Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2016 CWS Super-Regionals recap and CWS field

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"Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning throwing from the mound during the first inning. Florida Gators vs Miami Hurricanes. February 22nd, 2015. Gator Country photo by David Bowie. "

Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning throwing from the mound during the first inning. Florida Gators vs Miami Hurricanes. February 22nd, 2015. Gator Country photo by David Bowie.

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2016:

Here’s how the super-regionals went down: we’ll look at these regionals in the original order of the top 8 national seeds.  Red indicates the winner.

  • #1 Florida vs #16 Florida State: a rematch of last year’s super-regional and a chance for Florida State to redeem itself after losing all three of their mid-week matchups this year.  In game one, Florida State’s starter Drew Carlton threw a 2-hit shutout and beat Florida’s #3 starter (why did Florida start Alex Faedo?) in game one to put Florida behind the 8-ball.  In game 2, Florida DID start their ace Logan Shore, and he threw 8 innings of 2-hit ball himself to even the series.  In the final, Florida’s 6th overall pick A.J. Puk lasted just 3 2/3s .. but the Nats’ first round pick Dane Dunning threw 4 1/3 shutout ball to help seal an easy 7-0 victory to help Florida become the final team to advance.
  • #2 Louisville vs UC Santa Barbara: This is why they play the games, so to speak.  Highly favored Louisville went down two straight to UC Santa Barbara, losing with their Ace Brendan McKay on day one and when their #2 Drew Harrington handed a 3-run lead to their 1st round closer Zack Burdi in Game 2; Burdi promptly loaded the bases and then gave up a walk-off Grand Slam to a pinch-hitter Sam Cohen who had just one HR this year.  The video is pretty amazing.
  • #3 Miami vs Boston College: Miami’s bats got to BC’s Ace Justin Dunn and then opened up the game late for a 12-7 game one victory.  BC came back to force a decider, but Miami won out to advance.
  • #4 TAMU vs #13 TCU: TCU bashed their way to an 8-2 surprise game 1 victory.  TAMU came back with a comprehensive 7-1 win in game two to force the decider.   TCU’s Brian Howard gave up just 2 hits and one unearned run over 7 innings to solidify a comfortable 5-1 deciding victory and send TCU back to the CWS.
  • #5 Texas Tech vs ECU: ECU jumped out in Game 1 with a five-run 5th to knock out TT’s starter and held on with Matt Bridges striking out 6 of the 8 batters he faced to close out the upset win.  Texas Tech won game two and then destoyed ECU 11-0 in the decider to advance.
  • #6 Mississippi State vs Arizona: Arizona got nearly a complete game shutout of its starter Bobby Dalbec, who threw 8 2/3rds shutout innings before getting lifted with 2-on in the bottom of the 9th.  Arizona’s closer made quick work of the final batter to preserve the game 1 upset.  Game two went to extras, but Arizona got the walkoff run to win 6-5 and advance.
  • Oklahoma State vs #10 South Carolina: Despite not being the “seeded” team, Oklahoma State made quick work of South Carolina in 2 straight to punch a CWS ticket.
  • #8 LSU vs Coastal Carolina: Coastal won a slug-fest 11-8 in game one to put LSU in a precarious position.  Game 2 was closer and had a great finish, with LSU tying it in the top of the 9th and Coastal Carolina getting a walk-off single to win and advance to their first CWS.

My Original Predictions: #1 Florida, #2 Louisville, #3 Miami, #4 TAMU, ECU, #6 Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, #8 LSU

How it turned out: #1 Florida, UC Santa Barbara, #3 Miami, #13 TCU, #5 Texas Tech, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Coastal Carolina


CWS Field and Profiles

Top Bracket:

  • #1 Florida: 2nd Place SEC Eastern Division, 2nd Place SEC tournament.  52-14 overall record, (19-10 in conference).
  • Coastal Carolina: Big South Regular season champ.  Big South post-season champ.  49-16 (21-3).
  • #5 Texas Tech: Big 12 Regular Season champ.  46-18 regular season (19-5).
  • #13 TCU: 3rd place Big 12 regular season, Big 12 conference tourney champion.  47-16 (15-9).

Bottom Bracket

  • Arizona: 4th place Pac12 regular season.  44-21 regular season (16-14).
  • #3 Miami: 1st Place ACC Coastal Division.  2nd Place ACC tournament.  50-12 regular season (21-7).
  • Oklahoma State: 2nd Place Big 12 regular season.  41-20 regular season (16-8).
  • UC Santa Barbara: 3rd place Big West Regular season.  42-18-1 regular season (13-11)

CWS field review by the numbers

  • Just 1 from the SEC (Florida) despite 7 bids
  • Just 1 from the ACC (Miami) despite 10 bids
  • 3 from the Big 12 (Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU) despite only getting 3 bids.
  • 1 from the Pac 12 (Arizona)
  • 2 from elsewhere: UC Santa Barbara from the Big West, Coastal Carolina from Big South

CWS Field thoughts

Two first time CWS participants in UC Santa Barbara and Coastal Carolina.  The return of Arizona (the 2012 champ).  Presumptive favorite Miami (college royalty).  Some Big-12 muscle in a sport dominated by the ACC and SEC.  And the #1 overall seed, who has been favored from day one to win this thing.  A very interesting field.  I’m kind of shocked that Louisville and Texas A&M got upset … but TAMU losing to TCU wasn’t really that much of a shock based on their super regional from last  year.  All three Big12 teams who made the field advance to Omaha; that’s pretty impressive (then again, you really had to squint to find even a 4th team from that conference worth inviting).

In the top half: Despite their struggles getting past Florida State, I don’t see the teams in Florida’s bracket troubling them.   Texas Tech beat TCU 2 of 3 this year at TCU and I see them being the 2nd place team.  Coastal Carolina likely goes 2-and-out in Omaha.  I think it’ll go Florida, Texas Tech, TCU, Coastal.

In the bottom  half, Miami has a pretty clear pathway to an all-Florida CWS final.  I think they’ll handle Arizona in the first while OK State won’t be troubled by UC Santa Barbara.  The bracket goes Miami, OK State, Arizona, UC Santa Barbara.  I’m somewhat wary of picking Miami over Oklahoma State and wouldn’t be shocked if OK State made the final, but for now i’m picking chalk of the two best seeds remaining.

Quick predictions: Florida from the top, Miami from the bottom.  Florida already beat Miami 2 of 3 in Miami this year and will be favored to win 2 of 3 again on a neutral field.

Player Star power in this CWS: By team, here’s the guys to look for either for Nats interest or for overall talent/draft position:

  • Florida: had 8 players taken in the first 10 rounds, including two 1st rounders (6th overall pick A.J. Puk and the Nats 1st round pick Dane Dunning), three 2nd rounders (Ace Logan Shore, MD-native Buddy Reed and slugger Pete Alonso) and their closer Shaun Anderson (3rd rounder).   Just a ton of talent here, which is why they were #1 overall seed and are the presumptive favorites.  Logan Shore was the sole Golden Spikes semi finalist, and was named a finalist for the award this week.
  • Coastal Carolina: 4th rounder Michael Paez is the highest drafted player of 6 taken.  CCU has a couple of players with VA roots (Zack Hopeck from Heritage HS and Keiton Rivers from new 5A state champs Nansemond River) but neither are regular starters.  Closer Austen Kitchen was on the Freshman All-american team.
  • Texas Tech: 10 players taken in the draft, but none before the 8th round.  Nats 12th rounder Hayden Howard is ostensibly the closer and should see some time.  But Texas Tech’s strength is in its  youth: they had two players named Freshmen All-americans this year (Davis Martin and Steven Gingery).
  • TCU: 6 players drafted, none before the 13th round.  But they’re clearly a young team: Starter Dalton Horton, closer Durbin Feltman, OF Josh Watson and perhaps the best player on the team Luken Baker were named to the Freshman All-american team.  Baker was a very highly regarded draft prospect last year but opted for college and has not stopped  hitting since.
  • Arizona: 4th rounder Bobby Dalbec is the highest drafted player this year on AZ’s team.  Ace Nathan Bannister went 10-2 but was just a 28th round pick.
  • Miami: Led by 10th overall pick Zack Collins (a Golden Spikes semi-finalist), Miami had two other 6th rounders and 7 overall picks.
  • Oklahoma State: ten picks in this draft, led by 3rd rounder Tom Hatch and 5th rounder Donnie Walton.  Have a starter Jensen Elliott named Freshman All-American.
  • UC Santa Barbara: 4th rounder Shane Bieber and four other draft picks.

 


College CWS tournament references:

“Those guys can kiss my *ss!”

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Jayson Werth, right, gave MASN’s Dan Kolko a joyous earful. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Jayson Werth, right, gave MASN’s Dan Kolko a joyous earful. (Alex Brandon/AP)

I “watched” the Nats-Cubs game in the most “2016” way possible yesterday.  I followed along at nationals.com initially, then was glancing at my MLB app on my phone into the later innings, then caught exciting 9th inning and the potentially gut-punch top 12th on the way home in the car on 106.7, arriving home just after Anthony Rendon was tossed for not saying anything after taking a called third strike (which, per Pitch F/X, was low and outside, but was in the zone).

It was there that I saw the fantastic end of the game live on MASN.  Danny Espinosa getting a HBP and subsequently stealing second easily.  Michael Taylor slapping a single to drive him in and tie the game again.  And then Jayson Werth‘s 2nd walk off hit this week, nearly a walk-off homer (he certainly thought it was out at first glance), and a fantastic ending to the most well attended game at Nats park in a while (42,000 announced attendance).

Instant classic and instant addition to “greatest games” honorable mention list.  Nats win 4-3 to take the series 2-1 against the perhaps the best team we’ve seen since the 116 win 2001 Seattle team.

Box Score link.  Bill Ladson‘s great game summary.

But … for me the best part was the on-field post-game interview.  It was laugh out loud funny live and its even funnier in the clips.  If you havn’t seen them, you have to listen.  NSFW obviously.  But fantastic.

Yeah those guys can kiss my *ss!

Its like Werth is the lead singer at a rock concert playing to his crowd during an encore.  And his hair completely supports that simile :-)

Great win; great series.  This team is legit.  I know they lost four straight to these Cubs and lost the season series by the ugly line of 2-5, but some of those Chicago games were closer than a 4-game sweep would indicate.  And i’m starting to see national writers dreaming on a Washington-Chicago NLCS.  Wouldn’t that be great.

 

Written by Todd Boss

June 16th, 2016 at 8:35 am

First Look: Quick overview of Nats top 10 Draft picks for 2016

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Carter Kieboom is the first pick of the Nats in 2016's draft. Photo via PerfectGame

Carter Kieboom is the first pick of the Nats in 2016’s draft. Photo via PerfectGame

It was a strange first two days of the draft, with no consensus 1-1 overall, some very last minute moves, and some pretty surprising picks.  For me, the best player in this draft (NJ prep LHP Jason Groome) fell all the way to 12th and the Phillies picked a kid 1-1 overall in Mickey Moniak who seems to have the ceiling of a weaker Steve Finley.  We saw a consensus top-5 pick test positive for PEDs (Delvin Perez), and a sub-par CWS appearance cost A.J. Puk millions of dollars as he falls from everyone’s 1-1 prediction to #6 overall.

The Nats seemed to really depart from the draft strategy we’ve seen the Mike Rizzo-led front office follow in the past, where they normally focused on college arms with an occasional high-ceiling prep bat.  Here’s a quick look at the top 10 draft picks with some thoughts.

RoundOverallName/PositionPositionCol/HSSchoolSlot Value
1-S28Carter KieboomSSHSClemson2065900
1-S29Dane DunningRHPCol Jr.Florida2034600
258Sheldon Neuse3BCol Jr.Oklahoma1107000
394Jesus NuzardoLHPHSMiami635800
4124Nick BanksOF (rf)Col Jr.TAMU473300
5154Daniel JohnsonOF (CF)Col Jr.New Mexico State354300
6184Tres BarreraCCol Jr.Texas265400
7214Jacob Noll2BCol Sr.FGCU198900
8244A.J. BoguckiRHPCol Jr.UNC177700
9274Joey HarrisCCol Sr.Gonzaga166000
10304Paul PanaccioneSSCol Sr.Grand Canyon156600

Pick by Pick: if they’re ranked on the four main rankings sites I like (Keith Law, MLBpipeline, BaseballAmerica, and BaseballDraftReport) I’ll note them as such.  Links to these three master rankings are at the bottom of the post.

  • 1s/28: Carter Kieboom, SS/3B from Georgia HS.  Law #27, MLB #45, BA #44, BDR #14:  Brother of our budding C prospect Spencer Kieboom, Carter is thought to be the best of three baseball playing brothers.  Described consistently as a great hitter, one of the best prep hitters in the class, he currently plays SS but is projected to move to 3B.  He’s an overdraft according to MLB and BA but right in line with Law’s rankings (Law tends to favor toolsy prep players over lower floor/lower ceiling college guys).  My thoughts: very surprising first pick here; as we soon find out, the team is clearly focusing on bats this year and has no qualms about picking a guy who won’t feature for the MLB team for years.  Update: he’s *already* signed!
  • 1s/29: Dane Dunning, RHP starter/reliever from Florida.  Law #25, MLB #59, BA #60, BDR unranked. Once again, Law has this player significantly higher than MLB or BA.  For me its notable that when projected 1-1 pick A.J. Puk got hit around in the CWS regional, it was Dunning who came in and pitchd 3 2/3rds of 1-hit ball to win the game for Florida.  It wouldn’t be the first time that a college coach mis-used a quality arm (see Illinois using Tyler Jay inexplicably as a closer most of last year).  Dunning goes before even his team’s friday starter Logan Shore and surprised the heck out of me.  Especially when you consider who was still on the board in terms of college arms (notably Anthony Kay and Dakota Hudsonboth of whom went in the picks just after Dunning.  I’m talking myself into Dunning though; he was on my very early list for upper 1st round talents anyway, and seems like he was a better pro prospect than guys pitching ahead of him in the Florida rotation.  Florida is known as a great program for developing arms, and he comes to the Nats without a ton of use.
  • 2nd/58: Sheldon Neuse, SS/3B Oklahoma.  Law #60, MLB #50, BA #129, BDR #40.  Interesting discrepancy of opinion on Neuse; MLB likes him a ton and thinks the Nats got good value.  He’s a 3-time all-Big12 pick who likely moves to third in pro ball and also throws out of the Oklahoma bullpen (so there’s a reliever fall back; he’s clocked at 94).  At the plate, he’s got a ton of power, profiles as a 3-true outcomes guy and drastically improved his walk rate this year.  The scouting reports also think his big arm could profile in RF, and his size could look promising behind the plate.  He sounds like a polished college hitter with some pop, not unlike last year’s 3rd rounder Rhett Wiseman.
  • 3rd/94: Jesus Nuzardo, LHP from Florida HS.  Law #42, MLB #77, BA #50, BDR #58.  The Nats special; a Tommy John reclamation project.  Nuzardo was projecting as a mid 1st rounder early this spring before blowing out the elbow; if he comes back to form, then the Nats just stole a 1st round talent in the 3rd round.  You’d have to think that Nuzardo’s advisor will tell him that it makes more sense to join the Nats and their experienced TJ-rehab team than to head to Miami, but we’ll see what happens.
  • 4th/124: Nick Banks, OF from Texas A&M.  Law Unranked, MLB #101, BA #88, BDR #148.  I love this pick; Banks led the US Collegiate national team in hitting just last summer, but his stats backed up after he had a minor surgical procedure.  Skills don’t erode overnight, and Banks was thought to be a mid 1st round pick who slid precipitously.  I think the Nats got an absolute steal here and Banks will be a stud for this team for years to come.
  • 5th/154: Daniel Johnson, OF from New Mexico State.  BA #222.  Johnson was the WAC player of the year, hit for power and average.  Barely rated and seems like he’ll sign for slot or less.  Sounds like a nice little value pick.
  • 6th/184: Tres Barrera, C from Texas.  Law unranked, MLB #194, BA #284, BDR unraked.  A Catcher who had the defensive flexibility to move around as the Texas team needed him.  This is more than just a filler pick at this point; i’m guessing he signs for a bit less than slot and could feature later on.
  • 7th/214: Jacob Noll, 2B from Florida Gulf Coast.  BA #240, BDR #193: Nice slash line for a senior, even if it was in a weaker conference.  367/.427/.620 .  Classic senior sign; 6th-10th round, middle infielder, likely a nominal bonus to save cash for later.  Can’t argue with the pick.
  • 8th/244: A.J. Bogucki: RHP reliever from UNC.  BA #263, BDR #388.  Nice stats for a guy at this point: 9.48 K/9 – 4.47 BB/9 – 50.1 IP – 2.86 ERA.  Good MPH on his fastball, looks a little wild though.  I wonder if he signs.  Still has a year of eligibility and he’s in that area where they’re looking for bonus savings.
  • 9th/274: Joey Harris, C from Gonzaga; unranked anywhere.  Classic college senior sign who likely backs up Barrera at Auburn.
  • 10th/304: Paul Panaccione, Sr. SS from Grand Canyon U.  See 9th round pick; likely a one-and-done middle infielder for Auburn in 2016.

First 10 rounds worth of picks breakdown:

  • 8 Position players, just 3 arms.
  • 9 College, 2 prep (typical)
  • 3 clear senior sign/save on bonus money that I could tell (Noll, Harris, Panaccione)
  • 2 more in Johnson and Barrera who could be targeted for under-slot deals
  • Regional breakdown: 5 from SouthEast (Georgia, Florida, North Carolina), 5 from the South West (Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona), and one from the upper NW (Washington).

Conclusion: I like the first four picks, a lot.  Keith Law liked the Nats first couple of days too.    I like the focus on hitters after years of focus on arms.  I like the underrated pick up of Dunning over other “big name” guys who may be overrated.   I love the Banks pick; think its a steal not  unlike the situation where Rendon fell to the Nats because of a short-term injury concern.  I know practically nothing of anyone after Banks.

What do you guys think of it?

 


 

Draft Links of Use

Draft Rankings referred to within here:

 

 

 

 

2016 Prep Baseball Update #4: Virginia State Champions crowned

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Chantilly 6-A state champs 2016. Photo via their twitter account @Tilly_baseball

Chantilly 6-A state champs 2016. Photo via their twitter account @Tilly_baseball

This is post #4 of High School Tourney coverage for 2016.  Here’s the schedule:

  • #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff.  Covers: MD regional kickoffs, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates.  Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
  • #2: Maryland State Champs, Northern VA District Champs crowned   Covers: MD state finals, VA district tourneys, VA regional brackets, DC regular season results.  Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
  • #3: Virginia Regional Results.   Covers: VA regional results, State brackets, and summarizes DC and MD.
  • #4: Final Prep Baseball Tourney Update: Virginia State Champions crowned (this post).  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.
  • #5: List of all the final Player of the Year links that I’ve been collecting.

In this post, we will cover the Virginia State tournaments, re-cap MD, DC and private schools, and various Player/Teams of the year that have been released as of the date of publication.

Text in Red are pending results; I’ll update this post as the results come in even post publishing.


Virginia State tourney match-ups and tourney locations

All the state tourneys run from June 8th-11th at the various sites.  All state brackets available from this link at VHSL.

Semifinals and Finals:
1A/2A – at Radford/Salem, June 10-11
3A/4A – at Liberty University, Lynchburg, June 10-11
5A/6A– at Lake Braddock/Robinson., June 10-11

You might wonder why the 5A/6A competitions are at (to be brutally honest) rather run-down high school fields in Northern Virginia.  Well its because ALL the spring state tournaments are being decided at the same schools at the same time.  Softball, Soccer, Track, Baseball.  So you need high schools with enough capacity to park everyone.  And that leads you to basically the two biggest schools in the area.

Now, why don’t they just host this thing at George Mason University instead??  A great question.  Without having any direct knowledge, but having been involved with field reservations for the various adult and youth baseball teams for 20+ years, the answer seems to be this: the GMU baseball coach is possessive about “his” field and thus no amateur teams are ever allowed on it.  In fact; in case you never noticed there’s no lights on Mason’s baseball diamond; that’s because if there were lights, there’d be a ton more pressure to give up use of the field to youth and amateur teams.  Frankly, there’s *zero* reason why Mason couldn’t feature itself and its facilities by hosting state championships (like Liberty and Radford do for the smaller divisions).  Its just typical myopic behavior by baseball coaches in the area who are ultra protective of their fields (while forgetting that its us, the Virginia tax payers, that funded their construction and pay their salaries).  Rant off.

 


6-A State Finals: held at Robinson and Lake Braddock HS in Northern Virginia.

  • 6-A North Winner Chantilly (23-2), runner-up Battlefield (22-4).
  • 6-A South Winner Hylton (19-6), Cosby (13-7)

6-A State Semis Results:  In the first state semi, Battlefield threw their ace Jake Agnos, and Battlefield made a 2 run inning stand in a 2-1 victory over Hylton.  Agnos strikes out 10 in his final prep start.  In the other semi, Chantilly eased past Cosby 4-1 to setup the third meeting on the year between Chantilly and Battlefield.  (Washington Post story on both games)

6-A State Final:  In the State final, Battlefield jumped ahead late 2-0 but Chantilly scored 3 in the bottom of the 7th to walk off a State champion.  Gut punch for Battlefield, who threw their ace to get there and were in position to win.  Brett Norwood Jared Enders got the walk-off hit to win it in the end.  Chantilly, twice in a row runners-up, are finally your 6-A State champs (thanks for correction in the comments LV).

6-A State champ: Chantilly, 25-2 on the season.


5-A State Finals: held at Robinson and Lake Braddock HS in Northern Virginia.

  • 5-A North Winner Mountain View (20-4), runner-up Potomac (20-7)
  • 5-A South Winner Nansemond River (19-7), runner-up Mills Godwin (19-5).

5-A State Semis Results:  In the first semi, Mountain View held serve against Mills Godwin and won 3-2.  In the second semi, Nansemond outlasted Potomac 3-1 to setup a 5-A final of Regional champs.  5-A State Final: Nansemond River defeated Mountain View 5-3 to capture their first state title.

5-A State champ: Nansemond River, 21-7.


4-A State Finals: held at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

  • 4-A East Winner Hanover (22-1), runner-up Jamestown (22-2)
  • 4-A West Winner Liberty Christian Academy (18-3), runner up Kettle Run (20-2)

4-A State Semis Results: In the first semi, Hanover won a close game 2-1 over Kettle Run.  In the last semi-final played of the evening, Jamestown led Liberty Christian the whole way, but LCA kept coming back and ended the game with a walk-off hit by Zack Hess, who had pitched the whole game.  LCA advances 5-4 to setup a dream 4-A final between two of the best teams in the state.  The 4-A final was perhaps one of the craziest playoff games ever contested; Hanover held a 7-1 lead heading into the 6th inning, LCA scored eight runs in the 6th inning to take the lead 9-7.  Hanover answered by scoring 6 runs the following inning, taking a 13-9 lead into the last.  LCA rallied, scored 3 runs themselves to cut the lead to 13-12 without recording an out, but then stranded the tying runner at second to lose the state title game to Hanover.  The recap is worth the read.  What a game.  Hanover wins their third state title in four years.

4-A State champ: Hanover, 24-1.


3-A State Finals: held at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

  • 3-A East Winner, Poquoson, runner-up William Monroe
  • 3-A West Winner: Turner Ashby, runner-up Rustburg.

3-A State Semis Results: Rustburg took out Poquoson 6-3 in the first state semi on the strength of a 5-run sixth inning.  In the other semi, William Monroe blanked Turner Ashby 3-0 setting up an unlikely state final where neither regional winner advanced.  In the final, Rustburg outlasted William Monroe 3-2 to take the state title.

3-A State champ: Rustberg.


Smaller Classifications: held in Salem and at Radford University.

  • 2-A match-ups: Maggie Walker d Grayson 2-1 in the first semi.  Goochland 2-time defending champ pounds Virginia 11-4 in the other on the back of a 9-run inning.  In the state final, Maggie Walker 3, Goochland 1
  • 1-A match-ups: Windsor d Fort Chiswell 3-1 in the first semi.  Rappahannock defeats Eastside 4-2 in the other.  In the state final, Rappahannock 8, Windsor 7

Recent Virginia HS champs:  Before 2014, we just AAA, AA and A; now we have 1-A through 6-A.

2015: See this post for 2015’s state tournament wrapup for all 6 divisions:

  • In 6-A, Madison d Chantilly 6-5.  First Colonial & defending champ Western Branch were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Stone Bridge d Marshall 9-4.  2014 finalists Hickory & Freeman were state semifinalists.
  • In 4-A, Glen Allen d Jefferson Forrest 9-3.  Fauquier & Hanover were state semifinalists.
  • In the smaller classifications, Lafayette won 3-A, Virginia High repeated in 2-A and William Campbell won 1-A.

2014: see this post for 2014’s state tournament wrap up for all 6 divisions.

  • In 6-A, Western Branch d Chantilly 6-4.  McLean and Cosby were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Hickory d Freeman 6-4.  Stone bridge and the surprising Freedom-South Riding semi finalists.
  • In 4-A, Hanover d Millbrook 7-1.
  • In the smaller classifications, Loudoun Valley won 3-A, Virginia High won 2-A and Northumberland won 1-A.

2013: AAA: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: AAA: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then blitzed to a state championship.

2011: AAA: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: AAA: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports and has results for a century.  Lots of fun to dig through.


Maryland

Here’s the state finals results in Maryland.  Brackets here at the MPSAA website.

A quick list of past Maryland State champions by division past what we have here.

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.


DC Public Schools/DCIAA:


Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

All local area Private schools’ seasons are now complete.


Individual Player Accolades Announced

In addition to being playoff-baseball time, this is also the time of the year that we start to see player awards.  I keep this as a running list as announcements are made before doing a final publication at the end of the year.

Gatorade announced their player of the year awards on 5/24/16.  (Link to all Gatorade/USA Today players of the year per state)

  • Maryland: Spalding’s Tyler Blohm won the Maryland award.  Committed to Maryland.
  • Washington DC: St. John’s Cam Remalia (by way of Waldorf, MD) won the DC award.  Committed (per PG) to Coastal Carolina.
  • Virginia: Flint Hill’s Khalil Lee won the Virginia award.  Committed to Liberty but likely to get drafted early.

Pending Awards to be announced/expected later this spring:

  • VISAA’s All-State teams, Division I, Division II and Division III.  Khalil Lee (Flint  Hill) is the Division 1 player of the year.  Harry Brown (Greenbrier Christian) is Division II player of the year.  Andrew Lowe (Southampton Academy) is Division III player of the year.
  • Washington Post All-Met teamsJake Agnos is the 2016 All-Met Player of the year.
  • Meanwhile, here’s a fantastic list of all All-Met teams in all sports going back to 1991 that i’m spinning into a “where are they now” post to be done sometime in the future.
  • Virginia All 6-A North Regional team: Jake Agnos, LHP Battlefield (ECU commit) is the Pitcher of the year, Jared DiCesare, Chantilly (George Mason commit) is the Player of the year.
  • Virginia All 6-A South Regional teamFox Semones, SS/RHP Hylton (James Madison commit) is the Player of the Year.
  • Virginia All 5-A North Regional teamAlex Smith C from Mountain View (Navy commit) is player of the year.
  • Virginia All 5-A South Regional teamMichael Blanchard, RHP Nansemond River (Old Dominion) is player of the year
  • Virginia All 3-A East Region teamNoah Murdock, RHP from Colonial Heights (Virginia commit)  is the player of the year
  • Other Virginia All-Regional teams: pending; sometimes hard to come by
  • VHSL All-State Teams: pending release
  • NovaBaseballMagazine.com has selected All conference teams for all the Northern Virginia-based conferences; click on the “Standings” link from their home page, navigate down to the division in question, and you’ll get the final 2016 conference standings, then the results of the conference tournament, and the all conference team.  I’m not sure if these are “official” all-district teams or if these are NBM’s staff selections.
  • Louisville Slugger All-Americans: tba 6/12/16 eta
  • Rawlings Perfect Game All-Americans:
  • USA Today All-Americans: tba 6/10/16 eta
  • Baseball America All-Americans: tbd
  • The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Team (if exists)
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Richmond team (if exists)
  • Virginian Pilot All-tidewater team (if exists)
  • Maryland MIAA All-State teams

My master list of links used to cover HS Baseball:

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists: Updated for 5/23/16 in most cases.

  • Washington Post All Met Sports Area top-10 ranking: Madison maintained #1 ranking most of the season but now Chantilly & Battlefield will lay claim.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine.com Rankings: Madison and Chantilly have dominated the rankings all year, Battlefield, Kettle Run, Mountain View & Marshall there too.
  • PrepBaseballReport maintains a VA State-Wide Power25 Rankings: Greenbrier Christian, Hanover, Liberty Christian and Chantilly leading the way.
  • Baltimore Sun Top-10 Poll Archives: Perennial power Spalding has been at the top for a good chunk of the season.  Spalding, Chesapeake, Severna Park 1-2-3 in final 5/23/16 ranking.
  • The Virginian Pilot Top-10 for Hampton Roads area: Private school powerhouse Greenbrier Christian, Grassfield and one-loss First Colonial 1-2-3 in final 5/31/16 poll.
  • Richmond times-Dispatch Richmond-Area top-10: perennial 4-A power Hanover leads the way.
  • UsaToday’s National High School “Expert” Rankings 5/25/16: Hanover comes in at #16, Spalding at #21.
  • USAtoday’s National “Computer” Rankings 5/25/16: Just Hanover at #21.
  • Baseball America Top 25: No local teams ranked.  Madison was in the pre-season list but quickly dropped out with its early season tourney losses.
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 25” ranking: No local teams listed. Madison started #11
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 50” rankings: No local teams listed.
  • MaxPreps All-Virginia Rankings: Hanover, Grassfield 1-2, then 4-A Jamestown (maybe a bit high), then the two big private schools Greenbrier Christian and Liberty Christian.  Highest ranked 5-A team is Mountain View, so there’s your 6A/5A/4A favorites.

These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect.  These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going.  So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition.  In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.

Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports, but has put limits on the number of stories you can read.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine: great coverage of Prep baseball in NorthernVirginia (thanks to Joe Antonellis for the heads up on this great new resource).

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow:

  • https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below).  Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

Pre-2016 Draft coverage; mocks and local players

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Kansas prep star Riley Pint may not go #1 overall, but he'll be close. Photo via thatballsouttahere.com

Kansas prep star (and subject of Jeff Passan’s latest book “The Arm”) Riley Pint may not go #1 overall, but he’ll be close. Photo via thatballsouttahere.com

The MLB rule-4 (Amateur) draft starts tonight, 6/9/16 at 7pm.  The MLB Network will have full coverage of the first round of picks. This post is my dumping ground of draft coverage for 2016.

This post uses last year’s format, with links to use to see draft prospect rankings, links to help cover the draft (which I personally come back to time and time again), some blurbs on local players of interest, and then links to a bunch of mock drafts.

Draft Coverage so far at NAR for 2016:

  • Here’s the big post on all marquee DC/MD/VA prep players ahead of the 2016 season (only guys who are “significant” draft prospects are mentioned here).
  • Here’s the same for DC/MD/VA tied College players
  • After the draft happens, I’ll review both of the above posts and list who actually got picked and who’s going to school.

Draft Links of importance

Here’s a slew of Draft Prospect rankings : these are NOT the same as mock drafts; see further down for those.  You’re going to see the same locally tied names on nearly all of these lists; they’re all individually profiled further below.


 

Now, some news about College Players with local ties who are serious draft candidates (meaning first couple of rounds projected or present on top 100 draft ranking lists).  Note that I’ve got a far, far larger list of local players that I’ll follow-up on after the draft; these are just the significant/top 10 round types.

  • Connor Jones, UVA RHP via Great Bridge; at this point perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best college pitching prospect thanks to fall-offs from a number of other candidates.  Probably a mid-1st rounder, though some pundits (Keith Law) have him rated far lower.
  • Buddy Reed, OF from Florida via Finksburg, MD (NW of Baltimore).  Probably a late first rounder or sandwich pick, perhaps lower.
  • Matt Thaiss, UVA C who has shot up the rankings; now projected as early 2nd rounder.  Keith Law likes him as a late 1st rounder.
  • Mike Shawaryn: RHP for Maryland; stock has really fallen this season; now perhaps just a 4th rounder.  A late season push improved his draft status somewhat.
  • Andrew Knizner, C from NC State by way of Glen Allen, VA: gritty ballplayer who has played his way into perhaps 5th round discussions.
  • Errol Robinson, SS from Ole Miss by way of Maryland; struggled badly this season, dropping his stock from early 2nd round projections; no idea where he’s project to go now.

Local Prep players of note who are serious draft candidates:

  • Joe Rizzo, INF for Oakton HS.  Remains the highest ranked local draft prospect, projecting as anywhere between a mid-1st rounder and an early 2nd rounder.  South Carolina commit.  MLBpipeline.com’s write-up profiles his draft prospects the best.
  • Khalil Lee LHP/OF for Flint Hill.  Some have him 2nd-3rd round, others have him projected 4th-5th.  Part of the confusion is where to play him; he was an undersized speedy CF candidate… then suddenly flashed low 90s off the mound as a lefty starter this year.  Liberty commit.
  • Zack Hess, 1B/OF from Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg).  3rd round projection.  LSU commit.
  • Noah Murdock, a RHP from Colonial Heights (Richmond).  4th round projection by rank, UVA commit.
  • Garrett Stallings, RHP from Grassfield HS.  Not generally listed but may be rising, Tennessee commit.

Re-draft players of interest to Nats fans:  these are re-drafts that have come back up.  See the Draft Tracker for underclassmen draftees from last year and/or Prep draftees from 2013 who are now draft eligible again.

  • Garrett Hampson, SS from Long Beach State.  Nats 2013 26th round pick, now projecting as a 5th or 6th rounder.
  • Reid Humphreys, RHP/OF two-way player from Mississippi State.  Nats 2013 36th rounder, now projecting as a 4th/5th rounder.
  • Shaun Anderson, RHP from Florida.  Nats 2013 40th rounder, now projecting as a late 3rd rounder.
  • John Reeves, C from Rice.  Nats 2015 20th rounder who started 56 games for the CWS-bound Rice team and hit above .300; looks like a good choice to return to school.
  • Alec Rash, RHP from Missouri: Nats 23rd round pick in 2015.  Quit baseball altogether last fall to pursue collegiate basketball.
  • Blake Smith, RHP from WVA: Nats 24th round pick in 2015: posted a 2.20 ERA as West Virginia’s closer for the season with 8 saves and 25 appearances.
  • Mack Lemieux, LHP from Jupiter HS and then Palm Beach State CC.  Nats 14th round pick in 2015.

 

Mock Drafts

Every year I say i’ll stay away from the Mock Draft links … and every year I come back.  Here’s a running collection.  DCProSports.com has a master list of Mock drafts at this link that has many more than I’ve got listed below.

  • Fangraphs/Scott Moore‘s Mock #1: Groome, Senzel, Lewis, Puk, Pint.
  • BaseballAmerica/Hudson Belinsky‘s Mock #1: Groome, Senzel, Pint, Puk, Perez.
  • BaseballAmerica/Hudson Belinsky‘s Mock #2: Puk, Lewis, Pint, Moniak, Ray.
  • BaseballAmerica/John Manuel Mock #1: Puk, Lewis, Pint, Moniak, Groome.
  • BaseballAmerica/John Manual BA Mock #4: Moniak, Puk, Ray, Lewis, Pint
  • Manual Mock #5: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock #1 (Insider only): Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock #2 (Insider only): Puk, Lewis, Groome, Moniak, Perez.
  • ESPN/Keith Law Mock #3: Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray
  • ESPN/Keith Law Final Mock: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray
  • D1baseball.com/Frankie Piliere Mock #1: Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray.
  • D1baseball.com/Frankie Piliere Mock #2: Puk, Lewis, Ray, Groome, Perez
  • MLBPipeline.com/Jim Callis Mock #1: Puk, Senzel, Lewis, Moniak, Ray.
  • MLBPipeline.com/Jim Callis  Mock #2: Puk, Senzel, Lewis, Moniak, Perez.
  • MLBPipeline.com/Jim Callis Final Mock: Moniak, Senzel, Ray, Puk, Collins
  • MLBPipeline.com/Jonathan Mayo Mock #1: Puk, Senzel, Lewis, Groome, Perez.
  • MLBPipeline.com/Jonathan Mayo Final Mock: Moniak, Senzel, Ray, Puk, Rutherford
  • MinorLeagueBall Mock #1 Part one and Part two: Lewis, Puk, Groome, Rutherford, Moniak
  • Scout.com/Taylor Ward Mock #1: Groome, Senzel, Rutherford, Lewis, Ray
  • Scout.com/Taylor Ward Mock #2: Puk, Ray, Lewis, Groome, Rutherford.
  • Scout.com/Jeff EllisMock #1: Groome, Hansen, Puk, Moniak, Pint
  • Scout.com/Jeff EllisMock #2: Senzel, Perez, Ray, Groome, Rutherford
  • Scout.com/Jeff EllisMock #3: Garrett, Groome, Rutherford, Senzel, Perez
  • Scout.com/Jeff EllisMock #4: Puk, Perez, Ray, Moniak, Rutherford
  • Scout.com/Jeff EllisMock #5: Puk, Lewis, Pint, Moniak, Rutherford
  • Scout.com/Jeff Ellis final Mock: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray
  • NatsGM.com/Ryan Sullivan‘s Mock #1: Puck, Senzel, Lewis, Groome, Perez
  • Si.com/Chris Crawford‘s Last minute Mock Draft: Puk. Lewis, Groome, Pint, Ray
  • Baseball Prospectus; have not seen any mock drafts from BP this year.
  • PerfectGame.org Mock Drafts are Insider/Premium only; this link is to their 2016 Draft Coverage home page.

 

Todd Boss’ Mock draft?  Based on my vast level of expertise (sarcasm) and the thousands of man hours i’ve put in scouting players in person and cultivating industry sources (also sarcasm), and instead reading the tea leaves of the gazillion other mock drafts, I’ll take this as my initial guess for the top 5: Puk, Lewis, Groome, Pint, Moniak

The only thing that gives me pause is this: Puk *stunk* in the regional.  4 and a third, 5 hits and 5 runs given up to UConn.  Sorry; if you’re going to go 1-1 you need to do an outing like 7ip, 4hits, 10ks, 0 walks in your swan song.  I wonder if that was enough to have Philly move to a different pick.  And Perez just got popped for failing a drug test, instantly removing him from top-5 consideration.  So, given Puk’s stinker most of the last minute mocks have Philly off of Puk and doing Moniak as an under-slot deal.  And I can’t disagree.  So my final mock will be: Moniak, Puk, Lewis, Pint, Ray

And this top 5 means that Groome and Pint (who I think are the two best talents in this draft) fall to teams outside the top 5 and they’re going to be absolutely ecstatic.

ACTUAL DRAFT Results: Moniak, Senzel, Anderson (??), Pint and Ray.  Just like everyone predicted.

Who are the Nats going to take at #28 and #29?

No frigging idea.  Lots of these Mock drafts attempt to guess, to put some names with the Nats down that far.  But consider the 2011 draft.  Everyone had Anthony Rendon going 1-1.  Suddenly he slips and the Nats grab him at #6 in a total gift.  The point is this: we have no idea how even the top 5 picks will go, so predicting what’s going to happen at pick #6 is folly, let alone #28.  Nats will take BPA, probably will mix up a safer pick (aka college arm) with a riskier pick (aka a high school bat) and go back to back $2M bonus slots.  I also like the running theory that the nats will get the Scott Boras special and “package” two Boras clients together at 28/29 and basically split the bonus pools.  Names often mentioned here include Kyle Funkhauser and the prep pitcher/basketball player Matt Manning.  One would be an over draft, one would be a steal if he gets here.  We’ll see.

 

2016 CWS Regional Results, Noted Player performances, Super Regionals pairings

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Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2016:

Now we’re through the Regionals and the field has been winnowed from 64 to just 16.

We’ll review the 16 regionals in order of the larger bracket.  Bold is the host and Bolded Red is the winner.  We’ll also highlight significant players and/or guys who are big names in the upcoming draft as we get to them (MLBpipeline.com summarizes their top 200 ranked players here: i’ll just talk about the 1st round talents and players w/ local ties).

1. In the Florida regional, UConn put a mini upset loss on Georgia Tech, who tried to sneak a win with a mid-week starter and now face a loser’s bracket hole.  Meanwhile Florida surprisingly stuck with their rotation and threw ace/friday starter Logan Shore in game one against Bethune-Cookman. Presumed #1 pick A.J. Puk then went up against UConnn and their 1st round Ace Anthony Kay.  In the winner’s bracket game and both laid eggs; Puk couldn’t get out of the 5th and Kay gave up 5 runs in 5+ innings.  One wonders if this causes some last minute changes at the top of draft boards.  Nonetheless, Florida got a run in the 8th to take it 6-5 and assume control of the regional.  Georgia Tech took out UConn to face Florida in the regional final, where they got pummelled 10-1 as Florida advanced.

16. In the Florida State regional, Florida State and Southern Miss destroyed their foes in the first games, and Florida State made quick work over Southern Miss to advance to the championship game.  South Alabama lost 14-2 in their opening game; they were one of the last at-large teams to make the tourney at the expense of UNC and UNC’s Zac Gallen took to twitter to let the selection committee (which included South Alabama’s athletic director) know it.  Can’t blame him; the ACC has dominated in this tourney so far.  That being said, South Alabama did advance out of the loser’s bracket to face Fla State in the regional final, where they got obliterated.  Florida State Advances, scoring 43 runs in three games.

2. In the Louisville regional, both Louisville and 2-seed Ohio State handled their openers.  Louisville threw Kyle Funkhouser and he gave up just 4 hits in 8 innings, with presumptive upper 1st rounder Corey Ray going 3-5 at leadoff.  Louisville pounded Ohio State in the winner’s bracket game, putting themselves in the easy driver’s seat and making them an early CWS favorite.  Louisville ended up downing Wright State to advance.

15. In the Vanderbilt regional, awful news broke just prior to the game when it was learned that one of Vanderbilt’s freshmen pitchers Donny Everett drowned the previous weekend, casting a pall over the regional.   UC Santa Barbara held serve in their first game.  When Vanderbilt finally took the field, they completely melted down in the 7th inning, giving up 13 runs in the frame (half of them against likely 1st rounder Jordan Sheffield) to lose 15-1 to 4th seeded Xavier.  In the loser’s bracket, Vanderbilt’s coach left in his starter Kyle Wright far too long (122 pitches but more importantly turning an 8-2 lead in to an 8-7 nailbiter), and Washington eventually hit a 2-run homer against the bullpen for the win.  Vanderbilt goes 2-and-out as a host and ends their streak of making the CWS finals.  Meanwhile UC Santa Barbara took control of the region and forced Xavier to have to beat them twice to advance; it didn’t happen as UC Santa Barbara pounded Xavier 14-5 to advance to their 1st super regional ever.

3.  In the Coral Gables regional (host #3 Miami), Long Beach State got an early upset win over Florida Atlantic while Miami eased past in-state rival Stetson.  Miami won a squeaker over Long Beach to take control of the regional, but it was closer than you’d expect. Stetson went 2-and-out quickly.  LBSU got back to the winner’s final, and almost had a 9-run comeback against Miami before dropping the regional final 9-8 on a Miami walk-off.

14. In the Ole Miss regional, Mississippi became one of the only hosts to lose its first game, dropping a 6-5 decision to the probably-underseeded Utah team.  Boston College also got a mini-upset when their 1st round prospect ace Justin Dunn dominated Tulane to setup a 3-4 seed winner’s bracket game.  Ole Miss then promptly went two and out by losing the next game to Tulane.  Boston College beat Utah to take control of the regional.  Tulane overtook Utah to make it to the regional final, but Boston College handled them easily to advance as a #3 seed.

4. in the Texas A&M regional, both seeds advanced (TAMU and Wake Forest) initially without much fanfare, but then TAMU embarassed Wake Forest to the tune of a 22-2 beatdown in the winner’s bracket.  TAMU may “only” be the 4th seed, but they’re #1 in some polls and are looking very dangerous.  TAMU eventually advanced against Minnesota, who made it to the regional final as what many thought was an undeserved #2 seed.

13. In the TCU regional, Gonzaga upset Arizona State and pressed TCU in the winner’s bracket game before falling 4-3.  Arizona acquitted themselves and got back to the regional final, where TCU made short work of them 8-1 to advance.

5. In the Texas Tech region, the hosts destroyed Fairfield in the opener and then New Mexico shocked Dallas Baptist.  DBU advanced to the loser’s bracket final.  Texas Tech won a nail-biter over the tough New Mexico team in the winner’s bracket game.  DBU advanced to the regional final, where they took one game off of Texas Tech to force the winner-take-all game.  In a back-and-forth game, Texas Tech jumped ahead in the 6th and made the lead stick to advance.

12. In the Charlottesville Region (host #12 UVA), UVA took a gamble and threw struggling sunday starter Alec Bettinger against in-state rival William & Mary (filled with Northern Virginia alum) and pounded their starter Dan Powers (of my alma mater Madison HS in Vienna).  UVA didn’t stop there, eventually winning 17-4.  Meanwhile, ECU (half of their lineup is VA-based) destroyed Bryant’s bullpen en route to a 9-1 easy victory in a “minor upset.”  ECU has to like their chances, having taken 2 of 3 in Charlottesville earlier in the season.  UVA did their best to keep this from happening, taking a 6-3 lead into the 9th against some-time starter (and Vienna native Tommy Doyle, who promptly gave up 5 runs in the 9th and a walk-off 3-run homer to blow the game for the Cavaliers.  W&M made quick work of the over-seeded Bryant team and gets a second crack at UVA, who now faces a big up-hill battle to advance.  Interesting choice to finish the game; doesn’t UVA have, you know, relievers and a closer for that task?  Then, to add insult to injury in the Loser’s bracket elimination game William & Mary quickly got to UVA’s saturday starter Daniel Lynch and then tacked on two more on Doyle to eliminate last year’s champion UVA 5-4.  UVA just didn’t have the pitching they needed and sorely miss the presence they got from someone like Josh Sborz last year.  W&M and ECU face off having eliminated the top two seeds in this regional, and ECU easily advanced to the Super Regional.  ECU was the first team to book its ticket to the super-regionals this year.

6. In the Mississippi State regional, the hosts won their first game and then eased by the dangerous Cal-State Fullerton team to take control of the regional.  CSF got upset by Louisiana Tech in the losers’s bracket, but it didn’t matter as Mississippi State wasn’t troubled in the regional final to advance.

11. In the Louisiana-Lafayette regional, both top seeds held serve in the first games before weather pushed the whole regional by a day.  ULL made it to the regional final with a 10-3 victory over Arizona, but Arizona came back through the loser’s bracket and took two straight over ULL to win the regional in a winner-take-all game Monday.

7. In the Clemson regional (host #7 Clemson), Clemson scored an astounding 24 runs to win a slugfest in its opener but then had its hat handed to them 12-2 by Oklahoma State in the winner’s bracket game.  Huge showing by the Big-12 so far in this tournament.  Clemson battered their way back to a rematch … where Oklahoma State promptly beat them again 9-2 to advance.  Clemson becomes the first national seed to fall, albeit not in a hugely surprising fashion to a very good OK State team.  Clemson’s Seth Beer continued his monster season, finishing up one of the 5-best freshman seasons we’ve seen in a while and putting his name on the map for the 2017 draft (where he’ll be a draft-eligible sophomore).

10. In the South Carolina regional, the hosts were shocked by Rhode Island in the opener while UNC-Wilmington (who starts four guys in the lineup hailing from Virginia) destroyed Duke to put themselves in the driver’s seat.  UNC-W continued on, beating Rhode Island 11-7 to head to the winner’s bracket final.  South Carolina downed Duke in the elimination game to face up with R.I. again.  There, South Carolina got their revenge, beating Rhode Island by the astounding score of 23-2.  In the regional final, SC had to beat UNC-W twice to advance; they forced the winner-take-all game with a 10-1 dismantling of their CAA foes sunday night.  The winner-take-all game got rained out monday, pushed to Tuesday.  In that tuesday game, South Carolina jumped ahead early and held on to win the last game 10-5 to complete the comeback out of the Loser’s bracket and advance.

8. The LSU regional was plagued by rain.  They only got one game in on Friday and Saturday.  however, LSU saved their ace Alex Lange for the Rice matchup, where he’ll face another highly regarded college junior in Jon Duplantier.  A freak “ground rule grand slam” set the tone early and LSU prevailed.  Rice came back through the loser’s bracket and took the first game from LSU in the regional final, forcing a winner-take-all Tuesday.  In that winner-take-all game, Rice jumped out ahead but LSU had a clutch go-ahead homer in the 7th to break Rice’s back.  LSU advances and becomes the last of the 16 teams to do so.

9. In the NC State region,  NC State pounded Navy’s Luke Gillingham to put away any chances of an upset while Coastal Carolina eased past St. Marys to setup a fun all-Carolina matchup in the winner’s bracket.  Navy put St. Marys on 2-and-out.  The NC State-Coastal game was delayed a day by weather, but Coastal held a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the 9th to delay the inevitable.  NC State destroyed Navy in the loser’s bracket final 17-1 to face off against Coastal twice to advance.  In the first game of the final, NC State easily beat CC to force the winner-take-all game.  That game, believe it or not, was suspended in the top of the 9th with NC State holding a 2-run advantage and had to be pushed to Tuesday.  When they resumed the game … Coastal Carolina rallied for four runs in the top of the 9th to win the game and the regional.  Amazing.

 


Summary of Regionals statistically:

  • 10 of 16 hosts advanced, including 7 of 8 National seeds.  This is a far cry from 2014, which lost most of its national seeds early, but about in line with 2015’s tournament where 11 of 16 advanced.
  • 2 first time Super-Regional participants (Boston College, UC Santa Barbara)
  • 5 = number of regionals forced into the “extra” deciding game, most of them on Tuesday thanks to weather.
  • 10 number one seeds, 4 number two seeds, and 2 number three seeds advance to the super regionals.  
  • 6 number of #4 seeds who didn’t finish 4th in their regional: two were runner’s up in their region (William & Mary and Xavier).
  • 2 hosts that went 2-and-out (the understandable Vanderbilt and Ole Miss).
  • 5 of the regionals went pure chalk, a decent indication of the job the seeding committee did this year.
  • Biggest upsets: Xavier destroying Vanderbilt, Utah beating Ole Miss.
  • Most surprising regional winner:  UC Santa Barbara

Conference Breakdowns of the teams in the Super Regionals:

  • SEC: florida, TAMU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, LSU
  • Big12: TCU, Texas Tech, OK State
  • ACC: Fla State, Lousiville, Miami, BC
  • Pac12: Arizona
  • other: UCSB, ECU, Coastal Carolina

Super Regional Matchups:  The super-regional hosts were announced just after the last regional ended.

  • #1 Florida vs #16 Florida State (a rematch of last year’s super-regional)
  • #2 Louisville vs UC Santa Barbara
  • #3 Miami vs Boston College
  • #4 TAMU vs #13 TCU (a rematch of last year’s super regional)
  • #5 Texas Tech vs ECU
  • #6 Mississippi State vs Arizona
  • Oklahoma State vs #10 South Carolina
  • #8 LSU vs Coastal Carolina

 


Super Regional Thoughts:

I think the top 4 seeds are class this year; i’m going with Florida, Louisville, Miami and TAMU to start, and two of them are helped by going against first time super-regional teams.  We have two Super-Regional rematches from last year (Florida-Florida State and TAMU-TCU), which followed last year’s multiple super regional rematches.  I know the committee likes this, but I don’t; give these teams a shot at playing someone else.  Florida destroyed Florida State last year and their pitching staff should control them again this year.  I don’t see Louisville troubled.  Miami-BC is an ACC match-up that never happened this season.  I love TAMU-TCU and think its unfortunate they meet here and not Omaha; they played a fantastic regional last year that culminated in a 16-inning decider.

I like ECU but don’t know enough about Texas Tech to predict a possible upset.  Same with Mississippi State; are they the most non-descript national seed we’ve had in awhile?  Arizona came out of the weak Pac12 this year so its hard to pick against the nationally ranked team.  I think Oklahoma State is better

Predictions: Florida, Louisville, Miami, TAMU, ECU, Mississippi State, OK State, LSU

 


College CWS tournament references:

Prep Baseball Update #3 2016: Virginia Regional Results & State Tournament fields

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Chantilly; 6-A North Region champs for 2016. Photo via @PhilChantilly on twitter

Chantilly; 6-A North Region champs for 2016. Photo via @PhilChantilly on twitter

This is post #3 of High School Tourney coverage for 2016.  Here’s the schedule:

  • #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff.  Covers: MD regional kickoffs, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates.  Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
  • #2: Maryland State Champs, Northern VA District Champs crowned   Covers: MD state finals, VA district tourneys, VA regional brackets, DC regular season results.  Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
  • #3: Virginia Regional Results (this post)..  Covers: VA regional results, State brackets, and summarizes DC and MD.  Usually publishes the first week of June.
  • #4: Final Prep Baseball Update: Virginia State Champions crowned.  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.

In this post, we will cover the Virginia Regional results, preview the VA State brackets, have summaries to the DC, Maryland and Private school results, and will continue with POTY reports.

Text in Red are pending results; I’ll update this post as the results come in even post publishing.


Virginia Regionals:

All regional brackets are available at this VHSL main link.

6-A North Regionals: Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 5/Concorde: Chantilly, Centreville, Westfield, Robinson
  • Conference 6/Liberty: Madison, McLean, Washington & Lee, South Lakes.
  • Conference 7/Potomac: Lake Braddock, West Springfield, West Potomac
  • Conference 8/Cedar Run: Battlefield, Patriot, Osborne Park, Osbourne.

My Initial Predictions: all four #1 seeds advancing with a likely Battlefield-Chantilly regional final.

6-A North Regional Tournament Results: There was only one upset by seeding in the first round of the 6-A North playoffs (#3 seed Centreville over #2 seed Annandale); otherwise most of the teams played close, one- or two-run games.   In the 5/27/16 quarters, the recent dominance of the Liberty district was exposed as both Madison and McLean were defeated handily.  The Regional semis are now Battlefield vs Centreville (who blanked Madison 3-0) and Chantilly versus Patriot (who upset #1 seed Lake Braddock).  A good showing for the Cedar Run conference in 2016.  In the Regional Semis, Battlefield’s Jake Agnos struck out 13 in a tight 2-0 win over Centreville, while Chantilly walked off against Patriot.  In all honesty, I think this is the best regional final to be expected, pairing the two beat teams in the region.  Hats off to Chantilly for making their third straight regional final, where they’ll be favored after easily handling Battlefield’s #2 starter when these two teams faced off earlier this spring.  In the 6/3/16 final, Chantilly easily handled Battlefield for a second time this year, getting 5 runs in the first and a complete game from its #2 Forrest Wagner and winning the regional title 8-3.  Chantilly’s 2nd region title in three years.

State Semi finalists: Chantilly (23-2), Battlefield (22-4).

 


6-A South Regional: Here were your qualifiers:

  • 6-A Conference 1/Coastal: First Colonial, Ocean Lakes
  • 6-A Conference 2/Monitor Merrimac: Grassfield, Western Branch
  • 6-A Conference 3: Manchester, Cosby.
  • 6-A Conference 4: Colonial Forge, Hylton

My initial predictions: Colonial Forge and Grassfield in the Regional final.

6-A South Regional Results: In the 5/31/16 quarters, upsets prevailed as all four road teams won against higher seeded opponents.  Hylton beat Manchester, Western Branch beat First Colonial, Cosby upset Colonial Forge and Ocean Lakes beat the favored Grassfield.  In the state semis, Cosby rallied late to walk-off against favored Ocean Lakes while Hylton upset the favored Western Branch to setup a highly unlikely regional final.  In that final, upstart Hylton traveled to Cosby and won on the road 7-3 to take the Regional title.  The WP had a nice feature on Hylton pitcher Fox Semones (committed to JMU) after the regional completed.

State semi-finalists: Hylton (21-7), Cosby (13-7)

 


5-A North Regional: Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall, Edison, Lee
  • Conference 14: Briar Woods, Stone Bridge, Tuscarora
  • Conference 15: Mountain View, Potomac, Stafford
  • Conference 16: Halifax, Atlee, Orange

My Initial Predictions: Mountain View-Marshall regional final with Mountain View prevailing.

5-A North Regional tournament Results: (5-A North Bracket Here) In the #2/#3 seed play-in battles, only Edison was exposed and lost easily to Tuscarora.  In the quarters, only Briar Woods was upset (by Potomac), setting up two intriguing regional semis matches on 6/1/16.  In the semi-finals, Potomac left it late to upset the favored Marshall and return to the State tournament for the first time in a generation while Mountain View squeaked out a victory over Halifax 2-1.  In the final, Mountain View rallied late to prevail over Potomac to take their first regional title 5-4.  Evan Antonellis continued his hot post-season with a 3-run homer early, but Potomac couldn’t hold them off.

State Semi finalists: Mountain View (20-4), Potomac (20-7)


5-A South Regional: Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 9/Atlantic: Hickory, Indian River.
  • Conference 10/PenSouth: Menchville, Nansemond River
  • Conference 11: Glen Allen, Mills Godwin.
  • Conference 12: Prince George, Matoaca

My Initial Predictions: I like Hickory and Glen Allen’s chances.

5-A South Regional tournament Results:  In the quarters on 5/30/16, both Conference 11 teams (Glen Allen & Mills Godwin) won easily over their Conference 12 foes to setup a district rematch in one Regional Semi.  In the other quarters, Nansemond River upset Hickory while Indian River upset Menchville.   In the semis, Mills Godwin completed a season sweep over district rival Glen Allen (beating them for the third time) while Nansemond River (Suffolk) continued their upset-minded run to the Regional final with an easy win over Indian River.  In the finals, Nansemond River jumped ahead early and never looked back, beating Godwin 10-1.

State Semi finalists: Nansemond River (19-7), Mills Godwin (19-5).


4-A East Regional: We used to call 4-A a “smaller” conference, but now perhaps the best team in the state is in 4-A, so we’ll follow it more closely.  There are no 4-A schools in Northern Virginia; these are all down-state schools, but they’re important to follow nonetheless.  Here were your qualifiers:

  • Conference 17: Great Bridge, Wilson
  • Conference 18/Ironclad: Jamestown, Lafayette
  • Conference 19: King George, Louisa
  • Conference 20: Hanover, Dinwiddie

My Predictions: Hard not to predict a Great Bridge, Hanover final; Great Bridge is a long-time 5-A powerhouse newly demoted to 4-A and Hanover won the old AAA in 2013 before the splitting into 4A/5A/6A.

4-A East Regional tournament Results: In the quarters, #1 seeds Hanover (19-1) and Jamestown (19-1) advanced, Dinwiddie upset King George, and Lafayette upset powerhouse Great Bridge in a quarterfinal delayed 3 days by rain.  In the semis, Jamestown blanked Dinwiddie 7-0 to advance to States.  In the other semi, Hanover destroyed Lafayette 14-3 to setup a dream 4-A East final between two one-loss teams.  In that final, Hanover wiped out Jamestown 11-0 to take the regional title for the 3rd time in four years and lay claim to the best team in the state.

State Semi Finalists: Hanover (22-1), Jamestown (22-2)

 


4-A West Regional: Here were your qualifiers: I’m not entirely sure why Conference 21 is now split into two.

  • Conference 21 East: Millbrook, Woodgrove
  • Conference 22 West: Loudoun County, Loudoun Valley
  • Conference 22: Kettle Run, John Champe
  • Conference 23: Liberty Christian Academy, Jefferson Forrest
  • Conference 24: Salem, William Byrd

My Predictions: I think it has to be a one-loss Kettle Run versus the newly eligible Liberty Christian.  However, thanks to district tournament upsets there are some very tough matchups early in the regional tournament.

4-A West Regional tournament Results:   In the play-ins, Jefferson Forest and Loudoun Valley easily advanced.  In the Quarters, Millbrook outlasted Loudoun Valley in extra innings, Liberty Christian advanced easily when Zack Hess no-hit John Champe, Kettle Run squeaked by Jefferson Forest 3-2, and Salem eased by Loudoun County. In the Semis: Kettle Run absolutely destroyed Salem 15-1 (though to be fair, it was tied 1-1 heading into the 5th) while Liberty Christian gave up just 2 hits to Millbrook en route to a 5-1 victory to setup the dream final.  You have to favor LCA at this point, since Hess should be ready to go in the final.  In the final (which got delayed for 4 full days), LCA won a tough 4-3 game over Kettle Run for their first 4-A regional title (recall, they just converted to VHSL for this season).

State Semi Finalists: Liberty Christian Academy (18-3), Kettle Run (20-2)


Virginia Smaller Classifications: we’ll just summarize the regional finalists who are moving on to the state tournament.  Most all Finals set for 6/3/16.

  • 3-A East; Poquoson defeated William Monroe (who won their quarter 17-0).
  • 3-A West: Turner Ashby defeated Rustburg.
  • 2-A East: Maggie Walker defeated Goochland 8-5 in an abbreviated regional final.
  • 2-A West: Virginia High School defeated Greyson County 10-9 for its third straight regional title.
  • 1-A East: Windsor d Rappahannock
  • 1-A West: Eastside defeats Fort Chiswell 4-3, scoring 3 runs in the last to walk-off.

Virginia State tourney match-ups and tourney locations

All the state tourneys run from June 8th-11th at the various sites.  All state brackets available from this link at VHSL.

Semifinals and Finals:
1A/2A – at Radford/Salem, June 8-11
3A/4A – at Liberty University, Lynchburg, June 8-11
5A/6A– at Lake Braddock/Robinson., June 8-11

Here’s the state semis match-ups with records as of the start of the state tourney:

  • 6-A match-ups: Chantilly vs Cosby, Hylton vs Battlefield
  • 5-A match-ups: Mountain View vs Mills Godwin, Nansemond River vs Potomac.
  • 4-A match-ups: Hanover vs Kettle Run, Liberty Christian Academy vs Jamestown
  • 3-A match-ups: Turner Ashby-William Monroe, Poquoson-Rustburg
  • 2-A match-ups: Maggie Walker-Greyson County, Virginia High-Goochland
  • 1-A match-ups: Rappahannock-Eastside, Fort Chiswell-Windsor

 State Predictions:

  • I’ll go with a Chantilly-Battlefield re-match in 6-A; Battlefield has already beaten Hylton this year; it all depends on when they decide to throw Agnos.
  • Mountain View-Nansemond River in 5-A
  • Liberty Christian over Hanover
  • Chalk in 3-A: turner Ashby v Poquoson
  • Virginia High to three-peat in 2A
  • Eastside in 1A

Recent Virginia HS champs:  Before 2014, we just AAA, AA and A; now we have 1-A through 6-A.

2015: See this post for 2015’s state tournament wrapup for all 6 divisions:

  • In 6-A, Madison d Chantilly 6-5.  First Colonial & defending champ Western Branch were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Stone Bridge d Marshall 9-4.  2014 finalists Hickory & Freeman were state semifinalists.
  • In 4-A, Glen Allen d Jefferson Forrest 9-3.  Fauquier & Hanover were state semifinalists.
  • In the smaller classifications, Lafayette won 3-A, Virginia High repeated in 2-A and William Campbell won 1-A.

2014: see this post for 2014’s state tournament wrap up for all 6 divisions.

  • In 6-A, Western Branch d Chantilly 6-4.  McLean and Cosby were state semifinalists.
  • In 5-A, Hickory d Freeman 6-4.  Stone bridge and the surprising Freedom-South Riding semi finalists.
  • In 4-A, Hanover d Millbrook 7-1.
  • In the smaller classifications, Loudoun Valley won 3-A, Virginia High won 2-A and Northumberland won 1-A.

2013: AAA: Hanover d Great Bridge. Hanover’s super-junior Derek Casey (committed to UVA) outlasts Great Bridge and their 1st round talent Connor Jones (now attending UVA after spurning a likely late 1st round draft position).  Lake Braddock and Oakton beaten in the semis.

2012: AAA: Lake Braddock d Kellam 4-0. Lake Braddock lost to West Springfield in the regional title game but then blitzed to a state championship.

2011: AAA: Great Bridge d South County in the state final, giving the powerful South County its first and only loss on the season after starting the season 28-0.  Lake Braddock was the regional finalist and lost to Great Bridge in the state quarters.

2010: AAA: West Springfield d Woodbridge in the final, giving Woodbridge its only loss on the year. WT Woodson regional finalist.

Complete history of Virginia HS Champions: from VHSL’s website.  Covers all sports and has results for a century.  Lots of fun to dig through.


Maryland

Here’s the state finals results in Maryland.  Brackets here at the MPSAA website.

A quick list of past Maryland State champions by division past what we have here.

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.

 


DC Public Schools/DCIAA:


Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

All local area Private schools’ seasons are now complete.


Individual Player Accolades Announced

In addition to being playoff-baseball time, this is also the time of the year that we start to see player awards.

Gatorade announced their player of the year awards on 5/24/16.  (Link to all Gatorade/USA Today players of the year per state)

  • Maryland: Spalding’s Tyler Blohm won the Maryland award.  Committed to Maryland.
  • Washington DC: St. John’s Cam Remalia (by way of Waldorf, MD) won the DC award.  Committed (per PG) to Coastal Carolina.
  • Virginia: Flint Hill’s Khalil Lee won the Virginia award.  Committed to Liberty but likely to get drafted early.

Pending Awards to be announced/expected later this spring:

  • VISAA’s All-State teams, Division I, Division II and Division III.   Khalil Lee (Flint  Hill) is the Division 1 player of the year.  Harry Brown (Greenbrier Christian) is Division II player of the year.  Andrew Lowe (Southampton Academy) is Division III player of the year
  • Washington Post All-Met teams: have been selected (by virtue of all the twitter shout-outs I’ve seen) but not yet published.  Meanwhile, here’s a fantastic list of all All-Met teams in all sports going back to 1991 that i’m spinning into a “where are they now” post to be done sometime in the future.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine.com has selected All conference teams for all the Northern Virginia-based conferences; click on the “Standings” link from their home page, navigate down to the division in question, and you’ll get the final 2016 conference standings, then the results of the conference tournament, and the all conference team.
  • Louisville Slugger All-Americans: tba 6/12/16 eta
  • USA Today All-Americans: tba 6/10/16 eta
  • Baseball America All-Americans:
  • The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Team
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Richmond team (if exists)
  • Virginian Pilot All-tidewater team (if exists)
  • Virginia All 6-A North Regional team: Jake Agnos, LHP Battlefield is the Pitcher of the year, Jared DiCesare, Chantilly is the Player of the year.
  • Other Virginia All-Regional teams: pending
  • VHSL All-State Teams: pending release
  • Maryland MIAA All-State teams (if exists)

My master list of links used to cover HS Baseball:

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists: Updated for 5/23/16 in most cases.

  • Washington Post All Met Sports Area top-10 ranking: Madison maintained #1 ranking most of the season but now Chantilly & Battlefield will lay claim.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine.com Rankings: Madison and Chantilly have dominated the rankings all year, Battlefield & Marshall there too.
  • PrepBaseballReport maintains a VA State-Wide Power25 Rankings: Greenbrier Christian, Hanover, Liberty Christian leading the way.
  • Baltimore Sun Top-10 Poll Archives: Perennial power Spalding has been at the top for a good chunk of the season.  Chesapeake, Severna Park.
  • The Virginian Pilot Top-10 for Hampton Roads area: Private school powerhouse Greenbrier Christian, Grassfield and one-loss First Colonial have led the way most of the year.
  • Richmond times-Dispatch Richmond-Area top-10: perennial 4-A power Hanover leads the way.
  • UsaToday’s National High School “Expert” Rankings 5/25/16: Hanover comes in at #16, Spalding at #21.
  • USAtoday’s National “Computer” Rankings 5/25/16: Just Hanover at #21.
  • Baseball America Top 25: No local teams ranked.  Madison was in the pre-season list but quickly dropped out with its early season tourney losses.
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 25” ranking: No local teams listed. Madison started #11
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 50” rankings: No local teams listed.
  • MaxPreps All-Virginia Rankings: Hanover, Grassfield 1-2, then 4-A Jamestown (maybe a bit high), then the two big private schools Greenbrier Christian and Liberty Christian.  Highest ranked 5-A team is Mountain View, so there’s your 6A/5A/4A favorites.

These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect.  These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going.  So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition.  In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.

Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports, but has put limits on the number of stories you can read.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine: great coverage of Prep baseball in NorthernVirginia (thanks to Joe Antonellis for the heads up on this great new resource).

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow:

  • https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below).  Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

 

CWS 2016: Field fo 64 announced with Regional predictions

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Its that time of year again; Its College Baseball playoff season!

On 5/29/16, a day before the entire field was announced, the 16 Regional hosts were announced.  These are also the top 16 seeds (though they only acknowledge the top 8 “national seeds”).  The following day, the entire field was announced.  Here’s a look at the 16 regional tournaments with some quickie thoughts.

Each of these 4-team sets is listed in the “seed” in the regional, starting with the host:

1. Florida, Georgia Tech, UConn, Bethune-Cookman: hard to see the #1 overall seed and presumptive favorite all year lose at this stage.
16. Florida State, Southern Miss, South Alabama, Alabama State: Some think there’s an upset possible here, since both Southern Miss and South Alabama are tough; I still think Fla State can power its way through here.

If seeds hold, Florida meets Florida State for a fun intra-state tourney.  They’ve played three mid-week games this season with Florida sweeping them all, so odds are that Florida is making Omaha.

2. Louisville, Ohio State, Wright State, Western Michigan: Ohio State as your 2-seed isn’t scaring anyone.
15. Vanderbilt, UC Santa Barbara, Washington, Xavier: Not really much of a challenge for Vanderbilt in this regional; not even another top-25 team.

If seeds hold, yet another intra-state repeat super-regional matchup between these two teams, and a pretty tough draw for Louisville if it happens.  Vanderbilt is better than a #15 seed and this match-up seems like its forced to save a few dollars in travel costs; both of these teams are legitimate Omaha threats, with Vanderbilt having made the final in both of the last two seasons.

3. Miami, Florida Atlantic, Long Beach State, Stetson: Miami and Florida Atlantic split a couple of mid-week games; they have a dangerous Long Beach State as a #3 seed.  tough regional.
14. Ole Miss, Tulane, Boston College, Utah: Ole Miss will have its hands full with Tulane but should advance.

If seeds hold, Ole Miss gets a tough assignment going to Miami, but Miami should prevail.

4. Texas A&M, Minnesota, Wake Forest, Binghamton: wow, Minnesota as your #2 seed?  Tough regional you laid out there for TAMU this year.
13. TCU, Arizona State, Gonzaga, Orel Roberts: I don’t trust any of the Pac-12 teams this year; TCU should prevail.

If seeds hold, yet another manufactured super regional of local teams.  They didn’t play mid-week this season.  This could be a good series; some think TAMU is the beat team in the land.

5. Texas Tech, Dallas Baptist, New Mexico, Fairfield: shouldn’t be too tough for newcomer Texas Tech.
12. UVA, Bryant, ECU, William & Mary: well, UVA got kind of short changed here; Bryant isn’t tough but ECU can be.  They can’t be happy about seeing in-state rival W&M either.  They dodged a bullet with a weaker #2 seed though.

If seeds hold, Texas Tech-UVA is super close; they’re #6 and #7 in d1baseball’s latest poll.  I know nothing of Texas Tech but know UVA has played great as of late, has two 1st round talents and could be a tough out.

6. Mississippi State, Cal-State Fullerton, Louisiana Tech, Southeast Missouri State; Mississippi State should cruise here: Fullerton looks tough on paper but can come up short in the playoffs.
11. Louisiana-Lafayette, Arizona, Sam Houston State, Princeton: some upset potential here if you trust any Pac-12 teams.

If seeds hold, hard to see Mississippi State (ranked #3 in d1baseball’s latest poll) losing.

7. Clemson, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Western Carolina: Clemson will be favored but will struggle with OK State.
10. South Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, Duke, Rhode Island; tough regional for South Carolina; Duke is no slouch and Wilmington is tough.

If seeds hold (and sensing a pattern here), another intra-state superregional.  Clemson-South Carolina would be fun.

8. LSU, Rice, Southeastern LA, Utah Valley: hard to see LSU getting stressed here: Rice always underperforms in the post-season.
9. NC State, Coastal Carolina, St. Marys, Navy: tough blow for Coastal, which apparently went from just missing being a regional host to having to travel to tough ACC competitor NC State.  Meanwhile, NC State probably has the hardest regional of them all, with Navy’s pre-season all-american Luke Gillingham set to go in game 1.

If seeds hold, LSU-NC State could be a barn burner.

Easiest Regionals: I’d go with TAMU, Florida, Louisville.

Hardest Regionals: NC State, South Carolina, UVA.

My Omaha predictions right now: Florida, Louisville, Miami, TAMU, UVA, Mississippi State, South Carolina, LSU.  A lot of chalk there.


Snubs

North Carolina.  A top 20 team by RPI but yet again finishes with a sub-par, sub-.500 record in ACC play and gets left out.  10 other ACC teams made the tournament, making college baseball more and more of an ACC-SEC affair, but not having a top 20 team by the same RPI factors that clearly drove both the regional host selections and the at-large teams really is kind of hypocritical.  Why not just tell teams at the beginning of the year, “if you don’t finish .500 in conference play you will not be selected.”

The college podcasts listed a few other snubs like Kent State and PAC-12 teams Oregon and/or Oregon State, but for me it starts and ends with UNC.

Marquee Draft-related players to watch

I won’t go through all 64 teams, but here’s some of the more interesting names to keep an eye on:

  • #1 Florida has likely #1 overall pick A.J. Puk, but their “other” Ace starter Logan Shore is also a likely 1st or 2nd round pick.  Also a likely high pick is OF Buddy Reed.
  • #2 seed Louisville is led by likely top-5 pick Corey Ray and has two big arms you’ll hear mentioned on draft day (Zach Burdi and Kyle Funkhouser).
  • Miami’s Zach Collins is probably the first catcher off the board.
  • UVA is led by Conner Jones and Matt Thaiss, both likely 1st rounders.
  • Mississippi State’s ace is Dakota Hudson, likely the 2nd or 3rd college arm drafted.
  • Vanderbilt is led by 1st rounder Jordan Sheffield and in the field by likely 2nd rounder Bryan Reynolds.
  • Boston College’s staff is led by likely 1st rounder Justin Dunn.
  • Wake Forest’s Will Craig is one of the top sluggers in the nation, on the leader boards for both average and home runs.
  • UConn’s Anthony Kay will make life difficult for Florida if he is saved for the winner’s bracket game.

Other News

After Texas failed to make the tourney, their long-time coach and noted arm-shredder Augie Garrido stepped down to take an administrative job.


College CWS tournament references:

 

Prep Baseball Update #2 2016: Private, DC, Maryland State Champs, Northern VA District Champs crowned

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This is post #2 of High School Tourney coverage for 2016.  Here’s the schedule:

  • #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff.  Covers: MD regional kickoffs, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates.  Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
  • #2: Maryland State Champs, Northern VA District Champs crowned (this post).  Covers: MD state finals, VA district tourneys, VA regional brackets, DC regular season results.  Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
  • #3: Virginia Regional Results, DC Tourneys.  Covers: VA regional results, State brackets, DC tourney results.  Usually publishes the first week of June.
  • #4: Final Prep Baseball Update: Virginia State Champions crowned.  Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results.  Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.

Lets see where we stand now after the Memorial Day weekend and a slew of tournament results.

Text in Red are pending results, which we’ll pick up in the next post in this series.


Virginia

Here are the Virginia Conference champions, regular season and tournament.  All these playoff brackets, if they exist, are at this link at VHSL.  I won’t re-link all the playoff brackets per district/region below.

6-A North Region

  • 6-A Conference 5/Concorde: Regular season champ Chantilly won two close games to also take the District title.  Centreville scored the minor #3 over #2 upset to take the 2nd seed from this district.
  • 6-A Conference 6/Liberty: Regular season champ Madison won a 1-0 squeaker over #2 seed McLean in the district final.
  • 6-A Conference 7/Potomac: Lake Braddock routed #1 seed West Springfield and #3 seed Annandale en route to the district title. 
  • 6-A Conference 8/Cedar Run: Regular season champ Battlefield won both its playoff games 2-1 to take the District title.

6-A North Regional Qualifiers (in seed order).  Here’s the 6-A North bracket.  Play begins 5/25/16.

  • Conference 5/Concorde: Chantilly, Centreville, Westfield, Robinson
  • Conference 6/Liberty: Madison, McLean, Washington & Lee, South Lakes.
  • Conference 7/Potomac: Lake Braddock, West Springfield, West Potomac
  • Conference 8/Cedar Run: Battlefield, Patriot, Osborne Park, Osbourne.

Quick predictions for 6-A North regional tourney: In an unlucky break for both teams, Madison and Battlefield are set to meet in the Regional semis on 5/31/16 by virtue of being on the same side of the draw.  Defending regional champ Chantilly has a tough 2nd round matchup with McLean, while the powerful Lake Braddock team has a seemingly easier path to the Regional semis.  Its hard not to predict all four #1 seeds from advancing at this point; we’re marking our calendars for a potentially great Madison-Battlefield matchup (presumably with their ace Jake Agnos going) on 5/31.

6-A North Regional Tournament Results: As of this posting: Only one small upset by seeding in the first round of the 6-A North playoffs (#3 seed Centreville over #2 seed Annandale); otherwise most of the teams played close, one- or two-run games.   In the 5/27/16 quarters, the recent dominance of the Liberty district was exposed as both Madison and McLean were defeated handily.  The Regional semis are now Battlefield vs Centreville (who blanked Madison 3-0) and Chantilly versus Patriot (who upset #1 seed Lake Braddock).  A good showing for the Cedar Run conference in 2016.

Semis on 5/31/16 and Finals (set for 6/3/16) pending.


6-A South Region: which is mostly big-time schools in Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach area.  But there are just enough schools in Woodbridge proper to form a 6-A conference closer to DC with teams that are typically considered for All-Met rankings.   Unlike 6A-North, just the top two teams from each district make the Regional tournament.  Thus, the district tournaments here are lagging the district tournaments for the North region, which finished before theirs even began.

In an interesting configuration, the winners of 6A Conference 1 and 5A conference 9 will play a championship game, so on the VHSL site they’re in the same bracket.

Direct link to Tide-water area tourney schedules at Pilot Online.    Direct link to Richmond area tourney schedules at the Times-Dispatch.

  • 6-A Conference 1/Coastal: First Colonial and Kellam (two perennial power houses) are the top seeds, but the tourney is at host Kellam so we’ll see who wins out.  In the tourney though, Kellam was upset with First Colonial and #3 seed Ocean Lakes facing off.  There, Ocean Lakes upset perhaps the state’s best team in a 9-inning affair (but First Colonial is still the #1 seed).
  • 6-A Conference 2/Monitor Merrimac: As with last year, Western Branch and Grassfield are the top seeds and advanced to the title game, but Grassfield came out on top 6-1.
  • 6-A Conference 3: Manchester and Cosby 1/2 seeds.  In the regional final seeds held and Manchester took the District title 6-5.
  • 6-A Conference 4: Colonial Forge is the regular season champ.  Seeds hold in the district tourney with Colonial Forge beating Hylton in the tourney final 3-0.

6-A South Regional Qualifiers: Games set for 5/30-6/3.

  • 6-A Conference 1/Coastal: First Colonial, Ocean Lakes
  • 6-A Conference 2/Monitor Merrimac: Grassfield, Western Branch
  • 6-A Conference 3: Manchester, Cosby.
  • 6-A Conference 4: Colonial Forge, Hylton

Quick predictions for 6-A South regional tourney: to come in the next update once we know who has qualified.  Early thoughts are on Colonial Forge, First Colonial and the conference 2 powerhouses Western Branch and Grassfield.  Grassfield’s chances may depend on the timing of their Ace Grant Garrett Stallings and which game he throws.


5-A North Region:

  • 5-A Conference 13/Capitol: Regular season champ Marshall squeaked through the district tournament, winning the final over #3 seed Edison.
  • 5-A Conference 14: Regular Season champ (and defending State champ) Stone Bridge was upset in the District final by Briar Woods (though Briar Woods probably was the better team by overall record).  Tuscarora easily handled Broad Run to capture the final regional slot.
  • 5-A Conference 15: Regular Season champ Mountain View won two close games to capture the District title.
  • 5-A Conference 16: Regular Season champ Halifax beat 2nd place Atlee in the district title game, with #4 seed Orange capturing the 3rd regional spot.

5-A North Regional Qualifiers (in seed order): 5-A North regional bracket here.  Play begins on 5/24/16.  In a change from last year, the top 3 from each conference qualify for Regionals.

  • Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall, Edison, Lee
  • Conference 14: Briar Woods, Stone Bridge, Tuscarora
  • Conference 15: Mountain View, Potomac, Stafford
  • Conference 16: Halifax, Atlee, Orange

Quick predictions for 5-A North regional tourney: I sense that Marshall isn’t nearly as good as its inflated record and that Briar Woods is vulnerable.  We regularly have no idea how good or bad the Southwestern Conference 16 teams are, and this benefits Mountain View (who plays into Halifax if the seeds  hold).  I’ll predict a Mountain View-Marshall regional final with Mountain View prevailing.

5-A North Regional tournament Results: (5-A North Bracket Here) In the #2/#3 seed play-in battles, only Edison was exposed and lost easily to Tuscarora.  In the quarters, only Briar Woods was upset (by Potomac), setting up two intriguing regional semis matches on 6/1/16.   Semis and Finals (set for 6/3/16) pending.


5-A South Region

  • 5-A Conference 9/Atlantic: Hickory and Indian River are the top 2 seeds; see above for the weird Conference 1/9 bracket.  Hickory seems to have moved from Conference 10 to 9 for some reason this year; they’re a recent VA state champ and are one to look out for.  The top 2 seeds advanced to the title game, where Indian River prevailed.
  • 5-A Conference 10/PenSouth: Menchville/Nansemond River are the 1/2 seeds.
  • 5-A Conference 11: Mills Godwin and Deep Run are the 1/2 seeds, but #3 seed Glen Allen upset both of them en route to a district title, destroying Mills Godwin in the final 16-3.
  • 5-A Conference 12: Prince George and Matoaca are the 1/2 seeds, and seeds held form in the tourney with Prince George winning out.

5-A South Regional Qualifiers (in seed order): 5-A South Bracket here: I don’t like the bracket configuration, where the two teams from the same region have to meet before the final; if (say) Indian River and Hickory are the two best 5-A teams … they shouldn’t have to play until the finals.  Games set for 5/30-6/3.

  • Conference 9/Atlantic: Hickory, Indian River.
  • Conference 10/PenSouth: Menchville, Nansemond River
  • Conference 11: Glen Allen, Mills Godwin.
  • Conference 12: Prince George, Matoaca

Quick predictions for 5-A south regional tourney: I like Hickory and Glen Allen’s chances, but we’re a ways from knowing how the regional sets up.


Smaller Virginia Classifications with Northern Virginia ties.  The local teams in 3-A Conference 27 have all moved/graduated to 4-A, so we’ll just cover 3-A Conference 28.

4-A North:

  • 4-A Conference 21 East/A: Conference 21 split into east and west this year, presumably for travel purposes.  In the Conference tournament, seeds held to form and #1 seed Millbrook beat #2 seed Woodgrove in the final.  Both teams advance to regionals.
  • 4-A Conference 21 West/B: Loudoun Valley’s reign over the conference was ended with a shock district tourney upset at the hands of Heritage (just 8-14 on the year).  In the district final Loudoun County faced off with Heritage and defeated them for the district title and regional berth.
  • 4-A Conference 22: Local powerhouse Kettle Run (17-1 in the regular season) faced John Champe (Aldie) in the district final.  Both teams are moving up in the world, having both been in 3-A last  year.

4-A South

  • 4-A Conference 17 now has perennial power Great Bridge, dropped down due to size.  They’ll be a force to reckon with in the state tourney along with Richmond’s Hanover.  In the district tournament, Great Bridge and Wilson met in the final where Great Bridge prevailed.

3-A East Region

  • 3-A Conference 28: District Champ William Monroe and #2 seed Brentsville District.  In the District Final, Seends held to form with #1 William Monroe taking both the regular season and district tourney title.

2-A East Region

  • 2-A Conference 35: District Champ Strasburg, local team George Mason is #3 seed and faces a tough drive to Madison County in the district semis, where they got beat badly 14-1.  in the District Final, Madison County upset #1 Seed Strasburg in an all-hitting affair 18-11.

Maryland

Here’s the state finals results in Maryland, played the week of 5/18/15.  Brackets here at the MPSAA website.

  • 4-A States: State Semis were 4-A East champs Leonardtown from St. Mary’s county (who beat Severna Park in a battle of the district #1 seeds), Quince Orchard (who beat favorite Gaithersburg in an all-Gaithersburg grudge match early and then outlasted surprise Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the 4-A West final), Bel Air (North of Baltimore) in 4-A North (outlasting Howard in an upset-filled tourney), and #1 Bowie (outside of Annapolis) outlasting Laurel in the 4-A south.  In the State Semis on 5/24/16, Quince Orchard took out Leonardtown 2-1 and Bel Air flattened Bowie 8-0.   In the State Final, Bel Air easily beat Quince Orchard 8-1 for the state title. 
  • 3-A States: State semis were 3-A East champ Chesapeake (Anne Arundel county), who defeated last year’s runner-up Mt. Hebron in the regional final, 3-A West champ Damascus, 3-A North Aberdeen and 3-A south Huntingtown (who beat Rockville in the regional final).  In the State Semis, Huntingtown defeated Aberdeen in extra innings while Chesapeake walked-off against Damascus in 8 innings.  In the state final on 5/30/16, Huntingtown rallied to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the 7th inning to win 4-3.
  • 2-A States: State semi finalists: Queen Anne’s, Williamsport, Eastern Tech and La Plata, who beat two time defending state champ Southern in the 2-A South regional final.  In the State Semis, La Plata destroyed Eastern Tech 18-1 and Williamsport took out Queen Anne’s.  In the state final, La Plata eased by Williamsport to take the title.
  • 1-A States: State semi finalists: St. Michaels, Brunswick, Patterson Mill (who defeated state finalist McDonough in their regional final) and Pikesville.  Brunswick keeps the repeat dreams alive while St. Michaels returns to try to claim a 3rd title in 6 years.  Brunswick and Patterson Mill advanced to the state final on 5/25/16.  In the state final, Brunswick repeated with a 4-0 victory.

A quick list of past Maryland State champions by division:

The Maryland public high school seasons are now complete.


DC Public Schools/DCIAA:

  • DCIAA: Wilson presumably kept its 20+ year winning streak in tact and took the regular season title in the District.  Rain delayed the playoffs, but per the bracket the Seeds held to the final with Wilson battling the School Without Walls (SWW). In that final, Wilson took its24th consecutive DCIAA title with an 11-1 win.  The gap in talent between even the best and 2nd best DCIAA team could be seen in the game report: all the Wilson seniors left after the 2nd inning so they could make the Prom … leaving all the underclassmen to win the game.
  • DCSAAThe DCSAA tournament started on 5/18/16 (Bracket Here), and Wilson once again has fallen short in winning the one title they’ve never won.  As the #2 seed they fell to #3 seeded St. Albans in the semis.  #4 seed Maret upset #1 seeded Gonzaga in the other semis, leaving a 5/27/16 final of Maret vs St. Albans.  There, St. Albans eased out a 2-1 victory to claim the DCSAA title.

Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private

Of note, Maryland baseball factory Riverdale Baptist has rolled of 30-straight victories and won the NACA national championship.

All Area private schools’ seasons are now complete.


Individual Player Accolades Announced

In addition to being playoff-baseball time, this is also the time of the year that we start to see player awards.

Gatorade announced their player of the year awards on 5/24/16:

  • Maryland: Spalding’s Tyler Blohm won the Maryland award.  Committed to Maryland.
  • Washington DC: St. John’s Cam Remalia (by way of Waldorf, MD) won the DC award.  Committed (per PG) to Coastal Carolina.
  • Virginia: Flint Hill’s Khalil Lee won the Virginia award.  Committed to Liberty but likely to get drafted early.

Pending Awards to be announced/expected later this spring:

  • Louisville Slugger All-Americans
  • Washington Post All-Met teams; have been named (seen some announcements on twitter), but have not been released.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Team
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Richmond team (if exists)
  • Virginian Pilot All-tidewater team (if exists)
  • Virginia All 6-A North Regional team: Jake Agnos, LHP Battlefield is the Pitcher of the year, Jared DiCesare, Chantilly is the Player of the year.
  • Other Virginia All-Regional teams: pending
  • VHSL All-State Teams
  • VISAA’s All-State teams, Division I, II and III
  • Maryland MIAA All-State teams (if exists)

 


My master list of links used to cover HS Baseball:

Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists: Updated for 5/23/16 in most cases.

  • Washington Post All Met Sports Area top-10 ranking: Madison has maintained #1 ranking all year.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine.com Rankings: Madison and Chantilly have dominated the rankings all year, Battlefield & Marshall there too.
  • PrepBaseballReport maintains a VA State-Wide Power25 Rankings: Greenbrier Christian, Hanover, Liberty Christian leading the way.
  • Baltimore Sun Top-10 Poll Archives: Perennial power Spalding has been at the top for a good chunk of the season.  Chesapeake, Severna Park.
  • The Virginian Pilot Top-10 for Hampton Roads area: Private school powerhouse Greenbrier Christian, Grassfield and one-loss First Colonial have led the way most of the year.
  • Richmond times-Dispatch Richmond-Area top-10: perennial 4-A power Hanover leads the way.
  • UsaToday’s National High School “Expert” Rankings 5/25/16: Hanover comes in at #16, Spalding at #21.
  • USAtoday’s National “Computer” Rankings 5/25/16: Just Hanover at #21.
  • Baseball America Top 25: No local teams ranked.  Madison was in the pre-season list but quickly dropped out with its early season tourney losses.
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 25” ranking: No local teams listed. Madison started #11
  • MaxPreps “Excellent 50” rankings: No local teams listed.
  • MaxPreps All-Virginia Rankings: Hanover, Grassfield 1-2, then 4-A Jamestown (maybe a bit high), then the two big private schools Greenbrier Christian and Liberty Christian.  Highest ranked 5-A team is Mountain View, so there’s your 6A/5A/4A favorites.

These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect.  These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going.  So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition.  In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.

Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state

  • Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
  • The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section
  • InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports, but has put limits on the number of stories you can read.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
  • Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.
  • NovaBaseballMagazine: great coverage of Prep baseball in NorthernVirginia (thanks to Joe Antonellis for the heads up on this great new resource).

Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.

Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage

Good Twitter accounts to follow:

  • https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below).  Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
  • https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
  • https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine
  • https://twitter.com/NoVAHSBB
  • https://twitter.com/DynamicBaseball

 

Written by Todd Boss

May 31st, 2016 at 7:09 am

Mets vs Nats: first big showdown of the year

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Will Harvey show up for his marquee matchup on thursday? Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Will Harvey show up for his marquee matchup on thursday? Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The first 6 weeks of the season have just been warm-up for this series.  Its time for the rubber to hit the road.  Time to see what’s what.

That’s right; its Mets and Nationals to see who takes round 1 in the battle for the 2016 NL East title.

(yes I know the Phillies are somehow in 2nd place, and the Marlins are frisky.  I don’t buy it; they’re not going to outlast their two divisional rivals that are built for 2016 playoff runs.  Because neither of those teams will spend a dime mid-season to improve and their kids will wilt in August).

Here’s the pitching match-ups (probables here for the week)

  • Tuesday 5/17/16: Max Scherzer versus Noah Snydergaard.  Wow; power versus power.  Scherzer fresh off a 20-k performance; Thor with his slider that he’s run up to 94 (!!) and his 101 peak fastball.  Washington’s hitters havn’t exactly been knocking the cover off the ball lately and Citi Field (I almost said Shea Stadium) will be rocking  Advantage Mets.
  • Wednesday 5/18/16: Gio Gonzalez versus (presumably) Bartolo Colon: The Mets lefties can’t hit Gio and he’s been solid … but he’s also prone to meltdowns under stress.  Washington only saw Colon once last year and it was on opening day; he’s 43 and still slinging the ball in there.  Advantage: even.
  • Thursday 5/19/16: Stephen Strasburg versus Matt Harvey: The Nats are 8-0 in Strasburg’s 8 starts so far and he’s earning his new pay-day.  Harvey is showing the signs of too many innings last year, has an ERA of nearly 5.00 and is 3-5 in his starts.  But Harvey is a big-game guy and will get up for this one.  Nonetheless, I give advantage to Nats.

Prediction/Hopes: you always hope and expect winning just 1 of 3 against a top rival on the road; if the Nats steal an extra game i’d be ecstatic.

 

Written by Todd Boss

May 17th, 2016 at 11:36 am