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February 7, 2014
4A New Mexico High School Baseball Rankings
Welcome to the continuation of 2014 Preseason Baseball Coverage. Now is the prefect time to sign up for a NMPreps.com Premium Subscription. Click Here To Find Out More
Piedra Vista Is The 2014 Favorite
The Piedra Vista Panthers received 35 first place votes in the annual NMPreps.com Preseason Baseball Poll. Despite their 7-6 loss to St. Pius X in the 2013 State Title Game Head Coach Mike McGaha's program is top's in New Mexico with plenty of trophy hardware to prove it.
The Panthers return Matthew Martin who is one of the top shortstops in New Mexico and rising underclassmen Zach Ahlgrim who had a very strong sophomore season in 2013. They do graduate some big time talent as top tier programs do losing Jeremy Johnson, Ian Doughty, and Jacy Cave. The Panthers have won a total of 85 games over the last three years, we're thinking they'll win 20-25 in 2014.
At the No. 2 spot in the preseason rankings is defending State Champ St. Pius X. The Sartans under Head Coach Marc Hilton defeated Piedra Vista last year 7-6 going 20-8 on the year. They return some serious talent, enough which should propel this group to make another run.
Kyle Piersol returns for his senior year on the mound, Andrew Muhlberger had a solid junior season, Tristin Rizek should have a monster year after missing most of the 2013 because of injury, also keep tabs on Kent Keeling, one of the top pitchers in 4A. Losing Alec Cogburn, Ryan Hernandez, and Kendrick Sanchez are clearly key losses, but looking at the 4A scene the Sartans are going to have more talent than 90% of their opponents this year.
The No. 3 Ranked Goddard Rockets were one run away from beating St. Pius X in a very highly contested 4A quarterfinal game last year losing 8-7. The Rockets won n24 games last year and could be even better in 2014. They lose the Hubbard brothers, graduate Brad Blackwell, and Austin Radar, but other than that they return everyone.
The big name to watch for is Cody French at the plate and on the mound, everyone knows him for good reason. Watch for Cal Villareal to be their No. 2, and after Ricky Roybal finishes hoops, he'll be a great addition to the rotation. Taryn Nunez and Mitchell Weathers are key names to know as well. Final four talent for sure, maybe even more.
The Academy Chargers check in at the No. 4 spot heading into the preseason. While they might not stack up talent wise with the three bigs, Academy has a A+ baseball program prestige which turns out yearly top level teams. They finally graduate Tyler Buffet and Andy Alba, but return a fantastic trio in Cody Crosby, Colby Brown, and Cal Clatanoff. Zeke Long came on very strong as a sophomore last year and is expected to step up in 2014. Looking at what's returning, it's easy to like this group from top to bottom.
At the No. 5 spot in the preseason rankings is the Farmington Scorpions. Last year the Scorpions won 20 games under Sean Trotter, one of the best baseball coaches in New Mexico period. This year Farmington returns players like Lance Lee, Barry Wick, and Ethan Spellbring to the diamond. Eyes will be focused elsewhere this year, but that's ok for a program that builds winners. Don't ever write off Farmington.
Welcome to the big show Centennial Fans. After winning just 13 games last year, No. 6 Centennial returns literally everyone back for the 2014 season. We saw glimpses of what could be last year and this year, this young program is ready to walk with this big boys. Key names to watch this year include Isaak Bustamante, Ben Koerper, and Chipper Campos. Remember Centennial hired Rusty Evans, a former assist at Piedra Vista, so you know Centennial wants to a winner behind the wheel of what could eventually become a baseball dynasty.
No. 7 Los Alamos should really be on the rise this year. They won 19 games in 2013 and advanced to the quarterfinals in the tournament. Watch for D-1 prospects Jared Mang across the middle infield and his brother Connor Mang in the outfield or on the mound. The Mang Duo is dangerous. They only graduated two seniors last year. Sleeper team alert.
Since No. 8 Los Lunas has moved from 5A to 4A they have achieved a great amount of success. They won 21 games last year, four years ago when they were in 5A they won just 10. This year the Tigers check it at the No. 8 spot in the rankings and will be headlined by Darron Gallegos, Chris Padilla one of the biggest bats in the State, and watch for Dakota Wood, and Justin Yalch at the three bag. Fending off district rivals like Valencia and Belen will be tough, but they are the predicted district champ early on.
No. 9 is the Santa Teresa Desert Warriors. Last year they entered the playoffs as the No. 4 seed seed and reached the semifinals losing to Piedra Vista. Santa Teresa winning 24 games last year was a big surprise and this year the squad looks to again play the dark horse role. Watch for Kevin HArris, Ethan Meister, and new name to our database Buddy Paz.
Wrapping up the No. 10 spot is the Valencia Jaguars. The Jaguars return some very good talent headlined by Carlos Ramirez at 3B, Daniel Barela at C, and Garrett Garcia as their pitcher. Valencia won just 11 games last year, but only graduated 4 seniors. This new crop looks pretty solid under up and coming Head Baseball Coach Carlos Carrasco.
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