2016 Season Preview: Patriot Pioneers



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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

As we enter March, the high school season is quickly approaching. As we approach opening day, we will continue our look at high school programs throughout our coverage area as they prepare for the 2016 season.
 

Patriot

Team: Patriot
Nickname: Pioneers
Class: 6A North
Conference: Cedar Run Conference 8
Coach: Josh Steinberg
Twitter: @jlsteinb
2015 Record: 15-6
2015 Post Season: Regional Tournament
Returning Starters/Position: 5
Returning Pitchers: 3


PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sam Feliciano (3B, 2016, Hampden-Sydney) Feliciano is a solid fielder at third with good hands. He has a good bat with gap power.
Austin Gerber (RHP, 2016, Radford) Gerber has a very good fastball and changeup competition that he uses to keep hitters off balance. He is currently ranked 83rd in the Class of 2016 Rankings.
Grayson Gough (CIF, 2016) Gough has a big frame and creates a lot of leverage with his swing, giving him some power potential as he returns to the middle of the Pioneer lineup.
Jake Jansen (OF, 2017) Jansen has elite speed and is an outstanding defender in centerfield who gets good jumps on balls and has an above average arm. He has good on-base skills and he developed into a very good top-of-the-order table setter in 2015. Jansen is currently ranked 54th in the Class of 2017 Rankings.
Brian Rall (C, 2018) Rall won the catching position as a freshman and is a good defender. He is consistent 2.0 or below thrower who has good receiving skills and a developing bat.
Addison Walker (OF, 2016) Walker is an athletic corner outfielder with a ton of power potential built into his projectable frame. He also has decent speed and an above average arm.

 

SEASON OUTLOOK
Patriot had a very good 2015 season that saw the Pioneers win the Cedar Run regular season championship in a tiebreaker game over rival Battlefield. The Pioneers advanced to the 6A North Regional tournament where they were upset by Centreville. The 2016 Pioneers will bring back a large portion of their lineup and rotation, but will be hurt by the losses that they suffered as their ace and middle infield have graduated. The 2016 Pioneers will be solid defensively in the outfield with Jansen’s speed covering a ton of ground in center and Rall bringing good defense behind home plate. The lineup has potential as Jansen will again be setting the table in 2016 for a core of Walker, Gough, and Feliciano. The Pioneer pitching staff has promise with Gerber and a group of juniors that can throw strikes and change speeds. If Patriot can generate consistent offense against the elite pitching it will face in conference and get a good performance from a talented but inexperienced pitching staff, the Pioneers will contend to defend their Cedar Run regular season championship and return to the 6A North Regional under new coach Josh Steinberg.

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