Prep Baseball Report

Regis Jesuit SS Max George Produces Big Game With Small Frame

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

In three years of the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, scouts have showed up en masse to see the top draft prospects in attendance. At least a half-dozen have been high on follow lists heading into the event and each year a player has popped up on the proverbial radars. In 2014, that player was arguably SS Max George (Regis Jesuit HS, CO).

Don’t let his undersized listing of 5-foot-10, 170 pounds fool you. George is put together with strength in his frame and showed it in the Raiders’ four games, going 9-for-15 (.600) with two doubles, three RBIs and one run scored while hitting third in the lineup against premium competition. He made consistent, hard contact at the event while showing solid defensive skills up the middle.

“Seeing that competition is always great,” George said. “It was a great experience.”

Regis Jesuit showed geography doesn’t matter by reaching the semifinals of the NHSI after playing just two games prior to the trip to North Carolina and the Raiders did so without their best pitcher. LHP David Peterson, a Top 50 Prospect for the 2014 draft, broke his leg before the season started and was in a walking boot at the NHSI. But George had faith in the rest of the pitching staff and they held their own, gaining good experience that will help them for a run at the state tournament.

“It's obviously devastating when someone like David Peterson, who in my opinion is one of the best lefties in the country, gets out right away,” George said. “I have faith in guys like Brent Schwarz, Zach Heath and Reagan Todd and some other guys to step up. Even though it's a devastating loss for us, I have confidence in our other guys to step up.”

Peterson may be able to return to the mound later in the season, but George has the team focused on taking things one game at a time, something they learned they needed to do after opening up with a loss.

“I'm just trying to keep everyone relaxed, in the game and focused,” he said.

Regis Jesuit is one of Colorado’s stronger programs, last winning a state title in 2011. That was head coach Steve Cavnar’s last season. He retired and the position has been a revolving door since. Former big leaguer Walt Weiss was an assistant under Cavnar with his son Brody (now at UC Santa Barbara) on the team and took over in 2012. But he stepped down to be the Rockies manager, opening the door for Mike Anderson to take over in 2013. Anderson had been the head coach at Nebraska and led the Raiders for one season before taking an assistant coaching job at Oklahoma. Now Matt Darr assumes the responsibilities.

George has been on varsity all four years of high school and admits that having four coaches in four years presents challenges, but says it’s also beneficial because of the different perspectives.

“Each coach brings new knowledge to the table,” George said.

Brody Weiss had been the shortstop for Regis Jesuit and George shifted over to the position with his graduation, but the transition has been an easy one after he had spent time watching Weiss play and playing there himself during the summer and fall. As an undersized middle infielder committed to Oregon State, it would be easy to draw comparisons to Darwin Barney, the former Beaver that now plays second base for the Cubs, but George looks up to another obvious diminutive infielder—Dustin Pedroia.

“He's a little guy like I am,” George said. “He plays the game the right way, hard, and he's that bulldog kind of player. He doesn't really let people get in his mind. He just plays the game.

“I have confidence in my ability and how I play the game. I just go out there. It doesn't matter how big I am or who I'm facing.”

Unless the right opportunity presents itself in June, George will find himself in Corvallis, OR, this fall with a recruiting class that possesses two other similar players to him—Christian Donahue (Iolani School, HI) and Trace Loehr (Rex Putnam HS, OR). They figure to make for a fun and interesting race for the middle infield positions for the Beavers.

CO Top Prospect Games 6.17.14