Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC Preseason Player of the Year Candidates

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By John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director and Content Manager

As part of our 2017 season preview, we will today take a look at some of the pre-season candidates for Player of the Year. Stay tuned to PBR Virginia/DC as we will be releasing team previews for 6A - 1A, Private Schools, our Preseason All State teams, and our new power rankings, which will be split up between levels this year. Here is our early Player of the Year watch list, in alphabetical order:

Preseason Player of the Year Candidates

Name School Class Pos. Commitment
Logan Barker
Colonial Forge
2017 RHP/INF
Matt Cooper Norfolk Academy
2017 C
Niall Doherty Atlantic Shores 2017 3B
George Washington
Jack Dragum Hanover
2018 SS/RHP
Jacob Haney Covenant 2017 RHP/INF
William & Mary
Michael Ludowig Briar Woods
2017 OF/LHP Wake Forest
Tanner Morris Miller School
2017 SS
Mikey Polansky Hickory
2017 3B
Virginia Tech
Will Schroeder Loudon County
2018 SS/RHP North Carolina
Will Simon Benedictine 2017 1B
James Madison
Eli Ottinger Benedictine 2017 RHP James Madison
Tyler Solomon Battlefield 2017 C
Timothy Stephan Highland 2017 SS/RHP
Erik Stock Greenbrier Christian
2017 INF/RHP
Old Dominion


Logan Barker is a talented two player who emerged as a legitimate ace on the mound during the stretch run last season. He plays shortstop when not pitching and is a good defender who will hit for a high average either at the top of or in the middle of the Eagles’ lineup this spring. He is capable of hitting over .400 and putting together a microscopic ERA...Matt Cooper brings rare speed for a catcher with the ability to move to outfield. His big arm and quick pop times shut down opposing running games and he provides home run power with the ability to hit for high average in the middle of the Norfolk Academy lineup. Cooper single-handedly one a few games last year, look for him to do that again this spring...Niall Doherty has been a big part of the Seahawks’ surge the last few years. Last year he had a handful of key home runs during Atlantic Shores’ run to the VISAA Division I State Championship game. Look for him to build on that as he has the potential for double digit home runs and a high average...Dragum has started and been the leadoff hitter for the Hawks since he was a freshman. He will slide over to short this year as a junior and will likely contribute more on the mound as well after the graduation of Hanover’s highly successful 2016 class, which won three State Championships in four years. If Dragum can put together the kind of two-way season that he is capable of, the Hawks be a threat to make it four years out of five and he will end the year in the discussion for Player of the Year.

Although Jacob Haney’s future will primarily be on the mound, he has been an impact two-way player for Covenant since his sophomore season. He anchors the middle of the lineup and will be around the diamond when he doesn’t pitch. Last year, Haney showed the ability to be a dominant ace on the mound at times, look for him to build off of that and be the key piece for the Eagles as they look to contend for a Division II championship this spring with their deep senior class...Ludowig helped Briar Woods capture their Conference championship in 2016, serving as the team’s centerfielder, three hitter, and closer. Look for him to again anchor the lineup and the outfield defense, where he brings speed and a powerful lefthanded bat. Also look for his role to expand on the mound this spring, Ludowig was lights out as a closer and sits in the high 80s on the mound with the ability to break 90mph....Tanner Morris is a talented athlete who will man shortstop for the Mavericks and anchor the middle of their lineup. He brings speed and power potential as well as a big arm to the field and is the top prospect in the Class of 2017. He is also the best player on what is on paper one of the best teams in VISAA Division II...Mikey Polansky has arguably the most pure power at the plate of any hitter in Virginia this year. He could easily rip off a double digit home run season and carry the Hawks’ offense on a deep postseason run.

Will Schroeder proved as a sophomore in 2016 that he is a dynamic two-way talent, capable of an ace’s performance on the mound and delivering a high average and power in the middle of the lineup with good defense at short. Loudoun County is poised to have a strong 2017 season, and if they are in the mix at the end of the year for a State Championship, Schroeder will likely be in the mix for Player of the Year as well.....Both Will Simon and Eli Ottinger will be important pieces on a Benedictine squad that will be among the favorites to capture the VISAA Division I championship this spring. Both players bring impact bats to the Cadet lineup and Ottinger emerged down the stretch as an ace...Tyler Solomon has been the dominant force in the middle of the Bobcat lineup since his sophomore year and should continue to be this spring. With the graduation of Battlefield’s senior trio of aces last spring, Solomon will have to shoulder more responsibility in handling a young pitching staff and the offense will have to carry the Bobcats at times. Solomon is a switch hitter with light-tower power from both sides and good plate discipline. Often forgotten is how he shuts the running game down with his quick release and big arm...Stephan had a strong 2016 season and earned First Team All-State honors as he helped lead Highland to host the Hawks’ first VISAA playoff game in a while. Look for Stephan to again be a big contributor on the mound and in the middle of the order. He will likely slide over to short this year when not pitching, where he is a solid defender who can make all of the plays...Erik Stock hit in the middle of the Gators’ lineup during their 2015 and 2016 State Championship runs. He was only asked to play first base those years because the team had four shortstops. This year, look for Stock to slide back to short or third base where his huge arm will come into play more often. He has power at the plate and uses the whole field well. Also look for him to have a larger role on the mound this spring, where he has shown the ability to sit in the high 80s with a plus breaking ball.

Stay Tuned Wednesday as we release our Preseason Pitcher of the Year Candidates