2018 Season Preview: Pleasant Grove Eagles


Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director of Scouting

As the start of the 2018 high school baseball season in California draws closer, we’ve begun rolling out team previews from around the state.

In this edition we take a closer look at the Pleasant Grove Eagles, a Division 1 school in the Sac-Joaquin Section and conference/city rival of Elk Grove HS.  The Eagles had a strong season in 2017 that did not result in a playoff bid, and in a very strong Delta Conference, 2018 could be a building year.

Team: Pleasant Grove HS  

Nickname: Eagles

Section: Sac-Joaquin Section, Division 1

League: Delta

Head Coach: Rob Rinaldi

Years as Head Coach at PGHS: 10

Team Twitter Handle: @PGHS_Baseball

2017 Overall Record: 18-9

2017 League Record: 7-7

2017 Postseason Finish: Did not make playoffs

Team Website: Pleasant Grove Eagles

Number of Returning Starters: 2

Number of Returning Pitchers: 2

Top Returning Players:

Jacob Harris: SR/MIF-OF - 6’0” 170, L/R, team’s top returning hitter (video w/in his profile) and 1st team all-league, Uncommitted

Evan Cogswell: SR/LHP - Ace of ‘17 team, finished season w/shutout of eventual section champ Elk Grove, Uncommitted

Other Players To Watch:

Sam Whiting: JR/RHP - Athletic pitcher, good fastball w/improving breaking ball

Caleb Clausen: SR/RHP-CF - Two-sport athlete and two-way player, good fastball, strong defender

Justin Corliss: JR/OF - Strong defender with solid hit skills

Season Outlook:

Pleasant Grove enters the 2018 with a young and inexperienced team.  Coach Rob Rinaldi has to replace all the infield positions and catcher from a 2017 squad that went 18-9, but wasn’t selected for the SJS playoffs.  The Delta League is an unforgiving league for a young team, but presents a great opportunity for some young and talented players to cut their teeth in one of Northern California’s toughest conferences.

The young Eagles will have to develop quickly and not only that, but also play really well to compete in the conference.  However, Coach Rinaldi feels that he has a group of hard-working kids and believes that his top five pitchers are strong competitors.  With an experienced pitching staff leader in senior LHP Evan Cogswell and a talented multi-sport athlete in senior RHP Caleb Clausen, should they get off to a good start, the Eagles could surprise.  Junior RHP Sam Whiting may have the highest ceiling of all the pitchers and if he can develop quickly, that will certainly help.

Offensively the Eagles will again lean on hard-hitting Jacob Harris.  Harris has power to all fields and is an aggressive presence at the plate.  He’s had some interest from D1 programs, primarily due to his hitting prowess and plus speed.  He is transitioning from the outfield to shortstop this season, which will present a challenge, but one the athletic Harris can handle.  With an entirely new infield from 2017, leadership will be a big key. 

There are major Division I caliber players throughout the conference as well as a handful of prospects for the 2018 draft, so the sledding will be rough.  That being said, Coach Rinaldi’s teams are known for being very competitive and by this time next year, we may be speaking of the 2019 Eagles as a strong contender for the Delta League.

RELATED CONTENT:

CLICK HERE to create your FREE Prep Baseball Report Profile.

California high school coaches can request a 2019 preseason questionnaire from Northern California Director of Scouting Blaine Clemmens at [email protected] or California State Director of Scouting Les Lukach at [email protected] 

Note: The completion of a questionnaire does not guarantee we will be able to get it posted before the start of the season.