Another week, another ‘Prep Ballplayer’ winner from my home area of Harford County. Just as it was meant to be.
Aberdeen’s Anthony Cuellar used a powerful bat to slug his way into the top spot of our voting, leading the Eagles to a state semifinal in the process. He drove in seven runs in his team’s first four playoff games, batting .438 with two doubles. Then add in the following clutch performances, and it’s easy to see why the 5-foot-6, 160-pound junior was able to rack up over 7,000 votes:
- A run-scoring single in the seventh inning and walk-off, RBI single in the eighth in a come-from-behind victory against Dundalk in the Class 3A North Section II semifinal.
- A two-run single the next day in a 6-4 win against North Harford in the Section II final.
- A 2-for-4, two-double, three-RBI game in Aberdeen’s 11-4 regional final victory over Lansdowne.
Zack Radcliffe of Bel Air and Joe Seidler of Chesapeake-Anne Arundel were our other strong candidates for the week, with Seidler being a nominee for the second time this season. But each were no match for Cuellar and his stellar playoff performances. That’s what happens when, as Dean Jones mentioned on Monday, you lead your team to its first state semifinal since Cal Ripken Jr.’s senior season in 1978.
In case you’re visiting our ‘Prep Ballplayer’ voting for the first time, here’s how things work: Three candidates will be revealed each Monday. If you want to submit a player for consideration, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3 p.m. Sunday. Please provide as much detail on the player’s week as possible. Voting starts as soon as we announce the candidates, and runs until every Thursday at 11:59 p.m.