Perfect Game High School will releasing previews for each region in the coming weeks. The previews will be released two weeks prior to first regional rankings. The schedule is as follows:
Florida - Week of March 3
Southeast (AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, TN)- March 10
Pacific (CA, HI)- March 11
Texahoma (TX, OK)- March 17
Southwest (NM, AZ, NV, UT)- Week of March 28
Northeast (PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME) - Week of April 18
Great Plains (CO, MO, IA, MN, NE, KS, ND)- Week of April 18
1. Redmond-Newport Battle for Crest Division Supremacy
Coming into the year Redmond and Newport looked like two of the top three if not the two best teams in the state. The fact that they are separated by less than ten miles and play in the same division only adds to the intrigue. Both teams have underachieved slightly to this point but Redmond has gone 11-2 in league play to earn a 1.5 game lead over Newport for first place. Redmond won the first meeting 4-3 on March 28, they will meet again May 3rd in a game that may end up deciding who wins the division.
2. Brandon Nimmo's Draft Stock
Very few pro prospects come out of Wyoming for several reasons. Not only does the weather shorten the season so much that it creates a great disadvantage for players in the area but the lack of a high school season also prevents players with potential from being able to compete at a high level during the spring and limits the opportunities for them to be seen by MLB scouts in the months leading up to the draft. In spite of the long odds OF Brandon Nimmo is likely to be selected pretty early this June. While his present tools make him an exciting prospect, the fact that he has developed to the point that he has in spite of all the obstacles allows scouts to dream on the possibilities that the opportunity to dedicate himself full-time to playing baseball and working with good coaches and facing high level competition will do for Nimmo.
3. Oregon Ducks Pipeline
In just their third season after restarting the baseball program at Oregon, the Ducks have quickly become a force on the recruiting trail. Their class of 2011 signees rank as the 11th best in the nation. While the Ducks signings generally come from the Northwest region, only one (top ranked Sam Johnson) hails from Oregon. They landed the top two players from Idaho, including Porter Clayton who graduated early and is currently pitching out of the Ducks bullpen while his peers are finishing up their senior year of high school. More impressively, Oregon landed three players from Washington, snatching Cole Wiper and Spencer O'Neil. With all this talent on the way to Eugene the rivalry between the Ducks and national powerhouse Oregon State is going to be even more fun to watch.
4. Dylan Davis' Future Position
The top ranked player in the region, Dylan Davis features the strongest arm in the Northwest. His arm is an asset in the Outfield, which coupled wit his bat make Davis a very good position player. It's also hard to ignore his 96 MPH fastball and many see Davis as a future pitcher. The Oregon State commit is also a well above average runner (ran a 6.86 60-yard dash at the PG National), allowing him to be a threat on the bases and handle CF if necessary (though his arm is suite for right). A legitimate two-way prospect, Davis can be successful as a pitcher or an OF, if he doesn't sign with a pro team this summer he will get a chance to prove he can excel as a two-way player at the next level for the Beavers in 2012.
5. The Ambidextrous Andrew Pullin
Centrailia Junior Andrew Pullin gets a lot of attention for being a both handed pitcher and the spectacle is certainly intriguing. But Pullin is no sideshow, a primary outfielder with serious hitting tools from the left side of the plate and a strong (right) arm (threw 92 from OF at '11 Cal Under) he is one of the top prospects in the class of 2012 in Washington (ranked #3). Pullin is more polished as a RHP, having worked in the 85-87 range for much of his outing at the 2011 Cal Underclass Showcase in January, though he has shown that he can be effective throwing lefty against lefty hitters this year. While his switch pitching exploits are fun to watch and make an interesting story, it's his talent as an OF that will be piquing the interest of scouts and recruiters.
Top Teams (alphabetical order)
Camas (WA)- The Papermakers are off to a 17-0 start to earn the top spot in the Seattle Times' 3A rankings. Allowing just over two runs a game thus far and scoring plenty of runs most of their games have been of the no doubt variety. The question is whether they will be able to carry it over against tougher competition in the postseason.
Coeur d'Alene (ID)- After reaching the state semi-finals last year the Vikings are off to a 14-1 start to this season and look to be one of the favorites heading into the postseason. MIF Drew Turbin, an Oregon commit provides senior leadership and combines solid up the middle defense with production at the plate.
Jackson (WA)- At 14-2 the Timberwolves have been scoring plenty of runs and are led by power hitting Catcher
Kyle Olson. Their 14 wins on the season matches last season's total (14-7) and this year's team looks to be a serious contender for the 4A title.
Juneau-Douglas (AK)- The defending Alaska state champions deserve credit for starting the season 1-3-1. The Crimson Bears played in the highly competitive Coach Bob Classic tournament in Phoenix in March. They faced very good competition, including nationally ranked Boulder Creek, the experience will provide an edge over in-state competition.
Newport (WA)- Armed with the best one-two punch on the mound in the state with
Cole Wiper (0.42 ERA) and Jared Fisher (1.31 ERA), the Knights will be a tough draw in the playoffs. The question will be whether their offense can provide enough run support to make a deep run, they certainly have the pitching to get it done.
Dylan Davis isn't the only pro prospect on the Mustangs roster, fellow Oregon State commit Michael Conforto is one of the top OF in the state. Expectations were very high coming into the season, and though they had a couple of early disappointments, the Mustangs have looked strong for the most part and are in first place in the toughest league in Washington (KingCo 4A).
Shorewood (WA)- After a 2-2 start the Thunderbirds have righted the ship, having ripped off thirteen straight victories they are arguably the hottest team in the state right now. 6' 3" lefty ace
Blake Snell and 1B Trevor Mitsui provide senior leadership to a very dangerous roster.
Southridge (OR)- In spite of finally dropping their first game of the season on Wednesday, the Skyhawks are still an impressive 16-1. Jake Azevedo has been putting up some great numbers (.538/.642/.923, 2.49 ERA) to this point while ace
Jace Fry has racked up 64 Ks (15 BB) over 40 innings on the mound.
Westview (OR)-The preseason favorites slipped up early against a very formidable West Linn and to Boulder Creek (AZ) early on, but the Wildcats have cruised to fourteen straight victories and only one of those has been close. Their season ending three game series with Southridge will be very interesting to watch. 3B/RHP
Carson Kelly is already one of the best players in the region as a Junior.
PG High School Northwest Dream Team
C- Clint Coulter, Union (WA), Jr.
1B- Trevor Mitsui, Shorewood (WA), Sr.
2B- Eric Forgione, W.F. West (WA), Sr.
3B- Carson Kelly, Westview (OR), Jr.
SS- Dylan Lavelle, Lake Stevens (WA), Jr.
OF- Michael Conforto, Redmond (WA), Sr.
OF- Spencer O'Neil, Southridge (WA), Sr.
OF- Andrew Pullin, Centralia (WA), Jr.
Util- Jace Fry, Southridge (OR), Jr.
P- Dylan Davis, RHP, Redmond (WA), Sr.
P- Cole Wiper, RHP, Newport (WA), Sr.
P- Blake Snell, LHP, Shorewood (WA), Sr.
P- Sam Johnson, RHP, Westview (OR), Sr.
P- Michael McCall, RHP Gig Harbor (WA), Sr.
Regional Best Tools
Best Hitter For Average: Trevor Mitsui, Shorewood (WA), Sr.
Best Hitter For Power: Brandon Nimmo, Cheyenne East (WY), Sr.*
Best Baserunner: Eric Forgione, W.F. West (WA), Sr.
Best Defensive Catcher: Brian Olson, Tahoma (WA), Sr.
Best Defensive Infielder: Carson Kelly, Westview (OR), Jr.
Best Defensive Outfielder: Michael Conforto, Redmond (WA), Sr.
Best Infield Arm: Carson Kelly, Westview (OR), Jr.
Best Outfield Arm: Dylan Davis, Redmond (WA), Sr.
Best Fastball: Dylan Davis, RHP, Redmond (WA), Sr.
Best Offspeed Stuff: Cole Wiper, RHP, Newport (WA), Sr.
Best Command: Sam Johnson, RHP, Westview (OR), Sr.
Best Pitchability: Sam Johnson, RHP, Westview (OR), Sr.
*-not eligible for dreamteam because HS does not have baseball program (would have been selected)
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