERA).


Southlake Carroll

Southlake, TX 27 - 9 - 0

Result: The Dragons return six starters, led by: RHP Mathew Canterino (11-1, 1.79 ERA 132Ks), a Rice signee; SS Hudson Sanchez (.303, 18 RBI), a Texas A&M signee; and OF Zach Farrar, an Oklahoma football signee. Keep an eye on C Reagan Rainwater and junior RHP-3B Kole Ramage, an Arkansas commit.


Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove, UT 27 - 3 - 0

Result: The Vikings return the state player of the year in BYU signee C Payton Henry (.527, 9 HR, 46 RBI), along with several other returning players from the 5A state championship team: P/3B Bub Wilde (.335); OF Logan Hooley (.350) and RHP Derek Wall (6-0, 2.70 ERA). Keep an eye on newcomers Brock Watkins, a freshman shortstop, 3B Ty Lewis, 2B Hayden Veenker, OF-1B Kaino Jula and 1B Tate Briggs.


Shawnee Mission-East

Shawnee Mission, KS 19 - 5 - 0

Result: The Lancers made it to the 6A state semifinals and have a talented pitching staff, led by 1B-LHP Joey Wentz (4-1, 1.01 ERA, 43K, .414 BA), the 6A state player of the year and a Virginia commit. They also have: junior RHP Zeb Vermillion (4-0, 0.93 ERA), who has committed to Arkansas; junior SS-RHP Luke Anderson, who has committed to Missouri; and junior RHP Henry Miller (3-1, 3.43 ERA). Another key returnee is junior OF Jake Randa (.400) who has committed to Western Kentucky.


Round Rock

Round Rock, TX 19 - 8 - 0

Result: The Dragons return eight starters from a team that made it to bi-district playoffs. Leading the group are Texas A&M signees OF Cameron Blake (.373, 25 runs) and RHP Mason Cole (6-0, 0.86). The team also had two players sign with Texas: 1B-RHP Mason Thompson, who is 6-7 and coming off Tommy John surgery and OF Austin Todd.



Scottsdale, AZ 18 - 12 - 1

Result: The Firebirds are led by juniors Jacob Gonzalez and Casey Candiotti, sons of former Major Leaguers Luis Gonzalez and Tom Candiotti. Gonzalez, a American Family Insurance preseason ALL-Arizona third baseman, hit .402 last season and is a TCU commit. Candiotti, a right-handed pitcher, was 4-1 last season. Junior 1B-RHP Blake Paugh, an Arizona commit, hit .315 with five homers last season. Senior 3B-RHP Blake Flint, a transfer from Pinnacle (Phoenix), should be a big help on the mound. The outfield is solid with Dylan Cole (.380 with five homers), Gianna Tomasi (five homers, 27 RBI) and junior Tyler Stokes, who sat out last season after transferring from Hamilton (Chandler).


JL Mann

Greenville, SC 25 - 6 - 1

Result: The Patriots were the state 4A runner-up and return six seniors who have signed to play college baseball. Some of the key returnees include senior Bryce Leasure (.431), a returning All-State catcher who signed with The Citadel; SS Patrick Frick, a Wake Forest signee: 3B Joe Satterfield (.356, 28 RBI), an Elon signee; and C-1B Blake Brady, a Liberty University signee. Junior LHP Jack Stamler (6-0, 15 saves, 1.09 ERA), a Clemson commit and senior LHP Mitchell Mikes (2.48 ERA, 70Ks in 62 innings), a Coastal Carolina signee, give the team a good two returning All-State pitchers.


South Dade

Homestead, FL 19 - 7 - 0

Result: The Buccaneers have won two titles in the past three years and have the experience for another state title run. Key returnees include: 1B-RHP Alek Manoah (.403, 27 RBI), who is a West Virginia signee and a likely first-round draft choice; C Gabriel Cruz (.528, 21 RBI), who signed with Bryant University; and 3B-RHP Danny Vaughan (.329, 21 RBI), who signed with Charleston. Other key players include: RHP Kendrick Pico (2.35, three saves); SS Willy Escala (.377); and RHP Chris Gomez, who was 5-3 with a 1.35 ERA last season at Varela and is a University of Pittsburgh signee.



Louisville, KY 23 - 16 - 1

Result: The Bruins have a solid pitching staff that includes: junior RHP/CF Jordon Adell, a Louisville commit who throws in the low 90s; senior RHP/OF Tyler Horsley, a Murray State signee; and RHP/3B/1B Blake Frost, a transfer from North Oldham, who played two years ago at Ballard. Senior SS/2B Jake Snider hit .426 last season at Central (Champaign, Ill.) and has signed with Louisville.



Chandler, AZ 29 - 4 - 0

Result: The Huskies have possibly the best player in the state in junior 1B Nick Brueser (447,46 hits, 34 RBI, 9 HR), who has committed to Stanford. Senior RHP Zane Strand (8-1, 1.81), an Arizona State signee, is the team’s ace. Senior RHP-C Logan Boyer, a San Diego State signee, junior OF-3B Ricky Ramsdell (.472) and junior SS Drew Swift (.330, 11 SB) are also key returnees.