Preseason Power25 Countdown: #14 St Thomas Aquinas


Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 25 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:


                            SS Andres Antonini

Team: St Thomas Aquinas
Preseason Rank: 14
2016 Record22-6
FHSAA Class: 8A
Head Coach: Troy Cameron 
Playoff Run: Lost in Regional Final
Returning Starters: 6


TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Caleb Roberts, C, 2018 (North Carolina)
Chris Ruckdeschel, OF, 2018 (Clemson)
Andres Antonini, SS, 2018 (Pittsburgh)
Blake Hely, RHP, 2018 (Davidson)
Ryan Moore, RHP, 2018 (Rollins)
Cade Fergus, OF, 2018 (George Washington)
Richard Grund, 1B, 2018 (Fordham)
Connor O’Hara, C, 2019 (FGCU)
Nate Thomas, RHP, 2020 (Miami)

X-FACTOR
Offensive firepower.  
Aquinas returns four hitters from a Regional Final run in 2017 in which the team batted a staggering .368. The four seniors, Roberts, Ruckdeschel, Antonini and Fergus are all committed to Division 1 schools and will look to carry the Raiders to the state title.

KEY PLAYERS LOST
LHP James Lochrie (Injured)

OUTLOOK
With nine committed players, the Raiders have a very talented and deep roster.  With seven of the committed players being seniors, they are not only talented, but experienced after a run to the Regional Final.  The offense will be the strong point of the Riders, as they hit a staggering .368 as a team in 2017 and return the core of that lineup. The pitching will be be led by Blake Hely who was 5-2 with a 2.13 ERA and struck out 45 in 42.2 innings. They will also lean on sophomore Nate Thomas, who has front line starter stuff, to make a big impact as well. One of the more talent rich clubs on the offensive side, that bring St Thomas Aquinas in at No 14 in the Preseason Power25. Make sure to follow @pbrflorida on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.

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