Region Preview: Class A - Region III



By Greg Williams
WV Director of Scouting

With the start of the high school season is less than a month away we will be previewing each region in each classification statewide. In addition to a look at the top teams we will also highlight some of the top prospects in each region. Look for our initial Elite Eight team rankings in each classification to appear later this month.

Class A - Region III

Preseason Favorites

Man (21-11) / Greenbrier West (16-14)

Man looks to defend their state title from 2014, but will have to do so without catcher Cayce Mullins and several other seniors that have moved on. Braden Griffin, the Preseason Player of the Year in the region returns to front the pitching staff and will again be a force in the middle of the Hillbillies lineup. Greenbrier West also graduated a significant portion of their starting lineup from 2014, but reinforcements in the form of six senior starters should make this region a two horse race.

Preseason Player of the Year

Braden GriffinBraden Griffin, LHP/OF, Man HS (Class of 2015)

Griffin impressed at the WV Top Prospect Games in August driving a long home run to right-center field during game action as part of a 3-for-5 day that included a double, a sacrifice fly and three RBI. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound left-handed hitter starts from a square stance and uses a strong lower half and an aggressive hip turn to create a 90 mph bat exit velocity. Griffin flashed an 80 mph arm from the outfield and sat 80-82 with a tight spinning 72 mph slider during three innings of work on the mound. He completed his day by running a 7.23 60-yard dash.

Top Prospects


Fayetteville
          

* The Pirates outscored opponents 32-3 in sweeping through the Section 2 tournament last spring prior to suffering a 15-2 loss to Greenbrier West in the Regional Semifinals. Gone from that roster are five seniors.

Greater Beckley Christian

* The Crusader return seven players from last year's roster that registered three wins.

Greenbrier West

Dustin Yoakum
      Yoakum

Jacob Burke, RHP/1B/OF (Class of 2015)
Dustin Yoakum, RHP/C (Class of 2015, ranked #40 in class, special mention all-state in 2014)    

Man

Braden Griffin

Braden Griffin, LHP/OF (Class of 2015, ranked #11 in class)

Meadow Bridge

* The Falcons return 13 players from last year's roster that finished 4-19 losing to Greenbrier West and Greater Beckley Christian in the sectional tournament.

Midland Trail

 * The Patriots struggled through a winless campaign in 2014.

Montcalm

* The Generals fell twice to Greenbrier West in the sectional playoffs in 2014 finishing the season at 10-13.

Richwood

* The Lumberjacks fell twice to Fayetteville in the sectional playoffs in 2014 finishing the season at 6-21.

Sherman

* The Tide return 10 members of their squad that finished 2014 with a record of 14-15, winning a Section III title before losing to eventual state champion Man 5-0 in the regional semifinals.

Tug Valley

* The Panthers come off a 5-15 season in 2014, losing twice to eventual state champion Man in the Section 4 tournament.

Valley (Fayette)

 * The Greyhounds look to replace five seniors lost to graduation and the transfer of all-state performer Druw Bowen to George Washington following a 23 win season.

Van

* The Bulldogs lost a pair of close ballgames (7-6 to Sherman and 5-2 to Valley Fayette) in last year's sectional tournament.

>> View all region previews & preseason players of the year by region


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