Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 33 Fruita Monument Wildcats


John Cackowski and PBR Colorado Staff
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. 33: Fruita Monument Wildcats

2018 Preseason Rank: 33
2017 Preseason Rank: 30
2017 Record: 13-7
Conference: 5A/4A Southwestern
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ray McLennan
2017 Playoff Run: Lost to Ralston Valley 5-2 in 
2017 Final Rank: 47
Returning Offensive Starters:
Returning Pitchers: 8
Returning Innings on Mound: 94
Returning RBI's returning: 119

STAT RAT: 
The Wildcats only graduated two players from 2017, and out of the returning players, nine of them received over 30 plate appearances in 2017, all of them hitting over .300. 

X-FACTORS: 
Need to find a No. 2 pitcher after Trey Morril. Morril threw 46 innings in 2017, the other 8 returning pitchers threw 48 with the most being 20 innings. 

BOTTOM LINE: 
Coach Ray McLennan has always gotten the most out of his players at Fruita Monument. This upcoming year could prove how well coached the program has been over the years. The Mustangs return 6 players that received over 40 at-bats in 2017, and multiple players received over 30. The offense as a team hit .353 with a .428 OBA. The Mustangs don't hit for a lot of power, but they waste a lot of pitches and find a way to get on base. If the pitching shores itself up and depth is created, this could be the year Fruita makes that allusive Final 8 Appearance in the 5A state playoffs. 

Key Player Lost: 

 

 

 

Cade Oxford RHP / Fruita Monument, CO / 2018

6-foot, 140 pounds. Oxford was the main senior leader in 2017. Oxford pitched 38 innings going 4-3 with a 2.72 ERA striking out 34 batters. The Wildcats will need to find that production in 2018. 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Players Returning: 

 

 

 

Trey Morrill RHP / Fruita Monument, CO / 2018

Uncommitted. First time we have gotten a chance to seen Morrill was this fall. Stands 6-foo-6, and is 210 pounds. Fastball lives 87-88 mph with nasty curveball. Last spring was 3-2, and in 46 innings pitched and struck out 68 batters. Also hit .368 leading the team in homeruns (3), and RBI's (20)

 

 

 

 

Zach Rush SS / RHP / Fruita Monument , CO / 2019

6-foot-3, 190-pound right hand hitter who ran a 4.5 home to first.  At the plate he stands tall and balanced.  He has a short quick stride and quick hips through the zone.  Long arms keep the barrel in the zone on a good swing plane and he showcased an 86 MPH exit velocity.  In the field he shows good feet and soft hands.  He moves well to his glove side and throws from a ¾ arm angle with a 74 MPH arm.  On the mound he stands tall and gets good drive to the plate.  He has good extension on the delivery and lands in-line with the plate.  He showcased a 77 MPH fastball with good command inside and a 67 MPH curve with 10/4 break.  He finished with a 64 MPH change down in the zone. Last year hit .370 with 6 doubles, and 6 triples driving in 17. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Guadnola 3B / RHP / Fruita Monument, CO / 2018

6-foot-1, 170 pounds. Bats and throws right. Good athlete who also plays safety in football. In 2017 hit .390 and drove in 19 runs for the Mustangs. Scored 18 runs and had an OBA of .486

 

 

 

 

Tyler Boggs C / OF / Fruita Monument High School, CO / 2018

5-foot-11, 160 pounds. Bats and throws right. Wide balanced stance at the plate. Short stride. Loads straight back. Level swing and good extension through the zone. Up the middle line drive hitter. Good exit velocity of 86 mph off the tee. Very little movement when framing. Pop-times were 2.10-2.13 in between innings off a pitcher. Threw 78 mph down to 2nd. Showcases a strong arm behind the plate. Ran a 7.28 60 time. Athletic catcher. Also came away impressed with defensive play at 3rd. Last year hit .333 in 51 at-bats