PRIME 9 : Taking A Look at 9 Hillsborough High School Baseball Teams

With the 2017 Season right around the corner, let's take a look at 9 of the teams around the Bay Area that a lot of people are talking about. 

We will look at the players that they've lost, players that have returned and fresh faces to their program. 



Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Steven Lugo (College of Central Florida), Nico Baldor (University of Miami), Hunter Tubbs, Nick Ortega (Creighton University), Michael Sandborn (Vanderbilt University, Clayton Kwiatkowski (FSU)

Lugo led the team with a .408 average and was a leader between the lines in the infield and off-the-field with his teammates. His experience will be sorely missed. 

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

Garrett Sheppard (Coastal Carolina signee), Duncan Hunter (Jacksonville University signee), Price Sartor (Cornell signee), Jeff Hakanson (UCF signee), Drew Martin, Alex Mocny, Jake Jones, McGuire Weaver (FSU commitment), Jack Anderson (FSU commitment)

Weaver claimed the everyday shortstop gig last season as a sophomore and did not disappoint batting .311 striking out only FIVE times, and making only three errors. He is poised for a big season for the Tigers.   


Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year 

Kyle Koncal (Ava Maria signee),  Joel Brewer (FIU commitment)

Brewer is one of the more interesting stories in the Bay Area. A former standout on the soccer field, JB decided to focus solely on baseball this year and it is Coach Miguel Menendez and his club will be the ones who benefit from that decision. Brewer can absolutely fly on the basepaths and in the field, and has raw power that one can't teach. 



Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Casey Keller – Sac State College, Tyler Fagler – Darmouth, Matthew Bruno - NYU

Keller was the clear-cut ace for the team last year and Coach Richie Warren knows it'll be hard to replace the 10-1 record and 1.29 ERA, but if there's any team that can be able to fill that void, it's the Buccaneers. 

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team

Spencer Myers – Notre Dame, Julian Bosnic – Wake Forest, Marcus Ayers, Michael Hill, Carson Weekley, Jakob Hines, Gordon Stetson, Dylan Brown

It's not everyday that a big-time program like Berkeley starts a freshman at catcher, but that's exactly what happened last year with Hines. He did a great job working with the departed Keller and will look to continue to build that rapport with Weekley and Bosnic to fortify the pitching staff. 

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year

Davis Childers

Childers only picked up seven at-bats in 12 games last year as a freshman, but did have 3 hits. Expect him to be a much bigger factor this year. 


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Rodnie Bernard

It's never easy to lose your shortstop, especially when he batted .367 and led the team in steals with 16. But the Terriers are in a good spot because they have a guy in Ryan Romano who is ready to step in and take charge of the infield. 

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team  

Tim Elko, Jarrod Cande, Ryan Romano, Nick Romano, Patrick Puentes, Quinten Graham, and Antonio Jenkins

Elko, an Ole Miss commit, is widely considered to be one of the most feared hitters in Hillsborough county. Last year he led the team in batting average, doubles and runs batted in and with a slew of dangerous hitters around him, one would think it wouldn't be hard for him to have another big year.  

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year   

Terence Doston (transfer from Armwood)

Dotson made a big impact as a freshman last year at Armwood batting .344 and leading the team with 21 hits. With a solid lineup top to bottom, Coach Kenny White is going to have to do some tinkering to get all these guys enough at-bats to stay in the groove. 


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Zach Brodsky - Sewanee University, Dylan Carrisimo - Anna Maria College, Holden Bridge - Swarthmore, Jonny Corning - Wesleyan University, Luis Medina - College of Central Florida, Cameron Carlson - Bates College, Michael Falcon - Stevens Institute of Technology

A big ol' teddy bear, the Terrapins will definitely miss Lu Medina this year. Last season he batted .400 with six jacks and 24 runs batted in and was a terror against opposing pitchers. 

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

Seniors Alec Six and Aaron Muench, Junior Landon Schabes, Sophomores Charlie Vari, Gilbert Marquis, JD Urso

Losing a guy like Medina definitely hurts, but Tampa Prep has a more than capable guy to take his place in Vari. Charlie batted .312 last year as a freshman and even has an underclassman he could be the best pitch receiver/framer in the county. 

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year 

Ryan Savitt

Savitt is a player that has big experience playing high-level baseball around the Bay Area. He gives the Terrapins a veteran presence who can play a multitude of positions. 


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Drew Burkhart -of, Bradley Hession - 3b, Nicholas Alessi - c, Ryan Russell - of/rhp,

Garrett Raeckers - 2b

Hession was a big part of Steinbrenner's run to the State title last season. He led the team in doubles and home runs and was 2nd on the team in runs batted in with 22.

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

CJ Van Eyk - rhp/ss, Patrick Morris - 1b/lhp/of, Cam Coakley - of, Salvador Cimino - c/3b,

David Crawford - rhp, Noah Luke - c, Jacob Baker - of/1b

The Warriors return two big-time studs in Van Eyk and Morris, who not only produce at the plate but on the mound as well. Van Eyk was an impressive 12-1 last season with a miniscule 0.77 ERA.

Fresh Faces:

Tyler Lala - inf, Jordan Lala - of

In some ways, the defending Saladino Tournament and 8A State Champions could be a little better than last year adding two dynamic players from Tampa Catholic. Tyler has some of the best raw power in the county and Jordan can just flat out hit. 


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Ricardo Sosa- C   Luis Corretjer-3B

Sosa brought a valuable veteran presence to the Dragons last year and the big question heading into this season is whether or not there is someone who can fill that void behind the plate.

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

Robby Martin-OF/P Committed to FSU, A.J. Mathis- OF, Jack Rodriguez-P/1B. Mike Dominguez- P, Jake Coleman- 1B/OF, Jordan Perez- OF

Martin led Jefferson in all major offensive categories last season and is poised for another big year. A tall left-handed hitter who can hit the ball all over the field. It seems like every game he drives a ball deep into the gap.

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year 

Ty Evans- INF Steinbrenner, Chris Demarco- INF from Hillsborough, Kevin Gonzalez-C  didn't play last year hurt

Evans was a kid that couldn't crack the lineup over at Steinbrenner but now he's at Jefferson and looks to play a huge part for the Dragons this season. A calming presence in the lineup and in the field, Ty will be one of the fresh faces that could make the biggest impact this season.


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Jose Gutierrez, OF/DH, Matt Davis, C/OF/P

The team only scored 52 runs last season and Gutierrez drove in a quarter of them. Things are looking brighter in Coach Jason Smith's second season with the club, but Jose is going to be a guy that will be hard to replace.  

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

Darryl Mitchell, OF/IF/P (Sr), Mo Hanley, OF/P (Sr), Marquis Philon, SS/P (Sr), Malik Watson, OF/P (Sr), Sherwin Johnson, P/IF (Jr), Greg Santana, C (Jr), Baylor Delgado, IF (Jr), Torrini Marvin, OF (So)

To my knowledge, no player did more over the summer to improve his chances to play at the next level than Mo Hanley. A player that batted only .222 last season in HS, played in some of the summer's biggest tournaments and really matured as a ballplayer. He was recently clocked at 95MPH from the outfield and could be a difference-maker on the mound this season.

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year 

Juan Nunez, IF (So), Brennan Hyde, IF (Fr), Ernesto Vazquez, IF/P (So)

Hyde is part of the new class of players coming in under Coach Smith and looks to be part of the crew that turns this program around.


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Matt Blakenship-3B .328 BA, Payton Zoeller- Transfered to EastBay

Blakenship played in every game last year for the Longhorns, led the team in hits and was a steadying presence for a team who really struggled to find its groove.

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

Keith Harden-CF 5 HRs, Eli Wilborn-Steady SS, Xavier Montanez-Lefty Closer

Coach Duran is looking for playmakers at every position and look no further than Harden in center. A big kid with a big bat, he will look to help Lennard get things rolling in the right direction in 2017.

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year 

Yaziel Nunez, Edward Tarrant, Brendan Herrick

Nunez has made a big impression so far on his teammates and coaches and will look to be a big piece in the Longhorn's trek towards being a really good team.


Key Players Lost From Last Year's Team 

Camryn Williams, Gavin Gillespie, DJ Masuck 

The Cowboys took home the State title last season and one of the main reasons was the outstanding performance all season by Gillespie on the mound. The southpaw was 11-2 with an 0.79 ERA and will be sorely missed this season.

Key Returning Players From Last Year's Team 

Jose Cadenas, AJ Drisdom, Kenny Rodriguez, Danny Gutcher 

Gutcher will be up to the difficult task trying to guide a young pitching staff to success, but this team goes as Cadenas goes. An unreal defensive center fielder who is the ultimate spark plug at the top of the lineup. It's not everyday that the defending champions return their entire outfield but that's exactly what Gaither did.

Fresh Faces Who Will Make A Difference This Year 

Orlando Arevalo

It's never easy losing a guy like Cam Williams, who was an imposing figure in the field and at the plate. But having a guy like Arevalo (.403 last year at Cambridge) will help ease the pain.

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