We’re back for our second season of high school baseball coverage.
We kick it off today with previews of top players and teams to watch in Baltimore and its surrounding counties, as well as the private schools’ MIAA.
Then, next Tuesday, will be the first installment of our popular, “Prep Ballplayer of the Week” feature and vote.
We highlight three of the Baltimore area’s top individual performances each week throughout the season. The readers then get to vote — early and often — for the finalist they believe should be our prep winner. Voting ends on Thursday nights and the winner is announced every Friday.
The “Prep Ballplayer of the Week” will normally run Mondays, but because this Monday is Opening Day for the Orioles, we’re pushing our first vote to Tuesday, April 4. After that, it will return to Mondays, just like last season.
If you’re interested in submitting candidates for our consideration, please send the player’s name, key statistics from the previous week and your contact information to my email, [email protected]. We welcome suggestions and your feedback.
BaltimoreBaseball.com’s 2017 high school players and schools to watch
Anne Arundel County
Team to watch: Chesapeake High School
The 2016, Class 3A state finalist should once again be in the mix for a state title. Shortstop Dillon Oxyer and center fielder Blake Rebstock are all-county picks who look to lead the Cougars’ defense in 2017. And junior Joe Seidler is a terrific, two-way player, dominating on the mound and at the plate.
Player to watch: Jeremy Arocho, Old Mill, Sr.
The shortstop is looking for a strong finish to his high school career after being a Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection in 2016. A leadoff hitter with both power and speed, Arocho batted .435 last season, drove in 17 RBIs and hit three home runs. He also legged out six doubles, three triples and swiped 15 bases.
Team: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
The Engineers look to contend for another title, and return a number of veteran players from last year’s city championship team, including seniors Nicklaus Powell and Robert Mack and juniors Michael Heck and Isaac Spokes.
Player: Harry Farrar-Wynn, New Era Academy, Jr.
Farrar-Wynn can play all over the diamond: catcher, middle infield and center field. But he makes his biggest mark with his bat and his legs. He hit .565 with 23 doubles, nine triples and 38 stolen bases last year and will be counted on to be the team captain this season.
Team: Catonsville High School
Catonsville took a step in the right direction from 2015 to 2016, earning two more wins and a spot in the regional finals. In 2017, the Comets are ready for another run. Six starters return from last year’s squad, three of which man the infield.
Player: Jake Getzendanner, Catonsville, Sr.
For a second straight year, Getzendanner hopes to use his Ted Williams-like eye to find success at the plate. The second-team, All-Metro selection struck out only twice in 74 appearances. The second baseman batted .456 with an on-base percentage of .581.
Team: Century High School
Century looks to contend for the Carroll County Athletic League title this season. With six returning junior starters, highlighted by Old Dominion University commit Michael Marrale, the Knights will make some noise throughout 2017.
Player: Justin Cotter, Westminster, Sr.
The Owls lost pitchers Justin Buberl and Brandon Martin, two key starters, to graduation last year. This season, Westminster will be relying on Cotter, a right-hander. The second-team, all-county selection posted a 2.06 ERA last season with a 3-1 record.
Team: Patterson Mill High School
Patterson Mill advanced to the Class 1A state finals game in 2016. The Huskies are shaping up for another appearance – and won’t expect anything less, largely due to a formidable pitching staff.
Player: Austin Koehn, Patterson Mill, Jr.
How much better can Koehn get? In 2016, he pitched Patterson Mill to the state championship game. The first-team, All-Metro selection posted a 1.42 ERA over the course of the season. He earned 10 wins and only registered one loss.
Team: Mount Hebron High School
Mount Hebron has appeared in three-straight, regional title games. The Vikings’ lineup consists of a number of guys who contribute in many different ways. They hope to get over the hump with VCU commit and All-Metro pitcher Jack Schroeder.
Player: Kieran Garner, River Hill, Sr.
The first-team, all-county selection impressed many last year. Garner struck out 91 batters in just over 55 innings. He earned five wins and posted a 1.27 ERA – lowering that number from 3.90 in his sophomore season.
Team: Calvert Hall College High School
The Cardinals have a lot to be excited for as their 2017 campaign gets underway. Seven of their fifteen seniors are returning starters. A well-balanced roster and plenty of depth should, once again, put them in contention in a competitive A Conference.
Player: Mark Lopez, Boys’ Latin, Sr.
The second-team, All-Metro selection hopes to carry over his offensive success into his senior season. Lopez, a shortstop, hit .440 with a .587 on-base percentage. The Johns Hopkins University commit had 32 RBIs, scored 42 runs and stole 17 bases.
Note: Statistics compiled from various newspapers, on-line and social media sites.