Preseason Super 16 Rankings Released
March 27, 2014
By Greg Williams
WV Director of Scouting
The countdown to the team ranked No. 1 in each classification of the Preseason Super 16 team rankings is now complete. Following is a complete look at the top team in each classification as we kick the season into high gear.
class aaaA No. 1 - Parkland HS
Defending District XI champ Parkland is the clear favorite in the Lehigh Valley Conference as well as a favorite to compete for a state title. The Trojans have enviable depth on their pitching staff. In addition to '14 RHP Alex Flynn the Trojans can feature '14 RHP Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg), '15 LHP Connor Higgins (Indiana), '15 RHP Rhett Jacoby (Penn State) and, if they need to pull his plus arm off of shortstop, '15 RHP Chris Rabasco. '14 OF Brad Vasilik will set the tone for the offense, while Rabasco and '14 Zach Merkle (Southern Connecticut State) will be key cogs as well.
class aaA No. 1 - West York HS
After back-to-back state class AAA titles, you could be forgiven for thinking West York Area might be headed toward a down talent cycle. That, however, would be an incorrect assumption. The Bulldogs return York-Adams League Division II all-stars '14 C Cole Bixler, '14 OF Chase James and '14 IF/RHP Carson Fries (Misericordia). Also Returning for coach Roger Czerwinski are '15 OF/LHP Brett Kinneman (NC State), '14 IF Brandon Wetzel (Methodist), '14 3B/OF Mike Santiago (Allegany College of MD), '15 1B Logan Stover, and '15 2B Andrew Copeland. The question mark surrounding a potential three-peat is whether or not Kinneman, Fries, and '15 RHP Nick Traettino can step up to replace the 74% of last year's innings that departed due to graduation.
class aA NO. 1 - Loyalsock Township Hs
While there may be debate at the other levels, there is little doubt that defending state champ Loyalsock Township is the class of AA this year. '14 OF Jimmy Webb (Wake Forest) and 2013 District IV co-Pitchers of the Year -- '15 SS/RHP Kyle Datres (North Carolina) and '15 RHP Luke Glavin (Duke) -- form a trio of ACC-bound talents rarely seen at a large school, let alone a smaller one. '14 OF Robbie Klein and '15 3B/1B Tommy Baggett will help spark the offense. The biggest hole on the team is behind the plate, where '14 C Bailey Young and '15 C/1B Evan Moore will battle for the starting job, with the other possibly finding himself in coach Jeremy Eck's line-up at another position.
class a no. 1 - Bishop McCort HS
The Crushers lost in the PIAA quarterfinals 7-6 to Johnsonburg the eventual state champs in 2013. That came on the heels of their own state title in 2012. With '14 LHP Nathan Neiderhiser (Youngstown State), '14 RHP Justin Vardian (Penn State) and '14 RHP Brad Coleman leading a deep pitching staff, the Crushers are a clear favorite to make a run at their 2nd state title in three years. Add in '14 RHP Ethan Neiderhiser and Bishop McCort has the deepest pitching staff in Class A. The four also combined to drive in 82 runs a year ago.
Despite coming up short in the PAISAA championship game, defending regular-season champ Malvern Prep appears to be the team to beat again this spring. Coach Freddy Hilliard returns two 1st-team pitchers in '14 RHP Gardner Nutter (Eckerd) and '15 OF/RHP Chris Butera and has a promising, albeit untested, group of youngsters behind them, including '15 LHP Brendan Inglis. '14 IF Matt Maul (St. Joseph's), one of the smoothest infielders in the state, will slide from 2B over to SS and team with '15 3B Mark Gentilotti (Delaware), whose recent cage work is drawing rave reviews. Butera has good speed and gap pop, while '14 1B Dan Grandieri (who has re-opened his recruiting process with the announcement that Temple has discontinued its program) provides juice from the left-side of the plate. '15s such as OF Parker Abate and C Clay Koniencki will stake their claim to up-for-grabs line-up spots. With the Friars enviable depth, he may not be called upon much, if at all, this season, but keep an eye on 6-foot-2, 225-pound RHP/C Shane Muntz to have an impact sooner rather than later in his career.