Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 40 Denver North Vikings


John Cackowski
Director of Scouting

 

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Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. 

Like any preseason ranking for any sport, last year our list created a lot of fun conversations, debate, and opinions among players, coaches, and families. To see what we got right, and what we got wrong in 2017 Click Here

What makes our list unique is it combines all classifications (1A through 5A), and leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage.

Factors that are considered when creating the Top 50 List are the following:

- How many current players are returning that are in PBR Colorado rankings
- How many overall players committed or non-committed are returning
- How many starting pitchers are returning
- Success the previous season
- History of success in the program

* We expect the teams in the Top 50 Countdown will compete for at least a district playoff spot in 2018

Team No. 40: Denver North Vikings

2018 Preseason Rank: 40
2017 Preseason Rank: N/A
2017 Record: 20-1
Conference: 5A/4A Denver Prep
CHSAA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Ernesto Marquez
2017 Playoff Run: Lost in 4A District 1 Championship Game to Thompson Valley 10-6
2017 Final Rank: 24
Returning Offensive Starters: 3
Returning Pitchers: 1
Returning Innings on Mound: 34
Returning RBI's returning: 46

STAT RAT: 
During the last two years, the Vikings have gone 38 and 2 during the regular season. 

X-FACTORS: 
The Vikings lose some key players to graduation, including 102 innings from the mound. The depth of the Vikings program will be put to the test in 2018. 

BOTTOM LINE: 
Head coach Marquez has done a phenomenal job rebuilding an inner-city program over the last 4 years, and the 59 and 20 overall record during that span while going 16-0 in league last year is proof. The Vikings just need to finish. The last two years they have held the overall No. 1 seed in 4A going into districts but have not been able to get through. Though they graduated some talent from 2017, they have some talent coming back, which includes San Fransisco commit Harris Williams who could be the most polished hitter in the state. If they can get some help to support Williams in the lineup, and find a couple of more pitchers, expect them to role through the Denver Prep League again, and maybe the experience the program has had the last two years will help them make their first 4A Final 8 in program history. 

Key Player Lost

Judah Wilbur SS / 2B / Denver North, CO / 2017

Wilbur was on the PBR Colorado 4A All-State Team in 2017. Committed to Frank Phillips JC, Wilbur hit an impressive .533 last spring with 6 homeruns, 13 doubles, and 31 RBI's. Also stole 8 bases. Also pitched 24 innings going 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA striking out 34. His production will be missed. 

 

 

 

Key Players Coming Back

 

Harris Williams OF / OF / Denver North, CO / 2018

Committed to San Francisco University. One of the more polished hitters in our state. 5-foot-9, 170-pound left hand hitting OF who ran a 4.15 home to first.  At the plate he is balanced with a slow load on to his back side.  He uses a high leg kick for timing and lands early on the pitch.  Swing path is uphill through the zone with good weight transfer.  Exit velocity was 90 MPH with good extension at contact. Barreled everything in the live hitting round. Has a very professional approach at the plate. An advanced high school hitter. In the field he shows good athletic action to the ball.  He maintains good balance while fielding ground balls and throws from a high over the top arm slot.  Throws are accurate from the outfield with an arm velocity of 80 MPH.

 

 

 

 

Josue Rivera 1B / RHP / Denver North, CO / 2019

6-foot-3, 220 pounds. Bats and throws right. Look for Rivera to take over the No. 1 pitching duties in 2018. Last year in 24 innings Rivera only gave up 11 hits, and struck out 31 going 3 and 1 with a 2.55 ERA. Also could be the 2018 clean-up hitter. Rivera hit .302 in 2017 with 2 homeruns and 10 RBI's. 

 

 

 

 

Chris Perez 2B / 3B / Denver North, CO / 2018

5-foot-8, 160 pounds. Bats and throws right. Solid second baseman who might be asked to take over SS in 2018. Last year Perez hit .379 scoring 30 runs while stealing 6 bases. Mo