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February 4, 2013
Today we releae our 2013 New Mexico High School Baseball Preview. Stay tuned for our 2013 Pre-Season All-State Selections as well as the completion of our Top 150 Baseball Prospect Countdown.
Top 10 Preview
Team Rankings In Depth
top 25 baseball teams in New Mexico - The countdown
#1 PIEDRA VISTA PANTHERS
Buzz: The Piedra Vista Panthers have reached the Class 4A State Title Games four times in the last four years and have won the last three. A baseball dynasty? Absolutely. Last year, Piedra Vista smashed Miyamura 15-1 in the 4A State Title Game and while they lose some big bats, top tier pitching, Piedra Vista has became a regular baseball talent producing factory and this year will be no exception. Returning is a A+ bullpen? Matthew Martin who started as a sophomore last year returns, Ian Doughty will be their overall Ace on the mound, Jacy Cave returns, and then there is Nate Dominguez who threw a no hitter as a junior last year. Jeremy Johnson came through late in the season and watch for Zach Algrihm to contribute this year. Everyone in the State including 5A teams have to be gunning for Piedra Vista. The clear cut number one team in New Mexico.
#2 CARLSBAD CAVEMEN
Buzz: The Carlsbad Cavemen, the defending Class 5A Baseball State Champs will be making another run in 2013, it's that simple. Returning one of the top pitchers in New Mexico in Junior Prospect Caleb Prentiss who was more than money as a sophomore and a rising senior in Brandon Slate who had a memorable State Tournament last season it would not surprise us if this team is better than last year's group when the midseason point hits. Also retiring for Carlsbad is Zach Hinojos at catcher, Devin Groves at 1st base, Dev'N Ortiz, and the very underrated Broc Landreth. 5A target is on their back, let's see what they can do as Defending State Champs.
#3 LA CUEVA BEARS
Buzz: The La Cueva Bears have won seven state titles since 2000. This is still the pinnacle baseball program in New Mexico. Last year, the La Cueva Bears were beaten by the eventually State Champs the Carlsbad Cavemen 1-0 in one of the most entertaining baseball games of the 2012 season. This group feels like they let last year's state championship get away from them. This year's roster will be loaded with sophomores, Class of 2015 Prospects that will be battle tested early. Their youth could be their downfall and at the same time be their strength. Jeff Demling returns and is likely the top junior on this team having made the All-Metro team as a sophomore. As for the Sophomores: Andrew Pratt, Caleb McAlister, Mitcher Cantwell, Austin Bell, and Jesse Becton should all see playing time this year. As you can see they might be a few years away, but they'll still be tough to put away this year.
#4 SANDIA MATADORS
Buzz: Last year, under Head Sandia Baseball Coach John Gunther the Matadors posted a 23-6 season reaching the State Title Game only to lose to Carlsbad 9-3 in the finals. The Matadors return some fantastic talent including Craig Coffman who led Sandia to the 5A Football State Title and also pitched a wonderful season as a junior in 2012. Also returning is David Gunther (Coaches Son), Terrance Barela who saw plenty of playing time as a junior, Ryan Ryanheart, and Jamie Moya. From the looks of the early season returning talent, Sandia is going to be a top their team again, but do they have enough pitching depth to making another run in 2013?
#5 VOLCANO VISTA HAWKS
Buzz: Two years ago Volcano Vista made their first big mark on Class 5A baseball reaching the finals, only to lose to La Cueva. Last year they reached the semifinals only to lose to Sandia 7-5. Returning one of the top players, maybe the top overall prospect in New Mexico in Andre Vigil who is committed to the New Mexico Lobos and also returning Brock Sullivan who had an impressive showing in the state tournament last year, the Hawks clearly have some talent. Combine an A+ Coaching Staff with their hitter friendly ball park, the Hawks are going to produce runs and their season will be made on their pitching depth.
#6 RIO RANCHO RAMS
Buzz: The Rio Rancho Rams could still be a year away from winning the State Baseball Title or they could be on the verge of some of the most well put together rosters over the next two years. They started a ton of very good underclassmen in 2012 and made their mark in the play-offs. This year, they return eight lettermen and only three will be seniors this year. Combine young talent with one of the most successful prep baseball coaches in New Mexico Ron Murphy, it's hard not to like Rio Rancho this year. Returing is Eli Capello on the mound, All-State Football Football Easton Bruere who will also be on the mound, Grant Templin, Evan Offut, and Zak Felix. This team is loaded with young talent.
#7 ACADEMY CHARGERS
Buzz: When you have a D-1 Commit on your team and you're a baseball factory on top of that you're going to make a run at the State Title. While Academy loses Alex Bregman, the LSU Commit who was NMPreps.com's Mr. Baseball two-years ago the Chargers return some elite talent. Tyler Buffett who is a top five prospect in New Mexico is committed to Oklahoma State. Also watch for Joey Sava and Andy Alba to also contribute this year. Academy will be chasing Piedra Vista early in the rankings, but it could be everyone chasing Academy in the end.
#8 ATRISCO HERITAGE JAGUARS
Buzz: We've seen it in football and in basketball already: Atrisco Heritage is making their mark at the 5A level and with the Jaguars first season in 5A up next we can expect a similar high level of talent from the Jaguars this season. Returning this season is top flight catcher James Cordova who will be a three year starter, in fact many of the returning starters have three years of playing time. Jose Escobedo returns as a top pitcher, Dominic Marquez returns and Felipe Beltran returns at 1st base. Beltran is one of the more underrated players in New Mexico. Watch for Nathan Kelly and John Rojo to also contribute this year. Atrisco Heritage is going to be gunning for the District 5-5A title this year and maybe even a run at the final four.
#9 ST. PIUS X SARTANS
Buzz: 4A is stacked at the top and St. Pius X is going to be in the big among the big three in Class 4A this year. Returning top talent from the 2012 season, everyone in the 4A knows that this team is capable of beating anyone. Cody Bowers and Kyle Piersol are each ranked in the NMPreps.com Top 10 and each committed to New Mexico to play baseball. Tristen Rizek one of the top Juniors in New Mexico hit 8-home runs in 2012, and Ryan Hernandez a log with Kent Keeling return to add pitching depth. Head Baseball Coach Marc Hilton and company should be even better than the 2012 season.
#10 ELDORADO EAGLES
Buzz: As always, the Eldorado Eagles are going to a threat in the baseball scene at the 5A level. A top level program loses some senior leadership, but return some underclassmen that will carry the load. Returning this year is Ambrose Romero one of the top Catchers in 2012. He was All-Metro, made the NMPreps.com 5A All-Tournament team, and was an All-District Selection. Craig Buzzard will be a top infielder in New Mexico this year. He is young, but has a very bright future. Alex Brown will be on the mound as a pitcher and keep tabs on Austin Treadwell as well as Drew Anderson.
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